Spontaneity is vanishing at our scholarly meetings; so are eloquence and the ability to turn a phrase or to make a point—perchance a cutting one.
At these meetings 20 to 30 years ago we talked to each other from the podium and illustrated our presentations with a few slides. Then the number of slides grew to outnumber the minutes in the talk and we had the "talk cued from the screen." The advent of the carousel projector subsequently allowed more and more of the presentation to be put on (more and more) slides and gave rise to the "talk read from the screen." Some speakers chose to live dangerously and inverted or even permutated the order of items as they read them from their slides. They were known as the "good speakers." As authors proceeded to put their entire presentations onto slides, however, the type got so small as to