How not to give a talk at a Conference

September 20, 2006 at 04:31 PM | categories: python, oldblog | View Comments

I'm currently sitting in the session Scaling Up Open Collaboration and was expecting the two presenters to run a session, to run a talk. What have we got instead? We have a "video". This has instantly turned me off. Almost everyone in the room is now concentraing on their laptops, and not the message of their video. Despite the clear amount of effort and love that they've put in, they've failed completely to get their message across, which is a shame. If you run a talk, talk. I've been in bad talks, depressing talks, but all of these have been more compelling that smeone playing a video at me.

On a technical level, I watch a lot of TV - probably waaaay too much, and being in a broadcasting org I've picked up some tips about how to make a documentary, and this breaks a lot of rules. In places we have video, in others we don't. There doesn't appear to be a story being told... There's sections with people talking over text, which is fine, however the editors clearly recognised this alone isn't compelling, so they decided to add some background music. However if you're hearing isn't that great (like mine) then the fact that the music was louder than the person.

Another problem is the large changes in volume - the lack of good audo editting also turns me off.

Personally, I found the session awful. Ironically, if it'd been on youtube or google video, then there's a good chance I'd've watched it if linked through it.

As a session though, I found it painful.
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