10 Best Questions to Ask at the End of a Talk When You Absolutely Have To


From Bertrand Meyer:

You know the feeling: You’ve accepted to chair a session at a technical conference, you’ve managed to keep the speakers on time, and a talk has just finished. “Any questions?” asks the speaker, met only by stunned silence. It’s your job as Chair to fill in, and you have no idea what to ask. Here, as a service to the community, is the list of the Ten Best Questions To Ask At The End Of A Talk When You Absolutely Have To:

10. When do you come up for tenure?

9. This doesn’t look like PowerPoint. What presentation software are you using?

8. Very interesting theorem you just proved on the last slide. It’s lemma 2 in chapter 1 of my 1977 thesis.

7. I like your accent. Where did you learn English?

6. Who does your hair?

5. On slide 2, what did Lambda stand for?

4. Did you do your PhD in physics at Brigham Young University?

3. Have you thought of using a scientific approach instead?

2. Does your university offer courses on how to speak in public?

1. What else do you do?

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