The Meeting Wizard

Written 13 October 2001

The Meeting Wizard enters the room. His clothes are a touch fancier than business casual. He has a briefcase with combination locks. He's slightly taller than average and something about him--maybe his hair or his eyes--makes him stand out. He starts to talk.

He invites comment. Someone asks a question and, poof, with a verbal flourish he disposes of it. Then he asks a question of the room and somehow none of the answers are stupid or off-topic. The other meeting members sit up slightly straighter in their seats.

He reaches into his pockets and pulls out dozens of multicolored packets of post-it notes. He writes on them in effecient, legible strokes and sticks them to the whiteboard, explaining what they mean and the principals of their arrangement. He starts to rearrange them rhythmically, seamlessly transitioning between different abstract patterns, his stage patter unbroken thoughout. The effect is mesmerizing. At the end of it the others would follow him anywhere.

Soon, it seems that something has been decided, though after the fact it's hard to say exactly what. He conjures a laptop seemingly out of nowhere, hooks it up to a projector, and starts up powerpoint. Every slide is a work of art, combining immediately absorbable nuggets of information with the classical proportions and aesthetics of ancient Greek art. The other attendees pay close attention, asking occasional questions and suggesting possible changes. There is minimal chatter.

Then the meeting ends and everyone goes to lunch.


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