Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Rant.....

Let me first start by saying I had high hopes for this. I choose to attend. I hate giving presentations myself and understand the difficulties behind giving them.

Now let me say I just left (cut and run) one of the worst presentations I have ever attended. When a local chapter of an internationally well known and great non-profit was offering a seminar/training on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) I jumped at the opportunity to attend. Free too! Having studied Human Rights Law I was eager to get back into the discourse of international law and spend an edifying afternoon. This however was a pipe dream as it turns out.

The presenters were not experts and to their credit they quickly recognized and disclosed this fact, although I would hesitate to even call them "somewhat informed".

It is not recognized enough that having an opinion is not knowing facts and explaining your opinion is not explaining the facts. I should know, I am full of opinions and often light on facts. I'll be the first to admit it and as such I will also be the first to recognize it in others.

The presentation was dull, boring, not explanatory and horrifically presented. One should define things, introduce them and have a context in which things are explained or questioned. This was not the case. Notes should be referred to and not read directly from. Power points should be supplemental and not read directly in detail, word for word. Also keep up with your power points without expended pauses. Just a thought. Plus when explaining international law, which can be very confusing and complicated, do it so its not. Explain things not just talk about them. Know what acronyms stand for as well!

There is a difference between Human Rights Law and IHL. Know how to properly explain the differences and use examples. Unfortunately there is a plethora of examples of violations of both, so use them to better illustrate and explain.

To say the least I was widely disappointed as was my co-worker and fellow 'lets leave at the break'.

I was genuinely interested and up for discussion on the topic of IHL. But instead they had my attention because I was vaguely aware of the issues, and details and yet not entire sure they were.

and that, was my rant.


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