Thursday, 13 January 2011

No slides, no sympathy

Is it rude to walk out of a boring talk or a social responsibility?

Many things can happen with a talk: the accoustics may be bad, the speaker may be nervous. It's even ok if he/she is not so firm with every underlying detail. But for me the borderline comes when the speaker does not even care enough to prepare slides.

I was really excited about a public talk about Schrödinger "50 Years After". I just like the discoveries in those times and the stories behind them. And it seemed to be a possibility to show my girlfriend a little bit of what I am doing. I even cut track practice short to get there on time. But what happens: This man just starts reading in a monotonous voice. People start falling asleep. No slides or anything exciting to wake them up.

It is a petty in my opinion: It would take about five minutes to prepare slides that contain the names of the scientists mentioned. 10 more minutes to get their photos out of google. Maybe an hour to prepare some graphics. Then people could at least take a little bit home. And he does not even do it himself - a lot of people (including me) would be happy to see things they prepared in a big auditorium.

So I just walked out when I noticed that my girlfriend was falling asleep. It is not so much that I minded sitting there for another half an hour. I just think it requires a statement if a speaker does not even care enough to prepare slides.


Claire said...

I wasn't falling asleep!

Felix said...

ok, but I just thought it did not really make sense to stay ...