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]