Hollins: A Talk on Talking
If you've ever been to an academic conference, you've probably asked, 'Why don't they teach academics how to give talks?' Despite the brilliance of so many academic speakers, many don't know how to share their work with an audience well. With the Francelia Butler Conference coming, we decided to help remedy this problem by offering a talk on giving talks. As such, I was on a panel with colleagues and fellow faculty Karen Coats and Hillary Homzie.
I started the talk with points on what I learned from giving my TED Talk and discussing themes academics usually don't discuss. Hillary shared her history in theater and the warm-up techniques she learned. And Karen talked about how to choose which conferences to attend and why. We all talked about connecting with the audience and the academic game (a.k.a. 'B.S. Bingo') for which you choose a secret word to slip into your talk to amuse the colleagues you traveled with. Our secret word (which became not a secret) was 'tesseract'. Q&A was extensive and beneficial. And now we get to enjoy watching our students put all that advice to work at the Francelia Butler Conference! How fun!