How late is too late and how early is too early?

Every so often, I try to answer this philosophical question. You are in a conference and you stare at the brilliant radiance eminating from the shiny baldness of the speaker. The eminent guy is throwing jargon around like hailstones. You can start firing off your questions rightaway.

Self: What does the 3rd word in your previous sentence mean?
Shiny head: Blank stare….AND’?
Self: No…the word before ‘AND’

The moment this happens, you give shiny head the upper hand, because he can say, you have to be patient. He will explain everything eventually. AND you have instantly alienated everybody else in the room, who either wants to enjoy the monotone and relax, or find it an unnecessary interruption.

You wait for a while assuming that the jargon will eventually dribble down to a few more often used terms before you ask for clarifications. Take this as an exercise in your next technical seminar. You pen down all the fancy words that you want clarification on, and put a statistical indicator near the words. Soon, you know the shiny head’s favourites. You are still seeking clarification remember.

Shiny head’s list: Cognac, TR!FS, GORR

So, all you need to do is wait for the next breather to seek clarification. Now, you look around the room, and everybody nods looking as though they are grasping everything.

Cognac’s blah…blah will be used while TR!FS schedules an intermediate transmission routing via GORR.

blah….blah…..blah Cognac meanwhile responds to GORR…blah blah.

The following approaches are available to you at this juncture:

1) Look equally knowledgeable, and nod your head convincingly without falling asleep.
2) Look around for the person who nods the most and ask them to explain. If the concerned person was following strategy (1), it would make them look like a prized fool and provide for some entertainment.
3) Play a word-game while pretending to take notes and run into the arms of the search engine called Google at the nearest opportunity!

I wonder how people managed before Google!

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3 thoughts on “How late is too late and how early is too early?”

  1. Brilliant post! πŸ™‚ I fully agree with you. I hate people who don’t like to take questions during the presentation and all they want is the presentation to look and sound good. And also people who just quietly sit and tolerate the crap! If you are already expected to know everything before the presentation then why attend one??? I second you.

  2. Thanks Archana….looks like we should attend a conference together, and give them a sample of what it should be like!

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