I've just come out of Mark Shuttleworth's Saturday morning keynote, and I'm a bit irritated. His talk was fairly short, and so there was a long question time. I use the word "question" in a fairly general sense, as there seemed to be a lot of people who were keen on using their 15 seconds of fame to expel a long-winded monologue. A few notes for those people (and there were quite a number of them):
- A question is a sentence of inquiry that asks for a reply. It ends with a rising inflection. It shouldn't take more than a couple of breaths to complete.
- If your question requires a lot of explanation, it's probably not suitable for general question time -- if only because 90% of the audience can't hear your exposition. Ask it later.
- If your only reason for asking the question is to make yourself look clever, don't bother. You don't look clever.
- If you really want to have a forum for your monologue, get a lightning talk slot.
This has been a public service announcement sponsored by Opinionated Geeks for A Less Painful Session (OGALPS).