The Art Of Presenting A Seminar

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At regular intervals during post-graduation days, a medical student needs to find his inner management student, so that he can prepare a power point presentation based on superficial(and sometimes complete lack of) knowledge of a topic. As they might be teaching in Arindam Chowdhary’s alchemy project IIPM, it doesn’t matter what you put in your slideshow, as long as it is obvious that you don’t know what you are talking about. The expectations are straight forward. The presenter must
-Know the complete topic,
-Have studied the subject thoroughly,
-Be ready to answer questions related to the topic,
-Have prepared himself for having his self-respect shred to pieces,
-Not be wearing “I was born intelligent but education ruined me” t-shirt.

Call it talent or call it lack of grey matter in the brain, medical students tend to screw up at every single step with such finesse that can put Rahul Gandhi’s election campaign to shame. The following events may or may not have happened to me during my seminar, but then, I have heard that truth is funnier than fiction, and so is exaggeration.

Once the presenter has reached the seminar hall, he checks the nearest mirror or selfie camera for his hair and overall look. My look was one of sheer horror, usually reserved for the first 15 minutes after having seen a Sonakshi Sinha item number. Soon, presenter’s first task begins, the task of getting his technologically retarded brain to get the projector working. It takes around 15 minutes of tinkering and a few hundred thoughts of ‘saala kharaab to nahi to gaya! Professor gaaJAAN le lega!‘ before you realise that the main power switch is off.

Soon, the entire department is seated down, with your peers having an evil smile on their faces and your professors looking in the mood of having your soul for lunch. The tone of your “Good Afternoon” is the first and the last high point of the seminar because soon, the slides with grammatical errors and inappropriate photos are shown, and even God, leave alone your moderator, cannot possibly save you. The tone of your voice becomes more and more apologetic, you forget about your shaky hands and sweating forehead and you start running through the slides, with the words “Bhaag Sharma Bhaag. Mud ke na wekhiin” echoing in your ears. You are stopped at regular intervals so that questions can be asked and all you can do is to rotate your head sideways denying any connection to the question whatsoever.

All the goals of presenting a seminar are tossed in the dustbin and the only motto becomes to reach that ‘Thank You‘ slide, which is always written in the most beautiful font with a motivational photo, as if it would make the audience forget about your humiliation during the previous hour, including the fact that your ‘references’ slide had only Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V because you thought people would appreciate honesty. Like all good, bad and why-God-why-me things, seminar also comes to an end. You walk out of the room with Chak De India’s ‘maula mere le le meri jaan‘ playing in your head.

They say that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Not a seminar. It just kills you. Slowly, and painfully.

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About Ankit Sharma

Doctor and Drummer in making... Movie-buff since birth.
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