Conferences and Presenters

I was at a solar thermal conference today (why? …well later about that…), and was thoroughly annoyed by some things about presentations and the conference. Listing them down here……to get them out of my system…

1) Cellphones…….why can’t people turn them off, even after constant repetition?? Why are they always on for the people whose ringtones have a lot of “personality”. Perhaps there should be some way to send phones on auto-vibrate or something…

2) Slide-zero — This is a trademark of my Entrepreneurship profs. But some people take it to the limit . One of the speakers spent half his time on the cover-page and then scrambled through the rest of it.

3) When someone starts saying “I want to get through this really quickly”….you can bet on long, winded explanations which have nothing “quick” about them.

4) Reading from the slides ….PLEASE????

5) I still have to hear an interesting presentation by a lawyer. I think they are so worried about ‘caveating’ and exceptions…..the main point is always lost.

6) Organizers should do some due diligence on the quality of speaker especially the ones after lunch. Good biodata =! good speaker!

7) Having 25 slides for a 7-min company overview.

8′) Conversational tone and fillers in the speech. Don’t get me wrong….I love when speakers can be casual but still drive the point home. But to come into a room with 150-people, to see your slides for the first time in the room and blabber silly jokes does not qualify.

9) Showing diagrams in your slide which have labels that only you could read is not acceptable.

10) Lastly, using the product-codes and formulae from your technical reports….which only you understand. I don’t want to explain more.

This stuff bothers me……..because many of the power point best practices are so well known now. How can people just miss it….or not care when presenting in such large audiences? It also bothers me more, because many of the presenters are pretty senior guys in their field and I might be working for one of them one day. My respect for them might have just gone down a notch…


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