December 10, 2012, 1:17 pm
I recently spoke at a one-day interdisciplinary conference at which everyone attended everyone else’s presentations. It was a truly learned and edifying gathering of scholars and professionals from academe, government institutions, and nongovernmental organizations. All the speakers presumably had been told, as I was, to limit their talks to 15 minutes. As you might imagine, some wrapped up on time, while others went over—and over, and over.
I have been attending conferences for about two decades and have witnessed perhaps hundreds of presentations. Often I have sat in the audience or on a panel and watched as grad students or professors exceeded their allotted time. I have done it myself, though always felt guilty afterward.
So what explains the phenomenon of “speaker runover”? Why is it so common? What can be done to stop it? More perplexingly, should it be stopped?
September 6, 2012, 1:21 pm
I recently met with the leaders of a local media company that had hired about half a dozen of our graduates in the past year. We discussed a remarkable phenomenon in public-relations firms, newsrooms, and many other media and nonmedia companies and institutions that employ communication professionals: reverse mentoring.
Simply put, the senior people in the office, for the first time, are seeing young people as resources of information and even tutors who possess new and original skill sets, especially in social media.
Once upon a time, a recent college graduate from a journalism or mass-communication program would encounter, on her first day in a newsroom, a grizzled editor who would say, “Forget all that stuff you learned in school, kid. I’ll tell you about the real world.”
Now, in the legacy industry of journalism, the layoffs of senior personnel have been so frequent and so…