Good presentations: Part II — Content or charisma?

When I first planned this blog post as a sequel to Part I, I had a different opinion of academic presentations than is presented here — the result of further pondering.

I’ve heard and read horror stories about the sinister slideshow spawn seen as a result of fancy presentation making software as a result of the temptation or perhaps desire to cripple content contained within a presentation.  How easy it is to mask the fact that the emperor has no clothes when all the razzle-dazzle one needs to misdirect and mislead an audience is available at the click of a button!  We hear about these things happening in the business world and the military.  If the PMO started using PowerPoints (or Keynotes or their brethren) to address the nation, you can bet it’d be happening there, too ((For now, politicians do not need it since they often possess the gift of the gab — oratory PowerPoint.)).  But is it happening in academia, a community that takes pride in its supposed openness and ability to challenge what it thinks it knows?  Are academics guilty of content concealment by PowerPoint?

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Good presentations: Part I — Fidgeting

When attending presentations, I seem to have one of two reactions. One is to become very drowsy. This is clearly a bad reaction. The other is to become fidgety. I suppose this is a bad thing from, too, but, at least in my case, I think it’s a good sign. Usually, the reason I become fidgety during presentations is because I feel inspired; such presentations make me want to go out and do something, not simply sit there. That’s a good presentation. So if you ever see me fidgeting during one of your presentations, take it as a compliment.