I appreciate what many of you are saying about spontaneity but successful public speaking is a talent and often the people who are skilled at their topic may not be skilled speakers. I have found this to be the case for some ARSC presenters, (and this is not a criticism, I would be just as awkward at giving an organized presentation even though I may be thoroughly familiar with my topic); I am much more comfortable when someone is speaking animatedly, not reading a text and keeping eye contact with the audience, but I've been to many presentations at ARSC where the presenter possesses none of these skills but has a very interesting subject which he/she knows very well and I can still take away the substance of the presentation.
> From: John Haley <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2013 10:34:29 AM
>Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Tip for ARSC Conference presenters -- reinforcing previous lessons
>I'm with you on all of that, Mike. Well said.
>ARSC is about a lot of things, but in particular, the common thread is
>recordings, with a huge subset being historical recordings. Most lectures
>at ARSC conferences are, by definition, going to be about recordings one
>way or the other. To restrict lectures to 20 or 35 minutes means that no
>speaker is actually going to be able to say much that is meaningful and at
>the same time play recordings, other than sound bites, which we can agree
>is the worst way to hear important recordings. And a lecture that is about
>recordings but cannot play them, that is just an exercise in frustration to
>the audience. The lecturer obviously knows, and hopefully loves, the
>recordings, or he/she wouldn't be up there. It is the passion that the
>lecturer has for them that makes the lecture worth attending, but the
>audience needs to experience something of them too. For most topics, as a
>speaker you really cannot do a good job of that in 35 minutes, much less
>20. It's just a bad idea. At ARSC-NY, lectures are done right.
>It also occurred to me that if ARSC lecturers really need the kind of
>how-to-speak tips going around, why are they giving lectures at all? The
>ARSC lecturers are going to be (or should be) some of the most
>knowledgeable, experienced speakers on the planet. I don't think they will
>need to be reminded not to read their slides, and if they do, we probably
>have the wrong lecturers.
>So sorry I missed your lecture at ARSC-NY last week, Tom (Fine), which I
>had planned to attend. Something came up with work that precluded it.
>On Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 9:47 AM, Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> As a public speaker and educator for fifty years, and a five-time
>> program chair at ARSC conferences, I disagree with just about everything
>> Don Cox said.
>> From: Don Cox <[log in to unmask]>
>> > NEVER read a lecture word for word from a text. Never, EVER.
>> Although I do weekly broadcasts without a script and never used a script
>> in the classroom, to not use a text when giving a formal conference
>> presentation, almost without exception, results in a rambling in-exact
>> wandering around that tries peoples' patience as they think "get on with
>> your point already".
>> > Usually, the slides are enough to remind you what you
>> > are going to say next.
>> The sign of a poor public speaker is one who has everything they are
>> going to say up there on the screen in bullet-points. Who needs the
>> speaker when it is on the screen??? The invention of power-point was
>> the worst thing to happen to public speaking -- it should be used for
>> PICTURES and DIAGRAMS, never words.
>> > If not, a simple list of topics in order may help.
>> That's what I used in class, but that is not a formal situation. I
>> often made the list of topics available afterwards as my study guides
>> for exams.
>> > After all, you are talking about something you know and care about.
>> But your audience might not give a rat's patoot about it, and you have
>> to keep LOGICALLY on your subject so they can understand it. If you
>> know your topic TOO WELL, you might not realize your audience doesn't
>> know squat.
>> > If possible, avoid using a microphone. It distances you
>> > from the audience. (It is like a jazz band using a PA setup.)
>> A sure bet that you have not attended professional conferences. These
>> are rarely held in "lecture theaters" or theaters of any kind. They are
>> held in hotel ballrooms with thirty-foot high ceilings, square or
>> rectangular boxes that have no sound carrying properties whatsoever.
>> You cannot hear someone speaking normally fifteen feet away. This is
>> why 47 different conversations can go on at the same time in these
>> > Nor do you need to shout to be heard. If you talk, slowly and
>> > with longish pauses, to the people in the back row, then
>> > everyone will hear you, even in a large lecture theatre.
>> S.l.o.w.l.y . . . . . . . with longish . . . pauses. . . . . . so
>> that every one can hear you? This is the worst
>> technique to try to make your talk interesting in a three
>> day conference where everybody has heard seventeen other talks
>> already and are looking forward to the coffee break coming
>> up. And the longish pauses are the invitation to check your
>> email, twitter or text message, look thru the conference guidebook
>> to decide what talk to go to next, or to check with your
>> buddy two rows up for dinner plans.
>> > The whole point of a live lecture is that it is directly personal.
>> NO! That is NOT the point of a live lecture. That is the point of a
>> personal conversation over lunch or during the coffee break. Or a group
>> of four or five to have a discussion after the presentations. The live
>> lecture is to IMPART INFORMATION EFFICIENTLY.
>> > Otherwise the audience may as well stay at home with Wikipedia
>> > and YouTube.
>> If your topic has already been covered by Wikipedia or YouTube
>> correctly, we do not want your presentation at a conference.
>> > 45 minutes is long enough. Regards Don Cox [log in to unmask]
>> Our time slots at ARSC are now, unfortunately, a choice of 20 or 35
>> minutes, which is why several have mentioned to carefully watch your
>> time. Since a good ARSC presentation is giving information that has not
>> yet been the subject of Wikipedia or YouTube -- or else is a CORRECTION
>> of the drivel that has been posted and needs to cover details of why
>> those jerks were wrong -- these time slots we have now are often way too
>> short. This is why Tom on Thursday night gave a 2-hour version at
>> NYC-ARSC of his 35 minute conference presentation.
>> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]