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October 16, 2009

BehindTheMedspeak: Grand Rounds Bingo — 20 Essentials for a Truly Forgettable Presentation


Leo Gordon, M.D. created this useful set of guidelines, published in the October 2009 issue of Anesthesiology News.

He wrote, "By analyzing these many bad talks, I have formulated 20 essential rules for delivering a mediocre and sometimes horrible presentation. If you follow these essential elements of a bad talk, I can assure you that your talk will be bad — possibly even very bad — a talk that will enter the pantheon of truly horrible presentations."

Those in fields other than medicine (law, academia at large, business, etc.) can adapt these excellent precepts to their own particular ends.


1. Allow a lengthy introduction

2. Begin or end with "It is an honor, pleasure and privilege to be here today"

3. Use phrases like "It goes without saying," "At the end of the day," "Having said that," and their ilk

4. Include a reference to last night's lavish dinner

5. Include any of the following in the title of your address: "Concept," Approach," "Modality," "Current" and their ilk

6. Refer to little known academicians by their first names.

7. Use a golf or tennis reference

8. Do not meet with the audiovisual crew before your presentation

9. Speak longer than 30 minutes

10. Use a weather reference

11. Read your slides to the audience

12. Look at your slides as your are reading them

13. Go mind-numbingly deep into your own research

14. Use references more than five years old

15. Use a personal reminiscence involving the physician who invited you to speak

16. Use a cartoon

17. Use goofy animation

18. Refer to your family, a luxurious vacation or your hobby

19. Use DMV eye test type size

20. Compliment the residents with whom you just made rounds

October 16, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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That was great! One of my jobs required me to travel to various seminars conducted by our company. I dreaded them! The biggest bull crap line I ever heard (and they backed it up with references) was that most employees were not looking for financial rewards, they wanted "complemented" on a job well done!!!! Oh yes, the biggest sin to me is #9. One guy spoke Three, 8 hour days....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Joe Peach | Oct 16, 2009 5:18:56 PM

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