Speak Chinese

Approximately 13% of the world speak Chinese. That does not mean you should deliver your presentation in Mandarin to the Yorkshire Paediatric Trainees Annual Scientific Meeting. There is no single way to present, not even p cubed presentation style. We must communicate effectively with our specific audience not simply speak Chinese because lots of people do.

speak Chinese

I really wish it was acceptable to present without slides…— Amanda Pickering (@the_learnaholic) February 25, 2019

This twitter discussion highlights some of the issues in presenting; it is a complex problem. There is history, tradition and conformity influencing many presenters. There are chiefs and audience members with strong opinions and perceived influence beyond the auditorium. There is psychological and educational science. There is risk and also benefit. Simply because “everyone else does it that way,” is no justification to speak Chinese. The choice is The Matrix.

The astute will recognise that actually no-one who would speak Chinese as that is a very broad classification of over ten individual languages each with multiple dialects. Generic application of TimesNewRomancentrejustifiedmicrosoftbluewavebulletpointedlistsreadoutverbatim as a presentation style is as helpful as telling someone to speak Chinese.

Presentation of research at a scientific meeting needs to be effective. This requires a carefully constructed message appropriate for the audience, illustrated by supportive media and delivered in a manner that engages the audience and makes knowledge translation effective. I have made suggestions based on my understanding and experience. it is not effective asking the scientist to speak Chinese because that’s what the majority of people do.

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