When no one comes to your talk

Yesterday I gave a talk at the Aberdeen Science Centre to, er, 6 people. That’s embarrassing enough as it is but 3 of the 6 people were Daniel, Elizabeth, and Ben. The other 3 were staff at the centre. I won’t give up my day job for paid speaking gigs just yet.

My talk was on how to save the world by bicycle and was around 25-30 minutes long. The kids enjoyed it judging by the selfies they took at the end.



We also visited the volcano lab.



And played with lego.


We had a really nice day. The science centre is difficult to get to by bike and we’ve only visited once before but the kids loved it so I’ve made a note to make sure we go back again sooner rather than later. They just need to put in some bicycle parking outside and add some vegan food to the cafe menu. The building itself is attractive and was once the tram shed for the city’s trams.

18 thoughts on “When no one comes to your talk”

  1. I’m glad the day ended out all right. You never know where things lead. It’s not about quantity. It’s quality. Your message is still getting out there. Good for you for taking the time to do it.

  2. A small audience is better than no audience! I used to teach English classes for this company that offered them as a perk to their employees, many of whom were refugees from other nations. Unfortunately there were a lot of nights where I sat staring at an empty room: I think a lot of people were embarrassed to admit they needed help with their English, or they had families at home and couldn’t stay an extra hour after work for a class. Anyway, it taught me a lot about waiting, and persistence. I eventually garnered three regular students, but the company decided it wasn’t worth paying me for such a small showing. Anyway, I hope you continue in your talks. You never know who might listen at the right moment and change the world!

    1. I can’t believe people would say no to free English lessons! Maybe this is one of those situations where it’s better to charge a small fee as a way to help people better understand the value.

  3. I suspect I don’t need to say this… but just for the sake of respect for you as a blogger and for your passion for many of the things I too believe in, and because I dig your writing because it’s just good writing, and because I enjoy your lovely family-orientated posts from one of my favourite countries: NEVEREVEREVER GIVE UP IN WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.

  4. I wish more people had come to your talk. You write so passionately about cycling and you clearly display strength in your convictions.
    Also, I love those big lego blocks.

  5. Take heart! These things happen. I always feel bad for graduate students at conferences who follow a presentation by a senior scientist in their field, when 3/4 of the audience leaves at the end of the first talk. On the other hand, those students get a slightly larger audience that they might otherwise have had.

    And has been pointed out, it’s quality over quantity, right?

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