Dear Haiku Maven, I do not understand why some good haiku poets often make bad presentations at haiku conferences. By bad, I mean looking down and reading from a prepared text or paper in a monotone, and looking up only when done. I hear people in the audience complain among themselves about the presenters when this happens, but not to anyone in charge. What is a polite way to let a presenter know that the presentation was boring? Should the conference organizer be told? Somewhat Bored
Haiku Maven has had the experience of listening to and learning from the best presenters, those who, having written an excellent paper, know how to engage an audience. But not all presenters excel at connecting with an audience. Most haiku conference presenters put a lot of time and effort into the presentation. And almost all of the presenters have to pay their own way as well as registration fees, although in some cases certain costs are reimbursed. Presenters who are reading prepared texts are often in the dark about whether the audience is engaged or not. After all, it is hard to notice audience reaction when one’s eyes are glued to a paper. How to solve this problem? Haiku Maven thinks that a comment sheet given to audience members would be one way. Or conference organizers could put together a few well chosen words on this subject and include them in the request for proposals. One thing Haiku Maven does not recommend is complaining to the conference organizers, especially during the conference. They are under a lot of stress making sure that the conference is running smoothly. At times like these, a word of praise is more welcome than another complaint. You may even be rewarded with a hug.
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