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March 15, 2007

Let there be stoning

Dr. Jay H. Lehr published "Let There Be Stoning" in 1985 (Ground Water, 23(2):162-165). It's a strongly worded critique of "incredibly boring speakers":

"They are not sophisticated, erudite scientists speaking above our intellectual capability; they are arrogant, thoughtless individuals who insult our very presence by the lack of concern for our desire to benefit from a meeting which we choose to attend."

Much of what he writes has been written many times since, and some things I don't find convincing. But in addition to his passion, he does make a number of good points. For example,

"Be intimate with your audience. Make them feel that you are there because you care about informing each and every one of them; no matter if there are 40 or 400, be intimate."

"Never subject your audience to poor slides just because they serve as an outline of your talk."
"Never, but never (remember stoning) show a slide and then apologize for it. Don't show it."

Posted by jmm at March 15, 2007 12:58 AM


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