Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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Is the university seminar dying?

When I reminisce about the educational experiences that most prepared me for a career in academia, attending the weekly seminar series was one of the more important influences. I had the opportunity to be exposed to such seminars at a number of different universities and research laboratories throughout my career, and they served similar purposes. […]

Speaker tips

Liveblog (Vienna, Austria): We’re four talks into the European Geosciences Union General Assembly (#EGU2014). Already we have seen how some speakers could improve their presentations. 1. Too many graphs on one slide that are spoken about too quickly, if they are spoken about at all. 2. Font sizes too small to be seen, even when […]

Avoiding pie charts

June 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Posters, Writing

Are these individual pie charts easy to get quantitative information from? How about when presented like this? As you can see, obtaining quantitative information from pie charts is near impossible. And, if you want to compare two of them, you can generally tell only the most obvious differences. A more carefully constructed plot using horizontal […]

A proposal for determining session chairs

Are you organizing a meeting? Here is a proposal that you might try to keep your meeting running smoothly. I got the idea from a brain teaser in a book that I read when I was a kid. The story goes like this. You are wanting to buy the slowest boat, so you place an […]

Let there be stoning!

Thanks to Bogdan Antonescu for pointing out to me the latest entry in Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen blog. It discusses an article “Let there be stoning!” written by Jay Lehr about bringing an end to incredibly boring speakers. If only more speakers would follow this advice: The average conference paper is 20 minutes in length. […]

Booed for Keeping Speakers on Time

February 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations

I was session chair at a recent meeting. The meeting was running behind, and they crammed a speaker from the morning session into mine, effectively taking away my 15 minutes of free discussion time at the end. Each slot was 20 minutes long, which as most experienced speakers would infer means that you get 15 […]

Monkey See, Monkey Do

December 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations

In writing my book and questioning the “standard” approach that people have used to give scientific presentations, I have often wondered if people stick to convention because that’s all they’ve seen. They see an outline slide or a meaningless “thank you!” slide and think, “Yeah, that’s the way to do it right.” The question is […]

6 Habits of Highly Annoying Public Speakers

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Humor

Cracked.com (America’s only humor site since 1958) always has great reads. Today’s entry was no exception. The 6 Habits of Highly Annoying Public Speakers As an example, Number 6 is “Blaming the Audience for a Lack of Enthusiasm”, illustrated above. The most annoying thing, beyond being nagged to do something you don’t really want to […]

When should you script your talk?

For people with little experience in giving public talks, I recommend two things. First, practice, practice, practice. The more you rehearse your talk, the more confident you will be and the more likely you will give a good presentation. How many times is enough? That depends, but if you are giving your first conference-style presentation […]

Junk the Jargon Podcast

March 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, News, Presentations

I’ve appeared in the University of Manchester Junk the Jargon Podcast (Junkcast). You can listen or read the transcript here. In this Junkcast, I talk about how to engage an audience, giving some examples from my and others’ presentations.

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