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Scenes from a Seminar Hall

We just finished our BE Seminars a couple of days ago, and I am still basking in the sense of achievement that I did not screw it up …

Oh well, some idiot messed with the projector settings and my slides got all screwed and stuff, but other then that, it was mostly okay …

Getting into the meat of things, I wanted to write about the observations that I had during the 4 gruelling days of sitting and listening to other people talk mostly about subjects which I had no interest off …

So, here goes … the people who make up a typical seminar situation …

1. The Guy Giving the Seminar
This without doubt is the most important guy in the seminar room.
The poor soul, whose worst fear is of public speaking ( even greater than death ), is made to stand up in front of 50 people, who are mostly not interested in whatever he has to say.
On top of that, he is expected to narrate and manage the slides in the 15 minutes alloted to him.
These people fall in the following category …

1.1 – The under time fellows
These are the people who prepared too few a slides, and probably did not practise enough to realise that they did not fall into the 13 – 15 minute category.
These people make up about 35% of the crowd and finish their seminar, to the delight of all others, within 8 – 9 minutes.
The number of slides are typically just around 20 and the topics covered are generally superficial, and application oriented ( non technical ) which does not allow for more matter, and hence more time for the presentation.

Notable features are lots of pausing and umms and aahhs … which basically help them get to 8 minutes …

1.2 – The good time fellows
Most of the people fell in this category. I’d say about 50% of the people …
These people have generally practised atleast once and finish off their seminars between 13 – 14 minutes.
These people generally, are not very hated and the they have a good mix of technical and non technical information, evenly spaced out …
These people probably end up with the most marks.

Notable features are generally decent presentations and many a times, elocution like speeches which come off as mugged up …
Quite a few topics falling in this category are decent and worth listening too …

1.3 – The over time fellows
These people generally shoot off their 15 minutes.
This species, has trouble, not knowing what matter to cut down and how much to speak on.
Either the person has really prepared the entire seminar on his own ( thus not being able to delete the content that he so painstakingly collected ) or the fellow just copied the entire seminar of some person from another college …

Notable characteristics are skipping through atleast 20 slides, rushing off so fast that people didnt even get the topic.
And mostly, the ability to cram 40 – 50 slides in the space of 15 minutes.

2 – The Examiners
These people are the most confused people sitting in the hall.
They either know that they have no idea about what you are talking or they ‘think’ they have an idea of what you are talking.

What students generally worry about is not whether they will be able to answer the questions these people ask at the end of the seminar, but whether they will be able to somehow relate their topic to the questions asked by these people …

Therefore, questions such as “But don’t you need some p2p network to use BitTorrents ?” after a seminar on BitTorrents, or a question like “Tell me the application of Red Tacton in touch screens …” ( Red Tacton is a method of transferring data by human touch ) are asked.

And the students are left totally bewildered and are lost for words.

We had a examiner who had his head so high up his a** that he asked questions to each and every student …
No matter if the question was the least bit related …
Naturally, most of the people trying to answer would be left fumbling and confused …

This guy would sit back, look at the hapless student and smile … thinking that he was oh, so smart and clever to ask such questions …
And sitting at the back, we would think, “What a moron !”

3 – The General Audience
These people make up for maximum of the crowd.
If you can speak well and hold their attention, you can keep them interested for exactly 3 minutes.
After which, most of them go to sleep, or put those ear phones back on …

In the very rare event, do these listen to the entire seminar …
And if they do, you can be rest assured that you have done a good job.

4 – Your loyal friends
These people are your truest buddies from the class.
They will turn up for your seminar and even sit through it, patiently, attentively trying to grasp every word that comes out of your mouth – never mind it not making the wee bit sense …

Nodding everytime you look at them – to give you confidence.
These are the people, you’d probably need most during the 15 minutes … and the ones to start clapping as soon as you’ve answered a couple of questions, to spare you from the slaughter …

5 – The Not So Friendly …
These people are the ones who have been waiting patiently, anxiously even … for you to get up there for your seminar.
They prepare, conspire, read your report, so that they can ask you questions which you probably wouldn’t be able to answer in the Q & A round.

These ploys generally fail and seldom work, thus adding more insult to injury …
Interesting attributes include, asking multiple variants of the same question and back questioning, till they get tired themselves, or the person answers with a shrug, and the words, “I don’t know …”

6 – The Plants …
These are the ones which you pass on questions to, to be asked during the Q&A round.
Probably the only ones you can answer properly … with confidence …

These are very easily noticeable, because mostly the questions are very lame, multiplied with lamer acting on the part of the person asking the question …
This is generally followed by some scratching of the head or stammering on the part of the person giving the seminar, so that it all looks authentic …

The biggest give away of this entire operation is that the plants are generally seated within a radius of 2 to 3 people of the person giving the seminar … before he got up to give it …
Helps in the easy passing out of chit questions …

Next blog, what to do and what not to in a seminar cum presentation …

Comments (4)

  • nithin 12 years ago Reply

    man…these seminar days were soooo lame….not even funny!!

    Anyways…now at least we have the ba@##$# who asked us those questions to target.

    i reallly woudln’t mind a knowledgeable teacher askin us stuff(actually i would mind it….but i would be wrong!!).
    But that moron tryin to screw us over just for the heck of it…was very infuriating.

    wanted to get up at one time and abuse him…instead i hid in the back of the class and abused him….pretty loudly at that!!

  • Saurabh 12 years ago Reply

    Not very loud enough for him to have actually heard it …

    Were you ?
    hehe :)

    – Saurabh

  • Sword Excalibur's Admirer 12 years ago Reply

    Hi Saurabh, this time we are forced to comment man.

    Arey Saurabh…..bachche ki jaan lega kyaa ?
    We all 14 Students are waiting for your next blog to come.
    Its been 6 looong days and we are looking with bated breath, like every 4 hrs, into ur blog page.

    Blog jaldi karo yaar, our seminars are arranged on the 11th of this month till 19th.

    Cheers,
    your fans,
    B.E.IT

    (Please post some questions for seminar topics RedTacton,WAP….and if possible Jigbee,BrainGate,Simputer)

  • Saurabh 12 years ago Reply

    Hey !

    Sorry, but I do not remember any topic specific questions.

    But as I said before, dont expect the examiners to ask decent questions.
    Most of their questions were irrelevant …

    When you’re passing out questions to your friends … which you should actually do, pass out more application and real life based questions other than something like : “What is the scope of that in India ?”

    These questions look very framed and have boring answers.

    A good question for BitTorrents ( my topic ) would have been …
    “I still get get good download speeds when I use limewire or p2p … plus I can also search from within the client … why should I switch to BitTorrent ?”

    Now that I think of it, I wonder why I didnt ask somebody to ask me that …

    – Saurabh

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