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Tag: lecture

Is a university lecture or job talk going on FAR longer than it is supposed to? Emphasize punctuality with this new incredible heat-lamp-based presentation setup!

The issue:

Sometimes, a college lecture or work presentation goes far over the allotted time (Figure 1).

Frequently, the presenter doesn’t even realize that they are over time.


One simple way to prevent a presentation from going over time would be to just have the power outlets turn off at exactly the designated end-of-presentation time.

However, this hard stop could be annoying: what we really want is something that will make the presenter inherently want to wrap up their talk.


The solution is simple: just have an array of heat lamps pointed directly at the presentation podium.

When the time limit has expired, the heat lamps turn on, one at a time. At first, the podium will be just a little warm, but it will quickly become scorching and unbearable. Thus, the presenter is encouraged to conclude their talk in a timely fashion.


Fig. 2: The heat lamps above the presenter will gradually turn on when the presentation hits its time limit.


An earlier shark-related proposal turned out to be too expensive, as it required creating a new auditorium with a raised platform above a shark tank. So this is an almost-as-effective solution for the university or business on a tight budget.

This heat lamp idea could be used in conjunction with an earlier software-only plan to “burn away” slides as they are shown. This “burning” idea would synergize well with the heat lamps, too!

PROS: Does not have the same recurring maintenance costs of the shark version of this idea in the link above.

CONS: May cause a circuit breaker to trip if the building is not wired for 6000+ watts on a single circuit.

As an audience member: Never be bored in a meeting or lecture again! As a presenter: Never wonder when to advance to the next slide again, all thanks to this one incredible PRESENTATION SLIDE DECK APP!

The issue:

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell how quickly to go through a presentation. Too fast, and the topics might not be covered in enough detail. Too slow, and everyone gets bored.


Normally, the ability to advance slides is reserved only for the person who is giving the presentation.

But here, the audience members also have the ability to vote on whether or not to advance the current slide early (Figure 1).


  1. Members of the audience have a phone app (or connect to a web site) with a giant “SKIP CURRENT SLIDE” button on it.
  2. If enough audience members press the “SKIP” button, the slide advances to the next one.
  3. The presenter cannot go back to a skipped slide.

Fig. 1: Top: The presentation screen. Bottom: three phones of audience members. The phone app simply consists of a single “SKIP” button (the arrow at the bottom), which becomes a checkmark when the user has voted to skip the slide. When enough users have pressed the “SKIP” button, the slide automatically advanced, regardless of the wishes of the person giving the presentation.

PROS: Makes meetings interactive! Prevents the audience from getting bored.

CONS: May make it TOO easy for your corporate rivals to sabotage your presentations by skipping your slides at random times.

One weird tip to having every meeting end punctually! It involves sharks, though.

TITLE: One weird tip to having every meeting end punctually! It involves sharks, though.


People giving presentations are famous for going over their allotted time. However, presentations are frequently unmoderated or have a lax moderator, leading to time overages being the norm rather than the exception.


An automated system that made the presentation stage increasingly unpleasant as the presenter reached (and went past) their assigned time would greatly improve efficiency both at conferences and in college lecture halls.

Specifically, the proposal is as follows:

  • The lecture stand is in a small sunken area of the stage (or surrounded by small walls). This area is also connected up to a large tank of water by a pipe (see figure 1, tank is on right hand side).
  • As the lecturer goes over time, water is pumped into the lecture stand area, gradually increasing the water level until the presenter is knee-deep (or neck-deep) in water.
  • This will encourage the presenter to quickly wrap things up, instead of going over time with no consequences.


Fig 1: Orange / red: lecture stand with laptop. The lecture area is surrounded by a low transparent wall. Right: a tank of water is connected to the lecture stand area, allowing water to gradually be pumped in to encourage the presenter to wrap up their talk.


Fig 2: An alternative arrangement, where the lecture area (B, C) is slowly lowered into an ever-present aquarium (D) by a system of overhead cables on winches (A). The audience sits in the seats marked at E.


Fig 3: Some presenters may not be fazed by mere water; in these cases, we might want to introduce denizens of the deep to also encourage the presenter to finish their talk. Pictured: a rare purple octopus and extremely lethargic shark.

PROS: Saves many hours of time for college students and professionals in various fields. Encourages presentation discipline for both the talk and any subsequent Q&A sessions.

CONS: Would probably exacerbate any existing “stage fright” due to the presence of deadly animals. Presenters with rivals in the audience may find their talk extended by irrelevant questions as their foes attempt to cause them to descend into the aquarium with an over-long talk.