Giving a talk: should you read it from paper? (phallic ballerina)

When you do a talk for a group of people, should you read the words from a piece (or a stack) of paper? To read and speak, rather than simply speak, risks making the talk feel dull and stilted.

Here’s an example of reading from paper. The DanceWorkBook web site offers this description, and full video of the reading:

“The Premise: The Ballerina as Phallus

“How could a spectator possibly mistake either the graceful female sylphs of the Romantic era or the sublimely skillful technicians of the contemporary ballet stage for what amounts, on some level, to a penis? Well… let’s see: pliant, quivering, charged, emollient, stiff. Within the first few minutes of her “performed lecture,” “The Ballerina’s Phallic Pointe,” Susan Foster lets fly enough descriptives to make her case even before she presents her more convincing, and entertaining, socio-historical evidence.”


We learned about this from the Bibliolore site, which has its own thoughts on the subject of this talk.