View Poll Results: How often should you look directly at the presenter?
Never 1 4.55%
Rarely 0 0%
Sometimes 8 36.36%
As much as possible 13 59.09%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

What to do when listening to a presenter?


by tgt
Tags: listening, presenter
tgt
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#1
May14-08, 02:55 AM
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Say listening to a lecturer or presenter in a seminar and they're writing on the board with you taking notes. Should you look at the presenter? If so how often?

If you are presenter yourself then what would you prefer your audience to do?
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cristo
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#2
May14-08, 02:59 AM
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You should look at him at least once every seventeen and a half seconds...


But seriously, yes, I look at people when they give seminars, mainly because it's easier to listen to someone if you're looking at them (I find anyway). Of course in lectures this may be less easy, since you are trying to write down what he writes on the board, but you must remember that what the lecturer says is as important, if not more important, than what he writes down.
tarbag
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#3
May14-08, 03:51 AM
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Looking at presenter is easy but following him it depend on the subject and his habliliy to present it. if it is not important or badely presented I prefer to think about another things without changing the direction of my eyes.

Moonbear
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#4
May14-08, 06:47 AM
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What to do when listening to a presenter?


You should be staring down at your Sudoku puzzle or playing Seminar Bingo.

Okay, other than looking at the person talking or the things they're writing, what are the choices?
tgt
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#5
May14-08, 06:51 AM
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Quote Quote by Moonbear View Post
Okay, other than looking at the person talking or the things they're writing, what are the choices?
You either, look at the presenter, look at the board or look at your own notes. That's all I can think of. What others? When you give lectures do most people look at you or the board or their own notes? Or something else?
Moonbear
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#6
May14-08, 06:53 AM
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Quote Quote by tgt View Post
You either, look at the presenter, look at the board or look at your own notes. That's all I can think of. What others? When you give lectures do most people look at you or the board or their own notes? Or something else?
If you're doing a good job lecturing, they're looking at you or the board (or screen) or their notes. If you're doing a bad job lecturing, they're looking at something else (that Sudoku puzzle, or they're IMing each other on their laptops). So, I'm just trying to figure out where your question is coming from. Do what works best for your learning.
Jimmy Snyder
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#7
May14-08, 07:32 AM
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Obviously the answer depends on whether you are awake or not. In the former case it depends on whether the presenter is in a position to do you a favor. For instance, if it is the head of the department, you should have an expression of admiration and approval that might not be there if it is an undergraduate who is giving the presentation. It is no longer considered proper to bring a supply of rotten fruits and vegetables to these talks. Instead tea and cakes will be provided. In sum, the best approach is to come prepared for a good snooze and a light snack. When it's over, you'll be in a good mood to go along with any cacamamie idea the presenter is going on about.
Evo
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#8
May14-08, 10:53 AM
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One of my classes was about giving non-verbal feeback to the presenter while they are speaking. First try to make eye contact with the speaker, if you nod your head in agreement, it will encourage the speaker and they will be more relaxed and perform better. If you frown and shake your head negatively, the speaker will become distracted and uncomfortable.

We were told when speaking to try to always find someone giving us positive feedback. If you don't feel comfortable speaking in public, it might be a good idea to "plant" a friend or colleague in the audience to make it easier to speak.
Cyrus
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#9
May14-08, 11:02 AM
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I recommend you stare at the ceiling the entire hour.
Danger
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#10
May14-08, 11:35 AM
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I agree with Moonbear about what works best for your hearing. In a quiet environment, I hear better if I have my left ear aimed at the speaker; in a noisy one, I have to read lips.
If I were a presenter, I would prefer to see audience members busy with their notebooks or watching me/chalkboard (preferably alternating between the two). Either way, you know that they're paying attention.

edit: I somehow didn't see your post there, Evo. Good points.
cristo
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#11
May14-08, 01:36 PM
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Quote Quote by Moonbear View Post
You should be staring down at your Sudoku puzzle or playing Seminar Bingo.
Seminar Bingo? Now, that is a fun game (http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=847). Of course, one needs to adjust the scorecard slightly for their field!
lisab
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#12
May14-08, 02:02 PM
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The secret to success: multi-tasking. Always bring a nail clipper to any meeting or seminar and work on getting your finger and toe nails looking spiffy. It's also a great time to catch up on your flossing.
Danger
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#13
May14-08, 05:14 PM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post
work on getting your finger and toe nails looking spiffy. It's also a great time to catch up on your flossing.
... just

Moonbear
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#14
May14-08, 05:57 PM
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Quote Quote by cristo View Post
Seminar Bingo? Now, that is a fun game (http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=847). Of course, one needs to adjust the scorecard slightly for their field!
Yep, we had a speaker recently who I was joking around with before his talk (he was a former student in our department returning for a visit) and commenting how the students still all sit in the back except now it's Sudoku puzzles instead of crossword puzzles. He laughed and said his students all play Seminar Bingo...their rules are if the speaker gets Bingo called, they have to buy the beer. He was giving a talk to his department, and his own students called BINGO! in the middle of it. He was joking that he couldn't believe they'd turn on him like that, his very own students, but he took them out for a beer anyway.
mcknia07
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#15
May14-08, 07:49 PM
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Look at the speaker long enough to let them know you are somewhat paying attention, and of couse take some notes, then go on drawing some hearts(or whatever you prefer) on your notes.
Cyrus
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#16
May14-08, 08:05 PM
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If the presenter stinks, I'll just start looking around the room at other people. Most people cant present to save their lives. Awk, I sat through one speaker on something totally outside my major just to see if it might be interesting. The title on the email seemed interesting, but the lady (from harvard), was horrible. There were about 20 people in the hall. I left 10 mins before it was supposed to end. She was doing Q&A, so I left.
Moonbear
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#17
May14-08, 08:11 PM
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If a speaker is really bad, I stay awake by counting how many other people are falling asleep. Cyrus, you're right, there are so many people who can't give a presentation to save their lives, and it's really unfortunate, because if you can prop your eyes open and suffer through it, usually there's some really interesting science in the talks. I've been talking about this with other faculty here, that we really need to do something to focus on presentation skills for the students so it's not up to the individual mentors (because some of the professors aren't very good at presenting either...the ones who do all research and no teaching are the worst).
Cyrus
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#18
May14-08, 08:18 PM
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The worst is listening to NASA talk about the STS-125 crew that will put the OEM module of the tr-151 mission into orbit which will enhance the service life of the hubble by the FYO8 year $1.5 billion zzzzzzZzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Honestly, am I supposed to find this bullsh!t interesting? Gimme a damn break!

I mean, this ladies talk was on decision making under stress. OK, im a pilot. This could be interesting. NOPE. Bla bla bla, the covariance of this group, bla bla bla. Even the woman looked half asleep. It was total crap.

Just sex it up and tell me the important interesting points so I can walk way and say, ah I learned this (x,y,z).


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