So, I hate when candidates (or any speaker) give a bad talk, but for some reason, my colleagues feel the need to begin their question by saying “thank you for that great talk.” (And yes, sometimes I know my friend thinks it wasn’t a good talk.)

I think the fact that I came to the talk, stayed, and asked a question, is an implicit thanks and compliment, and that there is no need to go out of my way to actively lie to people about their talk being good. There are also plenty of ways to begin a question with something that sounds complimentary—“I was really struck by….” “I really loved that quotation…..” “I really wanted to know more about….” etc etc—without telling people a bad talk was good.

Do your colleagues do this?

Have I been being rude for the last six years?

What do you think?

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