Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bad Talk

I spend a lot time thinking and practicing my talks, be it for a conference or an interview. I also give a significant thought to the outline of my talk, the presentation and ordering of the slides and other things (such as fonts, colors etc). I do this for two reason. One that I want to present my work in a good way that people can understand. The other reason is that it is respectful to be prepared for the people who came to listen to my talk, taking time out of their lives.

Recently, I happened to attend a talk which is opposite to what I have stated in the paragraph above. It was suppose to be a big event with over 1000 people attending (online and in person). This particular speaker was up in the schedule with a big shot (who gave an excellent talk by the way) from the field. However,...

The slides were messy, they had an awful dark color and the slides mostly had text only. Even the text was not properly arranged and/or justified. He didn't even knew the examples in the talk. It was obvious this particular person had made no effort to give a useful talk.

What do you do when you encounter such a talk? I can think of several possibilities:

1) Leave the room and stay out till this person is done
2) Stay in the room and pretend to listen while you are working on your laptop
3) Stay and listen, and then blast the speaker with various questions to make him know that you did a poor job
4) Stay and listen, and ask insightful questions

I opted for number 2. However, I did observe people practicing 1, 2, 4. Unfortunately, no one went for option 3 and I didn't had the energy to do it...I wish I had !