Perhaps we enjoy some of each, though I much prefer having the sense that
I'm involved as an audience with the speaker. Even worse, though, is
people who present badly timed talks from notes,obviously with little
rehearsal and no sense of the presence of other speaker.
My nominee for worst irony that I saw was a speaker who spent her entire
presentation on the issue of "listening." Are we mirrors of the speaker
--or should we be hearing in a differnet way? The paper she read
summarized what her favorite authorities had to say, then extorted us to
follow them. When asked by an audience member how she would categorize
herself as listener--and as speaker--she insisted that she listened to
react, not to agree, and that this was what she expected. When asked
about her audience-analysis for this very presentation, she replied that
she never thinks about the audience.
I still a little confused.
Twila Yates Papay
On Thu, 20 Mar 1997, Marcy Bauman wrote:
> I think Beth's right on the mark; I found myself getting impatient with
> presentations that would better have been journal articles than
> conference talks, too.
> I wonder if part of the difficulty isn't that our notions of what a
> conference presentation *is* are in flux at the moment? Not too long
> ago, it would have been heresy not to read a well-crafted paper.
> Nowadays (especially with the ease of communication afforded by the
> Internet and the web) it's easier to exchange "texts," and so people want
> some other kind of experience when they go to a conference. Problem is,
> we don't yet know what that experience might be. And, too, some people
> have to produce texts to show their departments so they get credit (and
> travel money) for presenting.
> Marcy Bauman
> Writing Program, University of Michigan-Dearborn
> 4901 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128
> fax: 313-593-5552