Effective Presentations Using Applied Logical Fallacies

*
Accepted Session
Short Form
Beginner
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in B302/303

Excerpt

For many novice speakers, especially technical speakers, the hardest part of presenting is not figuring out what to put in but what to leave out. But what works for an academic paper doesn't work in a 10 minute presentation, and you risk boring your audience long before you manage to convince them of anything. This talk is intended to be a fun (and perhaps a bit silly) look at the science and the art of being convincing. I will cover how logical fallacies are used in propaganda, lying, and how you can use them to get your point across quickly. And don't worry, we'll also talk about how to do this ethically!

Description

For many novice speakers, especially technical speakers, the hardest part of presenting is not figuring out what to put in but what to leave out. We spend years honing our logical skills to make complete proofs, complete arguments, complete records of the path of science. But what works for an academic paper doesn’t work in a 10 minute presentation, and you risk boring your audience long before you manage to convince them of anything.

But conveniently, the human brain has a well known set of shortcuts where we tend to jump to conclusions prematurely. Normally, when you talk about logical fallacies, you’re talking about lying, because these shortcuts are often used to mislead and misinform. But employed carefully, some of those same shortcuts are ways in which you can your point across quickly and convincingly. This lighthearted talk covers how logical fallacies are used in propaganda, lying, and how you can use them to tell the (incomplete) truth.

Now, you may be thinking “that’s appalling, using propaganda techniques to snow your audience on technical topics” but the fact is that this happens all the time and you’re probably already doing it. In a short presentation, you don’t have time for a complete argument, and in an academic short presentation, that shouldn’t even be your goal: your goal is to be convincing enough that other scientists will read your paper and aim to reproduce your results. We also do this “sketch of an argument” thing all the time when explaining things to children or people who are novices in a subject.

And yes, we will talk about how to do this ethically, and how to direct people to good primary sources once you’ve piqued their interest.

Tags

presentation, lying, propaganda

Speaking experience

I've got many years of experience speaking at various events, including open source conferences, academic seminars, teaching both tutorials and full classes, and even presentations for children.

A list of presentations is available here: http://terri.toybox.ca/speaking/

Speaker

  • Biography

    Terri has a PhD in horribleness, assuming we can all agree that web security is kind of horrible. She stopped working on skynet (err, automated program repair and AI) before robots from the future came to kill her and got a job in open source, which at least sounds safer. Now, she gets paid to break things and tell people they’re wrong, and maybe help fix things so that people won’t agree so readily with the first sentence of this bio in the future. She doesn’t get paid for her work on GNU Mailman or running Google Summer of Code for the Python Software Foundation, but she does those things too.

    Sessions

      • Title: Effective Presentations Using Applied Logical Fallacies
      • Track: Practice
      • Room: B302/303
      • Time: 1:302:15pm
      • Excerpt:

        For many novice speakers, especially technical speakers, the hardest part of presenting is not figuring out what to put in but what to leave out. But what works for an academic paper doesn’t work in a 10 minute presentation, and you risk boring your audience long before you manage to convince them of anything. This talk is intended to be a fun (and perhaps a bit silly) look at the science and the art of being convincing. I will cover how logical fallacies are used in propaganda, lying, and how you can use them to get your point across quickly. And don’t worry, we’ll also talk about how to do this ethically!

      • Speakers: Terri Oda
      • Title: Capturing Tiny Snakes
      • Track: Hacks
      • Room: B204
      • Time: 10:0011:45am
      • Excerpt:

        This is intended as a tutorial session for bringing up MicroPython on a common, and reasonably easy to obtain, microcontroller platform. From bare bones, to blinking LEDs and beyond.

      • Speakers: John Hawley, Terri Oda