Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Who's Lecturing Who?

I've noticed an annoying trend in too many of my classes recently. Guest speakers will give presentations on their areas of expertise, but the bulk of the lecture will consist of the speaker asking us questions. This bugs me. A lot. A presenter on public speaking opened her remarks by asking, "How important do you think public speaking will be in your foreign service career?" Duh. Another speaker began a lecture on a new Internet tool by asking us, "What is a cable?"

Perhaps a new class of FSI speakers have been taught that in order to reach the iPod generation, they have to engage us rather than inform us. And so they ask us stupid questions and try to coax the correct answer out of us. "What are some of the ways you will be able to use this new Internet site?" Bueller? Bueller? I wanted to raise my hand and say, "We were hoping you could tell us."

I know there are many people who despise being lectured at as much as I despise being asked asinine questions. But a speaker is asked to speak on a certain topic presumably because that person knows more about it than we do. If he doesn't, he shouldn't be standing in the front of the room.

That's the end of my lecture. Class dismissed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What I really hate is when they ask you, "How may of you________?" and expect you to raise your hand. Mom