WTF: Seven don’ts in academic speaking/writing

seven poster
Academic speaking/writing is about sharing what you know and admitting what you don’t know and asking what you want to learn from your audience/reader.
After a long hiatus, here’s my newest post.
Did you saw the movie “Seven”? Well you should, but prepare yourself for its bloody scenes.
This blog post was inspired by Julian Treasure’s talk on TEDtalk. I try to apply the points in the talk in to my “academic” presentation or “academic” writing process. And by writing this, I try to remind myself constantly not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
So here’s the list that we must avoid during our talk or writing process:
  1. Gossiping: It is talking of somebody’s ill behind him/her. This can absolutely get your A/R to leave the room or throw your book. You don’t want your A/R to get the subjective part of your science. Give your A/R your view on the strength and weakness of a research, its pros and cons, without having to tell the world your relationship with the original researcher.
  2. Judging: Your talk/book isn’t a trial. So leave it far behind. Being judged is the least reason anyone would go to your stage or your paper. But the worst thing is judging yourself. You don’t want to come to stage with a heavy thought that your material isn’t good enough for the A/R. Even a professor would come to your talk or read your paper to learn from you. You might call it a lack of self confidence, but I would call it as bad self judgment.
  3. Negativity: Negativity makes it hard to listen, and listening is the biggest part of speaking and writing. The problem is, your audience/reader (A/R) needs to be listened. Speaking/writing is really about listening.
  4. Complaining: Complaining is a viral misery and not to mention, it brings negativity. Everyone can blame the education system or the minister, but what would come good out of that. Wrap your complaints as list of suggestions. That way you can build more positive environment in the room than dragging your A/R in the deep valley of “your” hopelessness.
  5. Excuses: Your audiences/readers don’t need a blame thrower. On the other hand, at certain level, they would forgive things that you admit are your weakness.You need to tell a story of your research as original as you can get. Tell about the pros of your method, as you also detect the cons in it.
  6. Lying: Usually comes after a exaggeration. It might not be detected in a talk with general A/R, but specific A/R will notice a slight lie instantly. Instead, you want to tell your A/R the high early target that you want to achieve and the end result that you you get after facing some obstacles in the way.
  7. Dogmatism: It is reflects a conflict between your facts and your opinion. Your A/R come to listen to understand your points not to believe them nor make a religion out of them. In some way, you want to make your A/R to believe that they can apply your method to solve their problem. And hopefully, when they get the good values of your method, they would spread it to their network. The impact would be way stronger than if you put a forcing dogmatic phrase or sentence in talk or paper.

So start “deleting” your sins.



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