I've just gotten back from a three day workshop in Geelong for new PhD students. It was...interesting.
One session was on presentation skills. An expert on presentations gave a talk on what makes for a good PowerPoint slide, how to use body language, how loud to speak etc. It was very polished. However, it fell apart when she went to use me for a hypothetical example of a 'seated presentation'.
"For example," she starts, "if this lady here who uses a wheelchair were to make a presentation..."
I'm horrified and stunned. Did she just call me a lady?
"...I'm sorry...umm...gentleman?" she tries. A long awkward silence ensues as she stares at me questioningly.
"Hi" I eventually let out in as low a tone as I can muster, unsure of what else to say.
"Yes! Gentleman...ughh...well, the point is that presentations can be made while sitting as well!"
She continued the talk and avoided further eye contact.
What I find interesting is that there was one important presenting tip she failed to mention: while a dimly lit room may help the audience to see the PowerPoint projection, it makes it difficult to see the audience!
As for me, I'm planning on growing a beard.