Saturday, February 27, 2010

Re: Confessions of a Public Speaker - ADDENDA

Some blog followers may be interested a post [Hake (2010b)] of the above title. The abstract reads:


ABSTRACT: In a previous post [Hake (2010a)] I pointed to Scott Berkun's (2009) excellent "Confessions of a Public Speaker." Later I became aware of three other valuable papers on public speaking and writing: (a) “Giving an Academic Talk'" by Berkeley computer scientist Jonathan Shewchuk (undated), (b) "How to talk Mathematics" [Halmos (1974)], and (c) "How to write Mathematics" [Halmos (1970)]. The latter two are by the late mathematician and expositor Paul Halmos .


To access the complete 10 kB post please click on .

REFERENCES [Tiny URL's courtesy .]

Berkun, S. 2009. Confessions of a Public Speaker. O'Reilly Media, publisher's information, including the table of contents and a short video are at Note the "Browse Contents" feature. information at Note the searchable “Look Inside” feature. For two free chapters from the book see

Hake, R.R. 2010a. “Re: Confessions of a Public Speaker,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at . Post of 25 Feb 2010 08:29:05-0800 to AERA-L, Phys-L, PhysLrnR, and Net-Gold. In addition, the abstract and URL for the complete post was transmitted to various discussion lists. The abstract is also online at with a provision for comments.

Hake, R.R. 2010b. “Re: Confessions of a Public Speaker – ADDENDA,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 27 Feb 2010 11:00:27-0800 to AERA-L, Net-Gold, and PhysLrnR. The abstract is also being transmitted to various discussion lists.

Halmos, P.R. 1970. “How to write Mathematics,” L'Enseignement Mathématique 16; online as a 3.4 MB pdf at

Halmos, P.R. 1974. “How to talk Mathematics,“ Notices of AMS 21: 155-158; online at . Summary: "My recommendations amount to this: make it simple, organized and short. Make your lecture simple (special and concrete); be sure to prove something and ask something; prepare, in detail; organize the content and adjust to the level of the audience; keep it short, and, to be sure of doing so, prepare it so as to make it flexible. Remember that you are talking in order to attract the listeners to your subject and to inform them about it; and remember that less is more."

Shewchuk, J. undated. "Giving an Academic Talk," online at Summary:
“. . . .minimize words and maximize pictures. Your slides are not there to remind you what to say. Bullet points make your audience feel your talk is in bullet time."

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