Never Read a Speech

"[Sir Francis Galton] devised an objective measure of the degree to which a lecturer bored the audience, and tried it out at meetings of the Royal Society. It consisted of counting the involuntary noises--coughs, feet shuffling, and the like--that issued from the audience, and, with a specially rigged protractor, he measured the angle that listeners' heads were tilted from a vertical position during the lecture. A score derived from the data obtained with this procedure showed that even the most eloquently written lecture, if read verbatim, was more boring than an extempore lecture, however rambling and inelegant" (Jensen, 1998, p. 8).


Jensen, A. R. (1998). The g factor: The science of mental ability. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Last modified February 2001
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