How to piss off your fellow seminar contributors

There’s plenty of ways to do this – piss off everyone else at a seminar – but I recently experienced an excellent example of how to do this. Begin by spreading your arms to encompass everyone present and saying, ‘thank you for coming to listen to my paper, based on my important research. I am honoured that so many of you have come to listen to me’. Forget the fact that people have gathered to listen to a number of papers, not yours alone. And forget the fact that you have arrived late, while everyone else has arrived a little before time. Then, speak way over your time allocation in a way that indicates your own sense of the rivetting importance of what you have to say. Make sure that you have plenty of graphs and charts to give your presentation a whiff of credibility. Couple that with some of the most bigotted assumptions you can manage. In other words, couch your racism, religious intolerance and national chauvinism in massaged statistics. Finally, reveal so many problems with your rant that the rest of those present simply can’t be bothered listening or engaging. This provides you with a sense that what you have presented is so persuasive that no one has an answer.


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