Friday, November 15, 2013

More on the "ten minute" talk

For only the second post at the blog, and the first substantive one at that, the earlier post on thinking out loud about ten-minute talks attracted a few responses, which is wonderfully encouraging a feedback.  Some were directly at the blog and a few were as emails to me, which I have copied and posted as comments.

(A quick housekeeping note: I have changed the setting at the blog to make leaving comments easy.  Members who do not have any of the ID options listed can now choose "anonymous" and comment via the word-verification step.)

First, I want to clarify that there will not be any change to the traditional format.  What I am proposing is one session, which will feature three or four presenters in the ten-plus-ten structure (ten minutes for presentation and another ten for discussions.)

Now, within this, there are a number of ways in which some of the suggestions and concerns can be accommodated.

The talk need not be restricted to works-in-progress at all.  The presentation in this format could easily be based on scholarship that would be the basis for the 18-minute talk too.  It might not be easy, yes, but the reward will be in the form of substantive discussions on that research question.

Of course, speakers could make the paper available--at their websites, for instance--even prior to the session.  This won't be any different from conferences that have designated discussants, who are usually provided with the papers ahead of time.  In the proposed ten-minute talk format, one can think of the audience as the discussants.

While distilling the materials down to ten-minute presentations might be easier for the more experienced scholars, this might be a good exercise for graduate students, too, for whom defending their ideas is a formal requirement in the academic process.

Finally, as a graduate school professor of mine remarked more than once, a talk is a variation of story-telling,.  To which I add that we have a wide range of lengths in stories from the fabled shortest story ever to War and Peace, and the ten-minute talk will be akin to a Somerset Maugham short story ;)

So, getting warmed up?  You way too excited already to do a ten-minute talk?

At the poster session during the Tahoe meeting
Photo from Bill Bowen


Kenneth Madsen said...

I like the idea of posting papers (published or otherwise) for the audience to read in advance to get the conversation going. I might be interested in such a panel in Tucson 2014.

Clark Akatiff said...

Well, what I think of is ten minutes on "Why Geographers must embrace Marxian Analysis." Might get some thoughts flowing.

Clark Akatiff