Tigger release

February 14, 2013

Robert Appelbaum discusses the perils of introducing conference speakers (“Present harms”, From Where I Sit, 7 February), but a choice introduction can - wittingly or otherwise - help to shape the subsequent presentation.

Last year I was invited to lecture at a prestigious international conference. The chair, a renowned University of Oxford professor, unexpectedly introduced me as an enthusiastic speaker who “jumps up and down a lot”. Goodness knows where he got that from (although the wine did flow freely at the conference dinner the previous evening).

I was suddenly aware of the increased attention - indeed, demanding anticipation - on the faces of the Germans, Russians, Greeks and others in the audience. What was a chap to do? So I hopped along my error bars, leapt across my confidence intervals and positively pirouetted through my forest plots. The post-conference feedback was among my best ever.

Thanks to that introduction, I can now put “jumping about” on my CV.

David Bowers, Head of learning development, University Campus Suffolk

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