On Academic talks


On Academic talks

Cosma Shalizi, has an excellent talk on Academic talks.

I suggest one reads it.

I merely quote my favourite part:

  1. The point of the talk is not to please you, by reminding yourself of what a badass you are, but to tell your audience something useful and interesting. (Note to graduate students: It is important that you internalize that you are, in fact, a badass, but it is also important that then you move on. Needing to have your ego stroked by random academics listening to talks is a sign that you have not yet reached this stage.) Unless something matters to your actual message, it really doesn’t belong in the main body of the talk.
  2. You can stick an arbitrary amount of detail in the “I’m glad you asked that” slides, which go after the one which says “Thank you for your attention! Any questions?”.
  3. You also can and should put all these details in your paper, and the people who really care, to whom it really matters, will go read your paper. Once again, think of an academic talk as an extended oral abstract.

Internalise that you are in fact a bad ass. I wish more Professors gave advice like that.