Is a good science talk really a bad science talk?
Engagement, suspense, and dramatic denouement; I wish someone had told me the importance of these at the beginning of my career, instead of leaving me to discover it half way through
One of the mantras drilled into the heads of graduate students as they prepare their oral meeting presentations is “tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them.” The point being to make sure that the audience knows what you think is important. And at a meeting, this can be pretty significant as folks wander in and out of a room or are distracted. That first part tells them what they should really look for (and it helps to remind the student what they are emphasizing), the last is to reaffirm that the desired goal was in fact met.
But this is probably a lousy format for a colloquium talk and even lousier for a public talk. Think of the storytellers out there and how their stories go. Does Hans Christian Anderson tell you what happens to the Little Mermaid…
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