Things To Never Say While Giving A Presentation

If you find yourself saying “oh, I better speed up to finish”, you have already completely fucked uppe miserably. Failure to plan ahead so you can finish on time without “speeding up” is a gross insult to your audience that cannot be remedied on the fly.


  1. heddle says

    I would think that anything you write, anything at all, would be something never to say when giving a presentation.

  2. slc1 says

    Hey, the fuckken Yankee fan has attracted the attention of Prof. David Heddle, professor of physics (and also chairman of the math department) at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va.

  3. says

    Well, it’s less insulting than having to say “Oh, I’ve run out of content and still have time to fill/kill.”

    Seriously, what’s so insulting about having more content than your alloted time allows?

    OTOH, if you run out of time because you larded up your lecture wtih fluff so you don’t have time to finish presenting your substance, that would be kinda insulting.

  4. says

    Perhaps something like that could be attributed to too many comments within the time frame. I know I usually give presentations with the explicit statement that if you have a question or comment regarding something I’ve said, please do say it.

    On the other hand, my presentations are keyed to fit the allotted time with some to spare. I usually include four or five extra slides at the very end in case it’s thirty minutes into a forty-five minute presentation and I’m at the last slide in the deck.

  5. David Marjanović says

    Having more to say than you can fit in the allotted time is not an insult.

    Planning the entire time for questions as part of your talk, so you talk (without speeding up or skipping slides) all the way till the moderator says “thank you, unfortunately we have no time for questions, and the next speaker is” – planning a 15-minute talk to take 20 minutes or a 12-minute talk to take 15 – that is an insult to your audience.

    I know that some people do this deliberately, because they’re afraid of having to answer questions. Uh, excuse me, if you can’t answer questions about the topic of your presentation, you either haven’t understood the topic well enough to present it, or you have anxiety and should have presented a poster instead.

    I would think that anything you write, anything at all, would be something never to say when giving a presentation.

    The Four Fs of Biology, heddle: feeding, fleeing, fighting and reproducing.

  6. smhll says

    When you talk very fast people in the audience often think that you are nervous, even if given disclaimers, and can develop the impression that you are lying. (A good reason not to do it.)

  7. gingerest_ says

    Jesus, slc1, it’s not like heddle is hiding his identity – there’s no need to lay his whole credentials list out there as if you’re Anonymous doxxing a child molester. I’m pretty sure CPP can handle his own self against teasing.

    I’m not sure that realizing but not acknowledging you’ve hopelessly fucked up your timing helps anything, and I’ve certainly found that talks I’ve prepared have taken more or less time in the delivery than they did in rehearsal – nerves have a way of screwing with subjective time perception even if you clock-watch.

  8. dean says

    I will take this over a presenter reading his/her slides in a monotone in a flash. For some reason that habit of reading slides occurs too often (in my opinion) in math and statistics sessions.

  9. slc1 says

    Re gingerest_ @ #7

    I haven’t seen Prof. Heddle commenting here previously (he mostly comments on
    Ed Brayton’s blog) so I consider it possible that the fuckken Yankee fan may not be familiar with him.

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