Thursday, 5 April 2012

learning from the worst

I'm not the best presenter in the world, but do I try not to make the most obvious of mistakes. Sometimes it's easier to learn what not to do from the worst (since you are not distracted by actually listening to the talk) than learn what to do from the best.

So, don't do this:

Chair: Our next speaker is Alex Umlaut from Olympus Mons University, with a talk on “non-isotropically depolarised orthophasic omicron graticules”.

AU: Good afternoon. My name is Alex Umlaut. I am from Olympus Mons University. My talk is titled non-isotropically depolarised orthophasic omicron graticules.

Here is the outline of my talk.

First, I will give this outline of my talk.

Then I will spend most of the talk on background material that you already know.  There will be lots of detailed equations in a small typeface that I will flash on the screen, but I will tell you that you don’t need to read them.  I will use lots of needless animations that will make you feel seasick.

When I get the five minute warning from the Chair, I will realise that I am running out of time, and will race over all the new and interesting parts, and completely skip 10 slides.

At the one minute warning, I will tell the Chair that I am on my last slide, but it will have 20 different reveals on it, and I will go well over time.

Finally, I will end with my conclusions.  I will mumble off into silence, so that you will not be sure that my talk has actually finished.

Here is the background to my work. You don’t need to read these equations. …

Audience: Zzzz…

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