Posts Tagged 'annoying things at conferences'

Auntie Mo is back

The cookie bite ears have taken a bashing from three solid days of back-to-back academic presentations at the Enhancement Themes 2013 conference last week. This has inspired Auntie Mo, resident agony aunt at the Cookie Bite Chronicles, to do one of her occasional columns…

Agony Auntie Mo


Microphone muppet 

 Every time there’s a Q&A session at a conference, there’s always a cocky person who refuses to take the microphone and says “It’s okay, I don’t need a microphone, I’ve got a loud voice”. What’s the best way to make them understand that not everyone can hear them in a huge auditorium?

Snatch the unused microphone, tell them you’re deaf, and announce that if they’re not going to use it, you’re going to sing a song…


Lunchtime lipreading

I dread lunch breaks at large conferences because there’s a wall of noise and I can’t make out what people are saying while they’re stuffing their faces with mini-quiches and chicken drumsticks. How can I make lunch breaks less stressful for myself?

Simply take a hearing aid out, pick up a used chicken satay skewer and say, “Hold on a second, I just need to clear the wax out of this tube”. Your conversation partners will put their plates down and make their excuses pretty fast after that. Although originally devised as a hearing loss strategy, this technique also works if you want to get the cheesecake all to yourself.


Troublesome typist

 I was enjoying a fascinating paper presentation the other day, when the guy next to me started typing on his laptop at a hundred miles an hour, drowning out what I wanted to hear. I moved away from him during the break, but various others started doing exactly the same thing. Aside from the hearing issue, am I the only one who thinks that typing emails and constantly checking your mobile while someone is presenting is just plain rude?

Unfortunately, this type of behaviour is becoming quite prevalent at conferences these days. Don’t, however, move further away from the offender next time it happens. Instead, get yourself nice and close, then lean intrusively over their shoulder as they type. Hopefully this should cause them to retreat to the corridor where they belong, but if it doesn’t work first time, just try cupping a hand over your hearing aid to create some annoying feedback right next to their ear.

You can find more of Auntie Mo’s unique problem solving solutions here and here


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