How to give a bad online talk

Today at lab meeting, I wanted to brainstorm about how to give good online talks, because I'm giving a few remote talks in the next month. Tracy suggested that perhaps I should demonstrate a bad talk first, just to get everyone on the same page.

So I did!

Direct (YouTube link)

...enjoy? It's short, and not TOO painful if you show up with low expectations!


First, let me say that we were tremendously ...inspired by Greg Wilson's How to Teach Badly and How to Teach Badly (part 2)!

So here's what I did --

I put together a few slides on some stuff that I'd been working on recently, so it would look reasonable.

My initial screen opened with a private Twitter message up, to mimic inadvertent content sharing :).

I started out with "I didn't have a lot of time to prepare for this meeting so apologies for some of the slides."

My slide theme was very hard to read - bad fonts and colors.

A few slides in I went with "I know we're all busy on time so I'm going to be brief. I'll just skip some of the background and through these first slides quickly."

On the first slide with an image, I had Taylor Reiter break in to ask a question, and I shut her down with "Just hold questions, I'll get to them at the end of we have time."

All of my slide content was just ...terrible. I am especially "proud" of the screenshots of code (I carefully cropped off the code comments).

And of course I spoke quickly, imparted little to no useful information in any way, and took no questions at the end, either...


I only informed one or two people in advance that I was doing this, and so I got some good reactions ;). I also got some amazing recommendations for how to make it far, far worse...

Anyway, enjoy! I will write another blog post on what the various suggestions for giving good online talks were -- I'm giving two remote talks in the next month or so, and I'll come back with some specific recommendations, too!

--titus

p.s. Yes, these are real projects and you CAN find them on github :).

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