Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Common courtesy during presentations

I have attended lots of conferences and here is something that I needed to write about.

During presentations, please respect others and keep personal conversations for breaks or out in the hall, but not during a presentation. I understand that conferences are sometimes the place where you can catch up on personal stuff with co-workers, but please not during presentations. 

What I am talking about is conversations about activities you did last night or plans for the upcoming weekend. For those of us that are not part of the circle, we aren’t interested in your plans but want to hear the presenter. I understand that everyone wants to catch up with each other, but can you please respect the others of us that are attending as well. The social conversations should take place during breaks or out in the hall. If you are socializing you mustn’t be hearing the presentation so, why sit in the room. Also, if you take the conversation out in the hall, make sure you are away from the door of the presentation room because sometimes your conversation will be heard back in that room as well.

I was at a presentation once when the presenter stopped the presentation and asked someone if they wanted to share their conversation with everyone because it must have been important. The presenter was able to hear parts of the conversation, and it was impacting their presentation. Yes, the volume you are talking and the location of where you are sitting can also mean that more people are hearing you than you think are.

The personal conversations during presentations really do show a lack of respect to the presenter. I know this may sound harsh, but you are communicating that your conversations are more important than what the presenter has to say. Please, for the rest of us trying to hear the presentation, can you take your conversation out of the room.

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