Monday, September 17, 2007

How to Give a Shitty Talk

  1. Read your slides to the audience.
  2. Ramble on. Digress.
  3. Camouflage your words with busy backgrounds.
  4. Use four colors of fonts per page.
  5. Use gratuitous transitions between slides. The "swoosh" effects may distract attention from your crummy talk.
  6. Do NOT explain why anyone would care about your subject, unless you are careful to:
  7. Tailor your explanations insultingly below the level of your audience.
  8. State each declaration as a question, with a rising tone: "There are 29 stars in my sample?"
  9. Speak very quietly, or competitors might hear what you're doing.
  10. Tell racist, sexist, or anti-gay jokes. An opening crack about battered wives makes everyone pay attention.
  11. Find out how much time you have to speak, and then pour your words in until it overflows. Hide any key points your audience should remember. Just fill the hour with words and slides, and you'll be done.

Any others to add?


hypoglycemiagirl said...

continue for half an hour in addition to your given time and getting away with it because nobody stops you (second part will apply to the "how to be a bad chair" post)?

Ed said...

8 is a bit of a "hemispherist" remark.

It's mostly Australians that do the rising inflection on the end of sentences but New Zealanders and South Africans do it too. Unfortunately, it's pretty infectious. I asked an Englishman I noticed doing it if he'd been talking to antipodieans much recently; he said "yes" with a very puzzled look on his face. It is, though, a very irritating way of speaking.

andrea said...

12: Make sure that, whatever length your talk is, you include all the slides for a full hour-long talk, and that you skip over the extras (rather than not showing them at all) if all you have is fifteen minutes. If all you have is half an hour, just talk fast and go over your time.

The AstroDyke said...

ed, that's an interesting remark. I meant native-born Americans, mostly women, who've been taught to speak in a tentative, disarming "valley-girl" style. So I would call #8 sexist or classist, rather than hemispherist.

Am racking my brain to see if the last few antipodian speakers I've heard spoke with rising-tone sentences.

Lesboprof said...

Forget consistently to move to the next slide, so that you wind up several slides behind what you are saying.

Put your complex data analysis table on the PowerPoint in 8 pt. font, so no one can read it but at least it fits. Ignore the fact that the small font is even smaller on the handout.

Put whole paragraphs on your slides, and take 3-4 slides to complete your point.

Be sure to turn your back to the audience as you read your slides.