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Tuesday Tips: 10 Ways to Make a Meeting Boring

I have a minor avocation as a referee in two different sports, and in that capacity have been credentialing up during the past couple months for upcoming seasons. Being in referee-run training sessions reminds one vividly that accustomed to authority makes not prepared for pedagogy.* And having sat through a number of sessions lately, I've run the gamut from meandering and meaningless to efficiently focused. In order to keep presentations at the upcoming meeting season truly inviting environments for surreptitiously checking e-mail or leveling up in your preferred MMOG, I've compiled these best practices:
  1. Speak only to the first row. People in the back that want to hear need to move up.
  2. Begin preparing for presentation in restroom immediately prior to presenting. The best work is always done at the last moment. However, if using a prepared presentation:
  3. Read directly from the slides. Ideally, do so while actually looking back at the projection of the slides.
  4. You must convey absolutely everything, right now! With only a few minutes to speak, get through as many slides containing as many bullet points as possible.
  5. Organization is the enemy. "Tell them what you'll say, say it, tell them what you said" is very communications 0.1.
  6. Insure presentations use entire workshop time. Five panelists at "10 minutes" (actually taking 12) apiece is just right for a one-hour session. If panel only has four participants, increase presentation time accordingly. Do not use fewer than four panelists in order to insure compliance with #7.
  7. Make proper use of Q&A time. Here's a template: "I was hoping we'd have some time for discussion, but we've already run late." However:
  8. Use audience interaction during the session proper. Include only painfully strained and artificial exercises. Do not acknowledge raised hands: the audience should engage only on your terms.
  9. Build stamina as you build knowledge. Nptech practitioners must be fit. Break times more often than every three hours reward laziness.
  10. Enhance credibility with inside references. People and events known only to a few old hands and only obliquely explained lend your field the allure of a noir femme fetale.
We trust these tips will make your conference experience a more rewarding one. *True of you too, Coach.