Protect Yourself and your Company While Presenting

Protect Yourself and your Company While Presenting

Richard Meagher
The Boeing Company

Congratulations too many of you who have submitted abstracts for the Siemens PLM Connection 2011 conference and received notice of acceptance. We are looking forward to your presentation in May!

Now the real work begins – researching, gathering materials and background data, interviewing your peers about using Siemens PLM products or writing some code to provide a demo of your latest customizations. Trying to cram many weeks of preparation into 50 slides or less to give a meaningful and useful presentation is a challenge every presenter faces – but one that can be overcome with careful planning and practice.

No, I am not going to talk about how to prepare a killer presentation that will bring your audience to their knees pleading for more. What I do want to talk about is what you plan to use for your presentation and how to protect yourself and your employer who has kindly agreed to give you time off with pay and cover your traveling expenses to attend the conference in Las Vegas.

What you will be presenting will likely fall under either intellectual property protection or export restrictions or both. Any company your work for whether private or public, protection of intellectual property is paramount. It is what sets your company apart from others and helps insure its position in the marketplace. Internal documents that have proprietary stamps on them are your first clue as to whether you can use the information outside or not.

You will be presenting to a global audience from many countries around the world. While you may not necessarily be distributing or handing out your slides, it is still considered an export if the audience contains citizens from countries other than your own. If your company designs and produces sophisticated technology either as an OEM or supplier or is under contract with your government, there is likelihood that technical information you will use may be subject to restrictions and cannot be shared with anyone who is not a citizen of the country that your firm is based in.

Your presentation will likely cover some aspect of how your company uses Siemens PLM products like Teamcenter or NX. You may provide a very brief corporate profile and overview of the products or division that you work in. What your audience really wants to know about is not so much what your company’s product is all about, but how you use Siemens PLM products to solve a problem like managing complex changes, how to use some of the newer features of NX7 and how you integrate Siemens PLM products with other systems. This may often require providing some examples that could potentially expose some information that may export restricted or considered proprietary to your firm. When it comes to valuable technical information, whatever happens in Las Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Las Vegas.

Many companies love good public relations. As a representative of your company, you are promoting your firm’s capabilities in using Siemens PLM products through your presentations. If you are working for a supplier, a potential customer or partner may be in the audience. Likewise, your firm’s competition may also be present so this is why you need to take precautions when preparing your presentation. If you find yourself questioning whether to use a screenshot of a JT image in a Teamcenter session, or a flow diagram of a complex drawing release process, the best thing to do is to contact or meet with your corporate legal representative. If there is government contract work involved, you should also contact your export administrator as well. Be sure to discuss what you plan to present and provide some examples. Taking these steps to prepare your presentation can help you gain trust and credibility with your management and you will likely be given an opportunity to represent your firm in the future.

Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare and review material with your company’s representatives. Some companies have processes in place to review all material being presented externally and internationally, but not necessarily quickly.

If you find that you cannot use some relevant examples, making up your own to demonstrate the concept you wish to present may be the last resort. This is why you want to do as much planning as you can upfront and prepare to take sudden detours. More importantly, if you find that what you will end up presenting will be different than the abstract you submitted, please let us know so that when we print the conference material, your audience will not be unpleasantly surprised when they attend your session.

Richard Meagher
IT Engineer
The Boeing Company

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