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November 1, 1965

The Undisciplined Speaker

Author Affiliations

Elgin, Ill

JAMA. 1965;194(5):572. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090180096040

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To the Editor:—  At a recent meeting in Chicago, five of six speakers were interrupted by the chairman and asked to terminate their paper because the allotted time had run out. Five times the formal discussant stated, "I regret that the speaker was not permitted to read his paper in its entirety because I am about to discuss exactly that part of his paper which he did not read......."A paper read or heard incompletely is worse than no paper at all. Admittedly, it requires some skill and sense of form to fit a paper into a certain time slot. For the inexperienced it may be said that it takes about two minutes to read a double-spaced typewritten page at moderate speed, with proper enunciation, allowing for appropriate pauses and proper breathing.Ideally, a manuscript should never be "read" verbatim, but the highlights should be communicated in abstract by the

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