One class I’m teaching this semester is a senior seminar focusing on oral communication. It should be a really fun class, and I’m looking forward to it. A major assignment for the semester will involve the students presenting a journal-club style talk on a scientific paper. Before I make them give a talk though, it only seems fair that I should have to give one myself. So I am going to borrow an idea from a colleague and attempt to give my talk using all the things one should NOT do during an oral presentation. (This is going to be really painful for me to do – but hopefully also kind of fun in a perverse way.) After the theater is over, we’ll deconstruct my talk and make a list of do’s and don’ts of scientific talks.
Oh wonderful readers, I know that each and every one of you has sat through at least one talk where the speaker could have done at least one thing better. Consider this an open thread to share your horror stories and give me lots of fodder for making my talk as bad as possible. Thanks much!