As more and more scientists are appearing in the media and addressing events such as TAM or TED, there is some pressure to be more presentable. Here we have two examples that I am happy to share.
Yale professor, Laurie Santos, who I am proud to claim as a former student of mine and now a valued colleague, gave her TED presentation in Oxford this week on human irrationality in economic reasoning and her research on primate behaviour in trading situations. Although I was not there, I know that she will have given a very polished presentation. Here she is being very cool in the private life of a scientist.
Here is one of me at TAM this week. Clearly, we want our speakers to be seen to have made an effort but is there a danger that presentation starts to take over the message? One of the things I learned at TAM is that the audience prefer the speakers to move around and be a bit more engaging rather than being stuck behind the podium. Obviously people what to hear what is being said but presentation is very important to convey the message. Information is not enough – we need it delivered in a way that keeps the audience paying attention. So for my talk tonight at the Frome Festival (which will be a much smaller or should I say ‘select’ event), I will bring along a hand-grenade for a demonstration. That should make them sit up.