How to Speak - MITOCW

-source :: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Unzc731iCUY

-info :: How to Speak by Patrick Winston

Literal Notes

1 hr video about speaking professionaly

Anecdote : Story about going battle without weapon

Success determined by the ability

  • Quality -> Knowledge, practice, inherent talent Decreasing order

Anecdote : mary lou gymnast

Starting a talk

  • No jokes, instead use promises to deliver by end of the talk.
  • Cycle around the ideas (Thrice atleast)
  • Build fence (Differentiate between already existing work)
  • Give numeric stats and agenda about the talk
  • Ask a question to get people back from fogging out

Time Place

  • 11 AM best time in an academic setting, everyone is awake and no chances of sleeping
  • Well lit places to enable max concentration, dim light places can force people to sleep.
  • Cased, speaker should ideally visit the place and get familizarized before
  • Populated (Not sure why?)


  • Gives a graphical advantage ; easier to connect and communicate
  • Speed is easier to comprehend (compared to slides)
  • Helps link with mirror neurons allegedly, gives a feeling of being connected to the mechanism


  • Anecdote : Play with a stove showing the state of the play.
  • Helps understanding stuff with a better perspective
  • Example : Cycle tire, mechanics, right hand rule, duct to reduce problem size


  • Never too many words
  • Stay near the slides
  • Images should be simple
  • Simple plain background
  • Avoid logos and title (I guess that could sometimes not be an option, maybe stick to things on Title Page)
  • People tend to focus on the slide
  • Print on paper to check and verify if it is good
  • Avoid laser pointer and use pointers in the slide itself
  • Hapax Legomenon 1 A central idea for the entire presentation


  • Example : Map coloring algorithm without and with optimazation (Similar to the promise point)
  • Oral Exams : Bring friends and tell them to make you cry
  • Job Talks : Have a Problem and Approach to solve ; should be able to explain to some one in ~5 minutes
  • Become Famous
    • You can never get used to becoming ignored
    • Need lot of ‘S’ words:
      • Symbol
      • Slogan
      • Salient
      • Surprise
      • Story


  • Mention collaboraters in the beginning
  • Never end with FAQ/Questions
  • No Thank You and The End
  • Maybe end with a joke, gives them a feeling that they had fun during the talk
  • Shake hands with the conference org ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  1. (m: that only occurs once in the context) ↩︎

Not AI generated