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S/O for scientists: how to present your work to an attentive audience


(Presumably) tongue-in-cheek advice for authors preparing a presentation for an upcoming technical conference:

"A team of Canadian doctors decided to study boredom by counting the nodding-off episodes per lecture (NOELs) and assessed the associated risk factors. The results revealed a median of 16 NOELs per 100 and that speaker characteristics were the strongest risk factors. A monotonous tone was most strongly associated with NOELs, followed by the sight of a tweed jacket on the lecturer. Interestingly, some intrinsically boring talks (those with obscure topics, few data, absent of analyses) had unexpectedly low NOELs. This was attributed to the bizarreness factors such as wandering off to inspect the screen, dropping the microphone or just raving. Side bets on when the speakerís prefatory comments would end and the actual topic of the lecture addressed also was found to keep the attendees awake."

Rockwood, K., Hogan, D. B., & Patterson, C. J. (2004). Incidence of and risk factors for nodding off at scientific sessions. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 171, 1443-1445.


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