It Happens at Atheist Conferences, Too

Every. Single. Time.

(via PhD Comics)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Rain

    I always plan mine as first applause and then people throw gold coins on stage. It never seems to pan out very well.

    • Rain

      “Drop the outline at the beginning; always a total waste of time.”

      Okay we will skip right to the throwing of gold coins.

      “Motivation is garbage: what’s the question? Keep it brief.”

      Check. How many gold coins should people bring.

      “Fold the methods and results together. It’s a talk, not a paper.”

      Okay. Applause while throwing the gold coins. both at the same time.

      “A talk and a written paper are entirely different media with different purposes and tools! Trying to pretend one is the other is universally disastrous.”

      Indeed. Everyone remember to bring many many gold coins.

      • McAtheist

        It’s a cartoon!

        Whoever PZ is – they are far too serious, whoever Rain is – they are hi-fucking-larious!

        • David Starner

          PZ Myers is the author of the Pharyngula blog, a biology professor and the giver of a number of talks around the US, frequently on creationism. He’s one of the more well-known atheist bloggers, and not as friendly as Hemant.

          • baal

            PZ is also blissfully ignorant of the striking similarity of his arguments in blog posts to the arguments you’d use to create commandos or terrorists. Radicalization is radicalization.

            That said, his comments on giving a talk are spot on.

            • McAtheist

              ok, that’s PZ the serious guy, tell me about Rain, the funny guy much more interested in him/her

            • McAtheist

              Great, now I know who the serious guy is, tell me about Rain, the funny guy, he/she is way more interesting

            • McAtheist

              Great, now I know who the serious guy is, tell me about Rain, the funny guy, he/she is way more interesting

  • http://twitter.com/pzmyers PZ Myers

    Bad talk planning.

    Drop the outline at the beginning; always a total waste of time.

    Motivation is garbage: what’s the question? Keep it brief.

    Fold the methods and results together. It’s a talk, not a paper.

    Turn “conclusions” into discussion and Q&A.

    A talk and a written paper are entirely different media with different purposes and tools! Trying to pretend one is the other is universally disastrous.

    • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

      It also helps to practice giving the talk (even a draft) several times beforehand for timing; ideally, in front of a small friendly audience who will pretend to be listening, and will do so quietly even after the fourth time through the talk.

  • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

    That’s why I prefer giving presentations to 5 year-olds. As long as I include slides of freaky animals, they think I’m brilliant.

  • Michael

    The Ig Nobel lot found a solution.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAnVNXaa5oA

  • Robyman4

    Or could this be taken as a sign that 1)God does exist and 2)he can’t resist messing with us non-believers at every given opportunity?

  • Karen

    As one of the student host crew for a conference our University hosted in 2004, I was responsible for keeping the speakers in a section on time. What a challenge! Wonderful section — I learned a helluva lot in three hours — but keeping people on time was really hard.


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