Yea or nay?
I'm putting together a conference presentation that I think begs for some good old-fashioned audience participation. Namely, the presentation is structured around 4 discrete paragraphs from the novel my last chapter was about, and I think 1 or 2 should be read out loud by members of the audience. I'm planning to distribute xeroxes and ask for volunteers.
I'm hoping this will work for a few different reasons:
First, the argument is partially about the ways in which this piece of writing is difficult, which include having to punctuate it as you go along, and the ways in which it becomes rhythmic and chant-like. I think getting another reader to enact this difficulty (and hopefully overcome it to some degree) and this effect would make a dramatic and useful point.
Second, this particular conference operates on a seminar model, where I'll be presenting to a group of people who'll all be presenting to each other over the course of three days. I'm presenting on the second day; hopefully we'll either all be comfortable with each other by then, or it'll serve as a belated icebreaker.
Third, our session is 8-10 a.m., all three days! And I'm scheduled to kick off that second morning! Granted, I'll be jetlagged in a good way, but that may not be true for other people, and a little spontaneous performance should wake them up.
There's no reason not to do this, right?