Posts Tagged 'public speaking'

How to give a talk

rey-symposium_munich_231Although meetings and conferences are about far more than just giving public talks, they are of course a central theme. For the scientist, it’s a chance to present his information to his peers to disseminate his ideas and research, and of course trigger feedback and new research. For the audience, it’s an opportunity to gain access to information and ideas perhaps years ahead of their formal publication, (and some will never be published) and to get access to people and branches of research far outside what they can get in their own institutions of even countries or continents if it’s a big meeting. It seems odd then that I had had to sit through a great many talks that were obtuse, dull, confusing or apparently pointless. It seems a simple enough skill (especially in a profession at the core of which is communication and for which lectures and teaching form such a prominent position) yet is clearly one to be valued and improved if possible. (Image courtesy of Luis Rey).

There are naturally good and bad speakers, and it’s always going to be hard for someone who works on gastralia in theropods to interest someone working on the behaviour of Permian fishes, but the simple errors and mistakes we can at least try to deal with. As ever in these guides, most of this information is simple, straightforward and probably obvious – but enough people don’t seem to realise it so I might as well put down my 2c:

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