Earlier blogposts are in THE SCHOLAR'S SURVIVAL MANUAL:
"I remember with fondness the advice Martin Krieger gave me when I was writing THE SECOND SELF and my tenure case was soon to come up. He said, 'Write every day, you can always revise later.' Krieger is an ally who keeps pragmatism and scholarly aspiration in his sights. Only that strategy will help you have the career of your dreams."
Sherry Turkle, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, MIT.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Giving Talks, Preparing for your next project
is to make your stronger and more effective.
1. As for your giving talks. Typically you have 15 minutes to present
at a meeting, 45 minutes in a job talk.
A. Always go less than your allotted time. In the case of job
talks, you will likely be interrupted well before your talk is over, so be sure
to get in the main points, including the findings!, in the first ten
minutes--and you can say to questioners that you need ten minutes and then
you will welcome their questions. At all times, keep in mind that many
people in the audience would rather be elsewhere, that they may be sleepy or
hungry or..., and that what they most want to do is talk themselves.
B. Bottom Line Up Front=BLUF. That is, tell people the main point
or points in the first page, the first five minutes. The rest is commentary and
C. Give them something to go home with. A one-page summary, chart,
table, ..., with your name and email etc. They might well read it than listen
to you--terrific. If you are at a meeting, have copies of the paper for anyone
who asks for it. If you are seeking a job, prepare your one-minute account of
your current research AND where you plan to go next, and carry sufficient
copies of your CV/resume with you.
D. You want to have no more than 3 or 4 main points, and you have
previewed them in the first minutes, BLUF.
E. Practice your talk. The first time will be awful, at least for
me. At least one more time. Don't ever tell people you put the talk together on
the plane to the meeting--be polished and well rehearsed. If you did put the
talk together on the plane, practice in the hotel room, find a copying service
to prepare the handout.
F. If your spoken English is not clear--you speak too softly,
English is not your native language and your skills are limited, you can make
up for it. Microphones help, but you might learn to project your voice (as do
stage actors and opera singers, but I don't know the tricks). Powerpoint slides
that list what you will say also help. In general, you want two or three slides
for a brief presentation, and most of what is on the slides should be on your
handout. For a 45 minute talk, a dozen slides will impress people by your concision.
(When theatrical executives present, as in Steve Jobs, Zuckerberg, ..., their
slide presentations are a product of major professional effort.) You may need
more slides to show off your data or to have images, but be sure that those
whose eyesight reflects aging will be able to read it. Big font, not too busy
charts, clear plots.
I am not against complex arguments, careful treatments of data and
theory and method, etc. But, initially, you've got to convince people that it
is worth learning all that. I have no idea if this sort of advice is useful for
love letters, condolences, or novels.
2. As for thinking about your next project--dissertation, grant, whatever... You need:
1. The brief
statement of the subject of your proposed research.
statement of how you are going to go about it.
papers you think are exemplary, either for topic or method.
roughest Table of Contents of your dissertation
5.Your two brief
statements of your field (You can get the bibliography together a bit later).
Everyone—don’t use qualitative or quantitative.
Tell me what you will do. Mixed methods is even worse a term.