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March 15, 2007

Nobody ever complains that a talk was "too funny".

Neurobiologist Zen Faulkes writes about the use of humor in scientific presentations. He suggests that Robin Williams should be an inspiration to presenters of sober, thoughtful scientific research.

Mork and Mindy

Faulkes writes:

Enthusiasm is contagious...you have to find passion, energy, that personal connection to the material.

Preparation alone doesn't get you to that [Robin Williams] level of..."legalized insanity"...trust your creative impulses and not censor.
You have to learn your lines....[then] an interesting thing happens. You start to play with them, because you reach the point where you know them so well. You can veer off, try something a little different, and not lose the plot because you have rehearsed. One reason so many talks are so stilted...is not that people rehearse too much -- talks are stilted because people don't rehearse enough.
Don't just tell a joke just to make a joke. Tell a joke to make a point.

Posted by jmm at March 15, 2007 12:25 AM

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