Home Science CommunicationScholarly communication Speaking Styles and Papers: Academia Divided

Speaking Styles and Papers: Academia Divided

by Eva Amsen

In the past few weeks I had a few opportunities to be at cross-disciplinary events, and I noticed something interesting. Scientists have a particular way of speaking in front of an audience, and it’s different from speaking styles in other fields.

When I was on the blogging panel at Columbia, all four speakers did their little introduction thing before the discussion. We had already been introduced at that point, and I just gave a tiny bit more background about how and when I started blogging. It was maybe 2 minutes long, if that. Next up was Tedra Osell, who no longer works in academia. She already said much more than I did, but also just off the cuff. But then the two next speakers, Claire Potter and Alexandra Vazquez both read their introductory statements from something they wrote before. There will eventually be a video of the whole panel discussion, so you’ll be able to see it for yourself, but I wasn’t the only one to notice it. Tedra livetweeted the panel, and spotted the same thing.

When I started my graduate program at UofT, we were explicitly told to not have any written notes when giving a seminar for the department. You just use the slides as a framework, and explain as you go. Many people still memorize (and get horribly stuck when they forget a sentence…) but nobody reads out loud. When someone is considered a “good speaker” in science, it means that your slides aren’t boring, and you tell a good, coherent story, using eye contact and moderate physical animation. If you go to an international conference, you judge people not only on their science (you’ve read the papers anyway – you know what they do) but on how they talk about it.

In the humanities, though, people go to conferences to “read a paper”. They write a paper, and read it out loud at the conference. So for the two panelists who were still active in these fields, writing their intro statement full of philosophies and ideas (much longer than my brief intro), and reading it out loud, was a normal thing to do.

Lab meetings are another place where you learn to speak off the cuff. We had 12-15 people in our lab, and every week we got together to just update each other one what we did, and troubleshoot a bit.

“This is what I did, look here are my results. They look weird, I don’t know what happened. Any ideas?”

Every week a new thing happens that you need to talk about, very briefly. You get used to giving short little updates, with little preparation. Other fields don’t have lab meetings, and their graduate students are mostly left to themselves. They are certainly not meeting with their advisor and other grad students every week to say things like “I read some more Wittgenstein and I renewed my library books.”

I didn’t realize it, but being forced to constantly talk about what you’re doing and taught to speak about your work as if you were showing friends a slideshow of your recent travels – with the stories behind each slide coming seemingly naturally – might be a very “scientist” thing to do.

Then last week, I noticed it again, at a completely different panel. I was in the audience of an Art Meets Science plenary lecture (summary up tomorrow!). Two of the speakers were artists, and one was a scientist. They were all talking about the same thing: how art and science can collaborate.

Both artists had written their talks out and were reading from the paper.

The scientist, even though his slides were full of art, was giving a typical “scientist”-style presentation. He spoke casually, but knew exactly what to say when. He showed a slide at the start, told us he would get back to it, and he did, at exactly the right moment. He didn’t have notes, he didn’t have it memorized, he just knew what he wanted to say, and he had put the images in the right order beforehand, to aid his narrative.

What was odd, to me, in that set of lectures, was that in his talk (as second speaker) he made a point that was almost literally repeated by the third speaker in her talk, and she didn’t refer to him already saying it. It was something very specific: A particular example of a word meaning different things in different disciplines. They both dwelt on it a bit. But because the third speaker was reading her notes, she couldn’t say “as we just talked about”, or anything along those lines. It wasn’t in her notes.

All of the people I’ve recently seen read a presentation out loud were animated, interesting speakers. What they read wasn’t dull. They had great ideas, they hardly said “ehm” and they never lost their train of thought. But it’s so…well…alien to me to see someone “read a paper”.

Is this maybe the so-called culture clash between disciplines?

There is certainly something different in what a “paper” is in humanities and science[1]. At the Columbia panel, the most interesting new thing I learned was that in the humanities a paper published in an online-only journal, even if it is peer-reviewed, is not as prestigious as a paper in a paper journal.

The obstacle to “blogging for academic credit”, high as it is in science, is much higher in the humanities where online publishing as a whole is still somewhat looked down upon.

And yet, in those fields a “paper”, even though it needs to be “on paper” to count, is something you can read out loud at a conference. Can you imagine reading a scientific research paper out loud?

“Materials and Methods. Cell Culture. Cells were grown in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium[2] supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum and…”

PowerPoint Karaoke[3] isn’t looking so bad right now, is it?

1. And in tomorrow’s blog post, you’ll learn even more words that have different meanings in different fields!
2. This line is in every cell biology paper ever written. Exaggerating? Hardly: A quick Google search for “Cells were grown in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium” and variations thereof (“cultured in”, “DMEM”) give about 3 million hits altogether. Only two hits for “we grew cells in DMEM”, but one of them is a Nature paper.
3. PowerPoint Karaoke is the nasty habit of some speakers to type full sentences on slides, and then read them out loud while pointing to the words with their laser pointer as they go along.



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Richard P. Grant October 5, 2009 - 6:11 AM

INteresting, Eva. I just chortled over the sentence “I read some more Wittgenstein and I renewed my library books.”
I despise PPT karoakers. (Kroakers?). Fills me with the urge to [insert verb of choice].

Anna Vilborg October 5, 2009 - 6:35 AM

I was thinking along similar lines last week when I was taking a multi-disciplinary course which involved a lot of discussions. Students from natural sciences tended to be rather brief (comparatively speaking) and to the point when commenting something, and when discussing a problem they’d often offer some kind of solution. Students from more literary or philosophical areas would often give long comments that would rather discuss the theories behind the problem. It made me reflect on the differences in work setup as well – the constant meetings and collaborations vs individual studies.

Alyssa Gilbert October 5, 2009 - 11:32 AM

I had a somewhat similar (but opposite?) experience when I attended an international astronomy conference in August. I went to the regular science talks, and most were very boring, with the speaker using a monotone voice, using jargon, etc.. Then I went to the education session! Most of the talks were so well done, I was blown away! They were all so casual (but not informal), animated, and excited about their work – a complete 180 from the science talks I usually see. It made me feel at home, and made me realize that’s where I belong 🙂
I had no idea that some disciplines actually read from papers. I’d love to go to such a conference just to see what that would be like.

Mark Tummers October 5, 2009 - 12:10 PM

I once saw a French historian of science doing exactly that. Read out loud his paper. No powerpoint of course. Heavy accent.
In a sense we biologists are a lucky bunch because our work is graphics heavy. And often we can show a picture of a cute animal. I actually wrote a paper that included data on sloths for the sole reason I could show a sloth picture during my talk.
Or post a sloth picture in a blog comment.

Jennifer Rohn October 5, 2009 - 1:13 PM

I “presented a paper” at the “SLSA”:http://www.litsciarts.org/ humanities conference – I was the only one in the room with a powerpoint, and everyone else read their monographs. In another presentation, I had to read an actual paper from an ill colleague who couldn’t make it, but I tried to infuse the words with personality and humor, looking up to make eye contact occasionally, etc. which I think a lot of people appreciated. Most everyone else was droning in a monotone.

Ken Doyle October 5, 2009 - 2:38 PM

I’ve seen quite a few scientists read straight from notes, as I have other speakers from various walks of life. I think it’s more a problem with the speaker and their comfort level, as opposed to being in a particular discipline.

Richard P. Grant October 5, 2009 - 3:09 PM

It’s quite noticeable when scientists do it.

Heather Etchevers October 5, 2009 - 3:13 PM

_Papers, not good for reading out loud._
Certain blog posts, good for laughing out loud. Well done and duly noted, Eva!

Richard Wintle October 5, 2009 - 3:22 PM

_I despise PPT karoakers. (Kroakers?). Fills me with the urge to [insert verb of choice]._
Nice post, Eva. When I told my father (who at the time was a Physics professor) that the lab I was doing my grad work in had weekly lab meetings and that _we were expected to present regularly_, his response was “good!”. For the reasons you so ably articulate – that it helps to understand your work, get feedback, and most importantly, become used to presenting your work.
He also told me that the point of graduate school is to finish it as quickly as possible, which I don’t totally agree with, but is a point well taken.
I’ll often preface seminars, depending on who’s in the audience, with a few remarks about my background (for hard-core scientific audiences I don’t do this; for mixed industry/science/general public I do, for students I often will as well). I think it adds context and makes the speaker a bit more “human” (which, in my case, is helpful, since my deadpan delivery kills any attempt at humour during my talks).
And on the topic of memorization – a certain lab at this institute had a PI who was famous for making his students memorize their presentations. On at least one occasion, one student omitted the word “the” in the middle of a sentence and didn’t even notice. I personally *hate* listening to memorized talks – no flow, no interaction, and as you say if the speaker gets lost, it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

Austin Elliott October 5, 2009 - 3:23 PM

Some (most?) scientific societies explicitly prohibit reading papers at their meetings; the “Physiological Society”:http://www.physoc.org/site/cms/contentChapterView.asp?chapter=1 is one I am familiar with. The rule currently reads:
bq. “No Communications [talks] shall be read from written script, slides or Powerpoint transmissions.”
… though I think I vaguely recall it formerly saying simply:
bq. “..papers shall not be read.”
I can’t remember when the rule was made, but given the age of the society (founded 1876) it would probably be pretty old. Which sort of suggests that the practice in science and arts must probably have diverged a good while back.

Eva Amsen October 5, 2009 - 3:34 PM

Ken, it didn’t seem to be a lack of comfort issue in the humanities speakers I saw. They were great. I was hoping the Columbia panel video would be up yet, so I could show, but Claire and Alex had no trouble talking in front of the group at all, and confidently answered all questions. They _could_ argue and speak without preparation just fine, but they made a (for them reasonable) choice to read their intro statements from a written essay.
One of the two artists (academic artists, I should add) I saw last week did use her notes as a bit of a crutch (to make sure she wouldn’t elaborate and go over time) but the other also just used it as an acceptable format for speaking. She even did a very well-timed monologue with a video in the background that could not have been done if she spoke off the cuff.
Mark, that’s the cutest sloth I’ve ever seen! I had a picture of my cat in one of the slides of my long (1hr) PhD talk. The project was about melanin, and in the introduction I had one slide showing how abundant the black pigment is in nature. There were pictures of rotting fruit, people’s eyes, squid ink, a zebra, a sunscreen ad, some things I forgot, and my own (black) cat.
Alyssa, of course, education! I was thinking last night what discipline would have the best speakers, and I couldn’t find any. Duh. Last year (early 2008) I actually took a teaching course together with grad students in other disciplines, and that was another interesting clash of cultures. Discussions about plagiarism had to always come with a mention of your background, because there was no clear cut interdisciplinary solution. Yes, TurnItIn works well for essays, but it also flags things like the sentence I wrote about cells being cultured in DMEM, and that is just fine in a lab report. In science labs, the plagiarism is in tiny details, like numbers being almost the same, and not in writing style.

Henry Gee October 5, 2009 - 3:36 PM

It’s quite common in the humanities. People at seminars of the Tolkien Society, which I attend in my capacity as editor of their literary magazine _Mallorn_, quite often read from a script or detailed notes. They are usually very clear and articulate but the paper is quite often longer than the time allotted so they speed up towards the end. I once – _once_ read a paper at a conference, one I’d written out. It was _awful_. Never again.

Eva Amsen October 5, 2009 - 3:40 PM

Austin, thanks! I didn’t know whether there would be actual written rules that said what to do, or whether it was just a habit. So glad it’s at least somewhat institutionalized. (I especially like the part of the rule that prohibit PowerPoint Karaoke.)

Eva Amsen October 5, 2009 - 3:42 PM

Henry, is that part of the reason you now prefer to just go up and have the audience ask you questions?

Austin Elliott October 5, 2009 - 3:54 PM

Taking of Tolkien, wasn’t he famous (infamous?) as a lecturer for always muttering darkly about having:
bq. “not been able to/had time to find/update his notes”
– but actually extemporising happily in many of his undergraduate lectures? That is certainly the impression one gets from Hunphrey Carpenter’s biography.

Richard P. Grant October 5, 2009 - 3:54 PM

‘Powerpoint transmissions’
very 1876.

Eva Amsen October 5, 2009 - 4:16 PM

I think he meant the shorter, previous version dating back that far =)
Although it would have been impressive if they already mentioned PowerPoint that early on. “Please, guys, once we get this technology, don’t _abuse_ it!”

Austin Elliott October 5, 2009 - 4:35 PM

bq. *”Powerpoint transmissions”*
Yes, I don’t quite know where they got that particular rather odd turn of phrase from.
After consulting a couple of people, we haven’t yet tracked down when the original “no communication shall be read” rule came in for Phys Soc meetings, though it was definitely already in force by the early 1950s.
A rule that went with it when I started (early 80s) was “no more than five — or possibly six – slides” (for a 10 min long communication). Of course, now that we have PowerPointless most people show twice that.
The first time I ever did one of these talks, as a callow 1st yr grad student with zero prior experience of talking to an audience (no drilling in “presentation skills” in undergrad degrees in those days), I laboriously wrote out everything I was going to say and then basically tried to memorize it. Of course, I inevitably “dried” half-way through and found I was on the wrong page of my scribbled script (which I had on the lectern as a kind of insurance) to pick up the thread.
After an agonising 5 seconds of rabbit-in-the-headlights (which you can believe felt far longer than 5 seconds!) I got my mental “place” from the slide I had up, and managed to complete the rest of the talk without mishap. The “look at the slide” moment was a kind of Road to Damascus moment – since then I have never ever attempted to write down any kind of script, but simply assemble the pictures and think in general terms about what I am going to say.

Kristi Vogel October 5, 2009 - 5:36 PM

_Other fields don’t have labmeetings, and their graduate students are mostly left to themselves_
Medical and dental students (I realize that they are not necessarily “graduate” students in most countries outside the US) do a variation of this in their clinical rotations, with updates to their peers and other physicians on patients that they’re following. We have them start with small group presentations and (mock^) case conferences in their preclinical courses.
I attended an art history lecture when I was in Cambridge earlier this year, and that speaker used an in-between approach: he didn’t read from a paper or from PowerPoint slides, but he did appear to have an extensive series of notecards, to which he referred periodically. The talk flowed well, and was quite enjoyable. For anyone who is interested in critiques of PowerPoint overuse, I recommend Edward Tufte’s “essay”:http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/powerpoint, _The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint_. The cover page alone is amusing.
^ I belive that the official term is “standardized”, at least for actors pretending to be patients who present with a variety of symptoms.

Henry Gee October 5, 2009 - 5:44 PM

_Henry, is that part of the reason you now prefer to just go up and have the audience ask you questions?_
No. That’s down to (1) the fact that people are always bursting to ask me questions about what really goes on in _Nature_ (2) laziness on my part.
It’s also because I tend to _prefer_ an _extempore_ style of delivery. My mentor and former boss John Maddox did it, and so I’ve copied him. Of course, one can always go Horribly Wrong, but I think I like the sense of danger and of having to be on your toes – lectures as jam sessions.
I once gave a lecture delivered without A/V in which I realized halfway through that I really needed a histogram. You’ll have to ask Dr M. C. of Kingston-upon-Thames what happened next – she was in the audience.

Eva Amsen October 5, 2009 - 6:10 PM

Kristi, yeah, I always kind of think of med students as science as well. Some of them end up in research anyway, and they usually started out in undergrad biology. They’re from the same culture. But with the additional pressure of having to do _way_ more people interaction in their careers! They have to not only present to their peers, but also simplify things for patients.

Alyssa Gilbert October 5, 2009 - 6:23 PM

Funny enough, I received a book recommendation today that is fitting:
Don’t be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in the Age of Style, by Randy Olson.
Has anyone read it?

Graham Steel October 5, 2009 - 7:01 PM

@Henry _You’ll have to ask Dr M. C. of Kingston-upon-Thames what happened next – she was in the audience._
Did it go bang, whallop, tish…. _ping_ ??

Unrelated, might I formally say that 40 years ago today, a certain M.P. of London area were born as -repudiated- reported this morning on BBC News.
Latest report, here:- “Celebrity favourite Monty Python moments”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8287931.stm

Eva Amsen October 5, 2009 - 7:05 PM

No, but I _did_ just remember that I have “this”:http://www.bwfund.org/pages/361/Career-Development-Guide—Communicating-Science:–Giving-Talks/ little booklet on how to give presentations (written for scientists). Full of great tips like: practice your elevator pitch, talk to the public, move around, don’t say “utilize” instead of “use”, don’t make slides with just a list of bullet points, no more than 1 slide per minute of speaking time, etc.
The link I gave goes to a free pdf and e-mail address to request the booklet, if anyone wants it.

Eva Amsen October 5, 2009 - 7:11 PM

(My “no” was in reply to Alyssa’s “Has anyone read it?”, not to Graham’s comment. Permission always granted to remind people of Monty Python on this blog!)

Maxine Clarke October 5, 2009 - 7:51 PM

I seem to remember it involved Henry lying down and demonstrating the histogram in some actorly style – we all loved it anyway, but unfortunately it was longer ago than my feebly blinking memory can fully recall.
Austin – do they still have that awful ticking clock thing? I was terrified by that when one had to give those communications – it rang loudly if you went over time.

Frank Norman October 5, 2009 - 7:59 PM

I remember a story similar to Austin’s when, as an undergrad, I had to introduce a visiting lecturer that the student Chemsoc had invited (it was David ‘Daedalus’ Jones). I hadn’t thought out what I would say and got very tongue-tied. I could see our Professor looking annoyed in the third row, and I felt awful. It was quite a few years before I took to public speaking again, and I still feel anxious if I haven’t really prepared.
I am always in awe of people who can totally extemporise, or give conference round-up sessions. “Cliff Lynch”:http://www.cni.org/staff/clifford_index.html is brilliant at this.
I like the idea that it is the pictures that tell the story. Perhaps this is why creatives have invented “Pecha Kucha”:http://www.pecha-kucha.org/ ?

Austin Elliott October 5, 2009 - 8:09 PM

Maxine – there is no audible ticking, but the traffic light system and the buzzer/beep for overtime are still in use.
The Phys Soc “ordeal by oral communication” has certainly got less forbidding over the years I have been watching and participating. I think this may be just that people present so often now that it has less rarity and “occasion value”. There is also perhaps no longer the sense that your reputation and future employment prospects might be hanging on it (as in “all those who might one day be appointing you to a tenured job are likely to be here watching you squirm and deciding whether or not you have the right stuff”). And there is also less of the interrogators hunting in packs (there was definitely a collective belief years back that once you were “wounded” by being unable to handle a tricky question the rest of the sharks would scent blood in the water and close in to finish you off.
Finally, since he isn’t a regular presence at the meetings these days, there is no longer the fairly terrifying prospect of Sir Andrew (Huxley) being sat in your audience. Sir A had a fearsome reputation (both at the Phys Soc and in Departmental seminars) for spotting things in peoples’ data that they themselves had missed, or had not grasped the significance of.

Eva Amsen October 5, 2009 - 8:17 PM

That sounds terrifying! I was always afraid of anyone spotting things in my data. But at the end of my PhD, I was confident enough to put up slides where I actually _knew_ there was something odd (but had no time to dwell on it), and it never even came up in the questions. I was totally prepared to talk about the weirdness, and _nobody_ noticed.
Henry doing a histogram sounds awesome. If it happened now, it would be all over TwitPic before the talk was even over, probably =)

Heather Etchevers October 5, 2009 - 9:01 PM

Alyssa – I haven’t read it, but “James”:http://scienceblogs.com/islandofdoubt/2009/09/dont_be_such_a_scientist_a_rev.php has, and liked it overall.

Henry Gee October 5, 2009 - 11:09 PM

@mark tummers – that sloth picture is srsly cute.

Anna Vilborg October 6, 2009 - 6:51 AM

_I was totally prepared to talk about the weirdness, and nobody noticed_
I know the feeling. Isn’t it disappointing when that happens? You have this great argumentation and discussion ready and then no one cares 🙂

Stephen Curry October 6, 2009 - 8:27 AM

Great post Eva. I would have commented yesterday but I was sweating over getting ready to give a talk to the Imperial College Alumni yesterday evening. Still get nerves beforehand but never tempted to rely on a script. I think scientists may have a slight advantage in having slides to act as cue-cards which can help you to steer your way through the talk (though of course they should not contain large tracts of text). I have only very rarely stood up to give a talk _without_ visual aids – this is considerably more difficult.
BTW, I had written some notes for myself associated with each slide. These can be displayed on the laptop as you are speaking. But I had a problem tweaking the font size and eventually found my way to Apple’s discussion forum for such trouble-shooting and was surprised to see who had encounter this very problem a “couple of years ago”:http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=850995…!
He was frightfully polite.

Maxine Clarke October 6, 2009 - 8:59 AM

Austin – Andrew Huxley occasionally attended our seminars as he had a less than happy scientific relationship with some of my very esteemed and senior colleagues (I was a mere student at the time) and there were regular stand-offs.
But our boss, “Prof” (aka J W S Pringle) was similar in his “killer question at the end of the seminar”. He’d spend the entire time after the first 5 mins ostensibly asleep, then jerk into consciousness at the end and ask you (or the poor person giving the talk) an unanswerable and retrospectively obvious question that nobody else had thought of.
John Maddox was also the master of the penetrating and “key” question with a genuine curiosity – but he did not fall asleep first, and he was always very kindly in the manner of his asking. (As was The Prof, of course. It was a far more courteous generation.)

Mike Fowler October 6, 2009 - 1:16 PM

The cross-disciplinary meeting can be an illuminating place. It really puts our strengths and weaknesses into perspective.
I attended one such “let’s get biologists and philosophers together to discuss how we approach theory” seminar earlier this year. Many of the philosophers read papers _verbatim_. Some of them helpfully (ahem) even wrote every word of the paper on powerpoint slides. In a 45 minute presentation. About the definition of words. With no figures. [snoring my ass off smiley]
I really wonder what the point of this approach is. Why not distribute the paper before hand to allow the audience to scrutinise at their leisure (actually, this did happen at the above meeting), summarise the main points in front of the audience, then open up for lengthy discussion?
The mathematicians’ style is something I aspire to, however. Standing in front of a blackboard with nought but a piece of chalk and a few sheets of handwritten notes, then leading the room eloquently through your calculations, really is an art form.
? ? ?2

Cath Ennis October 6, 2009 - 2:44 PM

Maxine, my PhD supervisor was a master of that questioning method too. Luckily, some of the institute’s existing students told me this at my interview (at which I talked to three different PIs), and said “you should choose him as your supervisor, so he won’t ask _you_ those questions during _your_ talks”!
Eva, I’ve often seen people write that they are “presenting a paper” at a meeting, but I had no idea they meant it so literally!
I have given talks less and less frequently since leaving the lab 4 years ago. I’d always been a reasonably confident speaker, and got consistently good feedback from others, but at my last talk (in January) I found myself extremely rusty and therefore very nervous. I’ve been thinking about attending a Toastmasters meeting or something similar, to keep my hand in – I’d hate to waste all that excellent training.

Eva Amsen October 6, 2009 - 4:29 PM

Stephen, what a great find! I’m surprised he needs notes, though. Doesn’t he always give pretty much the same talk? (Or maybe that was around when his new book came out.)
Cath/Maxine, I first heard about “reading papers” from a philosophy friend, and when I told her how weird it sounded, she said that there was another difference: “Is it true that at science talks the audience will point out your mistakes and tell you what you did wrong?” Apparently they don’t have that. In the question round, people just say stuff like “That was interesting!” or spend 10 minutes giving their own opinion about something slightly related, or in the _worst_ case say that you might want to read the work of so and so, who had some similar ideas. But then they’re really being mean!

Henry Gee October 6, 2009 - 6:44 PM

_John Maddox was also the master of the penetrating and “key” question_
I was at a party at the Royal Institution and “the Director”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Greenfield,_Baroness_Greenfield stood up to give a speech of welcome. Her speech went on for some little while, and looking around, I found that I was standing next to John Maddox. He leaned over to me and asked ‘What has she _done_?”

Austin Elliott October 7, 2009 - 9:32 AM

PS Still on “not reading”, we have now traced the Phys Soc’s “no reading papers” rule back to at least 1944 (via the earliest attending still extant member we can find)… but definitive dating might require a trip into the Society archives. My source tells me this is “a bit of a palaver (and jolly cold).
PS Henry – at the Science Online 09 meeting I spent some of the quieter moments checking out the historic photos and paintings of various RI luminaries around the place (e.g. on the staircase). I spotted two different paintings of The Director.

Lars Juhl Jensen October 8, 2009 - 7:18 AM

Thanks for a great post Eva. It’s funny, but it never even occurred to me to have written notes for a presentation. It just seems such an alien idea …

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