Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A plea for the use of hand-outs

Torrey Seland in a photo illustrated post on Philo of Alexandria blog makes a lucid appeal for the use of hand-outs at SBL sessions:
The English of Martinez was sometimes somewhat difficult to follow, and Najman, who is an excellent scholar, is also an impresssive fast speaker, adding explanatory parantheses along the way. I must admit, however, not having English as my mother tongue, that I would have been greatly helped if there had been some handouts, giving the main aspects of the arguments presented. This is not something experienced only in this session; by no way,- many presentations suffer in a similar way. But that is no excuse. Please; do start considering using handouts.
Hence I have to wait some time to have a fuller understanding and enjoyment of these important papers.
And Torrey refers to previous discussion of the phenomenon on the blogs. I think Torrey is bang on target here, and I would add that handouts are also regularly the choice of some disabled attendees, especially those who have trouble seeing a screen. The fact is that you simply cannot predict the technology either; this year we had one speaker in the Synoptics section who needed an overhead projector, and only the front row could see the screen.

To speak for myself, it really helps me to understand, to follow and to concentrate on a paper if there is a handout.

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