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0

Don't do it. If you do, don't expect attention from anyone after your allotted time. The busier people in the audience may very well need to leave at the scheduled end-time in order to make their next meeting.


0

There are many contexts where it is extremely important that talks fit the allocated time as precisely as possible. Some other contexts benefit from more flexibility. A speaker may be able to precisely predict how long it will take to present a certain corpus of material, but it's much harder to predict how long it will take to present the amount of ...


7

Amongst the answers presented so far, I see a lot of strong sentiment, but am missing two things that I think are extremely important: 1) context-sensitivity, and 2) how a speaker should manage timing. To the first point, the degree to which a speaker should be concerned with running over (or under) time is highly sensitive to the precision with which their ...


3

Keeping to time is just basic respect, for your audience and for any fellow speakers. Admittedly, it varies somewhat with context - the only presentation at a group meeting going over probably doesn't have many knock-on effects, whereas at a conference there's coffee going cold outside, parallel sessions getting out of sync, and generally far more going on ...


18

I think the presentations teacher who is forcing students to repeat talks if they run too short is not working in reality. Her students will be very ill-prepared for real conferences, where such behavior is not likely to be appreciated. As someone who has chaired a lot of sessions at conferences, I have to admit that I have minimal tolerance for people who ...


0

I think the amount of time leeway in how long you can talk is proportional to how long you are talking. If you are supposed to give a 4 minute summary and it takes 6 minutes, that is too long. Similarly, giving a 4 minute summary in 2 minutes is too short. Alternatively, I think it is perfectly reasonable if a 60 minute lecture takes anywhere between 58 and ...


1

Going overtime in a conference is a nightmare for the organising committee. Usually, there are parallel sessions focusing on different topics, and people try to make their own collision-free schedule to make the most of the conference, if one talk gets shifted, the people changing rooms will be affected. Also, it is common to have a few keynote speakers for ...


35

Speaking for longer than the allotted time is unprofessional, and it can be very damaging and offensive in some circumstances. For example, if a conference schedules talks back to back, then it's not acceptable for one speaker to try to use part of the next speaker's time. It may not be quite as bad in other cases, but it's still disrespectful to the ...


7

The speaker should follow the guidelines given. Granted, normally one should limit a presentation to exactly 20 minutes. A range is much more common, and much more reasonable. Indeed, I would say the limit that was given was really 20-25 minutes (though not given in a very clear way). It's like speeding. The posted speed limit is 65, so how should you ...


1

It's very different to require a 20 minute presentation. It would follow that speaking more than 20 minutes is okay; perhaps the recommended time is 20-25 minutes but the professor is very strict about the lower limit to make sure you have that much material. Perhaps not the best didactic method but analogous to a minimum page length in writing. You are ...


2

Your talk is likely to be to a wider audience than the selection committee (who may not come in some universities) and might be even wider than your immediate disciplinary group. You want to convey appreciation for the opportunity to address them. At the beginning, thank them for the opportunity and put up a slide or two on the main strengths of the ...


8

I would not put it in a slide, but I would feel free to briefly mention it at the beginning or end of your talk. Immediately after you're introduced is a perfect time to say something like "Thank you [name of introducer], I'm looking forward to my day [or I've had a wonderful day] and I'm really excited to be in [city], because this is my favorite place in ...


55

Just to put what's already in the comments into an answer: Yes, you should convey the information you've told us to the hiring faculty. If you've gotten a campus interview for a faculty position, they are already extremely interested and satisfied with your on-paper qualifications. Final decisions are often strongly motivated by who they think will take ...


7

I agree with your inclination: explaining your research programme, arguably the most important part of a tenure-track job talk, at the end seems counter-productive, to say the least. Moreover, I would definitely not spend only 5 minutes of your talk on your programme. 10 minutes seems like the absolute minimum in a one-hour job talk. More generally, job ...


0

If you can use your answer to recapitulate something you said in your talk, do so: if the 'dumb' question shows they didn't follow something you said, it is quite likely that others didn't follow too.


1

Is this guy really a peer? How did he get a job? He sounds immature. Ignore the fool. Sounds like he's overcompensating for incompetence. Tell him that you've heard him and that you don't care. For example, just say, "Okay.", and then go back to the rest of your discussion. Don't invite him to any more gatherings. Move away from him, if necessary.


0

The you-can’t-know-for-sure: The evidence may seem to be true but it could be wrong and you can’t know that for sure. You can only believe in evidence. Therefore to make claims about anything with or without evidence is meaningless. Remind the colleague that science doesn't claim to know anything for sure, only to have pruned the world of ...


1

I've actually been on both sides of what you're describing, so I think a proper answer is highly dependent on the context; it's even possible that your colleague is making a valid point. As an example, his complaints about the uncertainty of evidence might be because he thinks you're taking some results for granted when you shouldn't. Indeed, as a physicist ...


-4

I would say something like: "I really don't think that is relevant for the purposes of the current conversation. I think we can all agree on _________." Where you fill in the blank with an assumption/axiom/principle that is strong enough to invalidate their relativistic perspective on this topic, and weak enough to be very commonly accepted. If it is a ...


0

To the person asking a malicious question regardless of his/her status depicts lack of etiquette. I think the Chair or Moderator should quickly intervene by asking to discuss the issue after the end of event so that the speaker can adequately respond in more details.


-4

This is typical academic evasiveness. I would simply ignore this weasel or see to it that he does not get a chance to get a word in. Or perhaps, say how astonished you are to hear this.


8

There is a technique - I don't know its "official" name or whether it even has one - I call "Freeze": If somebody talks to you and you are not interested in the topic or don't want to listen too long don't give him/her reinforcing reactions, neither positive nor negative. Look, almost stare, at him/her without any movement of any part of your body. Not ...


3

As EnergyNumbers already correctly noted, this is trolling and if ignoring that guy or dismissing him with a single statement is an option, that’s probably the best way. However, given his acceptance in the group or similar, this may not always be possible. Also, the fact that this guy actually manages to derail discussions indicates that he has some support ...


3

I agree with jakebeal that it matters a lot whether you're doing this for one isolated lecture or as part of a class. As I see it, the main advantage of this is as a pedagogical tool. It's most useful when you're teaching a class, because then you can give small "quiz" questions as interactive polls, and from the pattern of student responses you can get an ...


27

Is this colleague really an academic? How on earth did he get a job in academia? How does he manage to retain it? He sounds like a teenage boy from your description of his style of arguing. He's a troll, so best ignored. He also sounds like he's realised he's way out of his depth, and this is bluster to cover it up. Formulate a single sentence that lets ...


2

The organizers of a workshop I recently attended used Socrative to help drive discussion by letting attendees choose among topics that had been introduced during the first half of the session. I found it pretty effective, and since it is HTML5/JS driven, it doesn't need an app or download. You can access the site from any Internet-enabled device and watch ...


4

The Software Carpentry instructors do lots of presentations where they need/expect rapid, interactive feedback. They (especially Greg Wilson) have lots of experience of different ways of doing this. Note that their current method, that works extremely well, is to use different coloured sticky notes. I haven't seen a technical solution that worked better; ...


4

I would first like to note that you can twist ideas fairly easily if you read Orwell’s 1984, you may want to read it, you will see the similarities. Now, not confronting him is not easily done, have you found others that share the same opinion on him? if so, go in as a group and get the approval of the vast majority, then you won’t have to worry about ...


4

When you say "lecture", I'm not sure whether you're talking about a one-shot talk (e.g., a conference presentation, an invited seminar), or about an ongoing series in a class. While I personally have not taught this way, I know that there has been a lot of experimentation with having students answer questions during lectures with software in the way that ...


7

My question here, specifically, is what can be done to minimize these (uncomfortable for everyone) instances?` I disagree with your premise, that one should do anything to minimize these instances. These questions (excluding sexist behavior) are not only legitimate, but are a useful mechanism of quality control that forces researchers to perform their ...


7

"That method won't work at all for what you're trying to do. Your results are completely invalid." Stay calm and kindly answer: "Thank you, I am very grateful for your input. Could you please be more specific about why you think it wouldn't work?" This way you will embarrass them - you will show that you react like a kind person and ...


17

My method seems to be a bit more... devious... than the methods proposed by other answers. This is something that was handed down in a roundabout fashion from other researchers I know. No one talks about it directly but I've had one on one conversations when it comes up. As a presenter I try to make sure to lead the audience to what might seem like a couple ...


10

First, a general method for softening rudely-posed questions is that the session chair can rephrase the question into a more productive form. That is, the useful and constructive content can be separated from possibly hostile tone or affect of the questioner... especially if, as the session chair can probably judge by the affect of the speaker, the speaker ...


38

As others have noted in the comments, there's a difference between questions that have legitimate content but an unnecessarily aggressive tone (e.g., "Isn't it obvious that won't work for reason X, you fool?"), and questions that are purely verbal attacks with no real substance ("How did you even get accepted to this conference?"). As a speaker, the best ...


17

A neutral way to effectively bypass the question could be to ask "may we have a chat about that in the break?". Those sorts of questions are often not productive to answer in front of an audience, particularly if you don't think it's a valid concern. If you have an answer on hand, then you should answer the question - but you don't want to get into an ...


32

As a presenter I believe that the best advice I can give is be honest, be yourself, and be prepared. This goes for your presentation and any research/material surrounding your lecture. I have given many presentations/lectures/seminars in the field of computer science. Many of these at one point in time revolved around trade automation within direct ...


56

Firstly, I should note that the examples you give are certainly somewhat agressively formulated (more so than would be common in my field), but not in themselves invalid questions. It is certainly "allowed" to be critical of the presented work, and there is nothing the session chair can or should do about this. As a speaker, it always helps to think in ...



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