But here in Dublin at ESOF 2012 I have seen several speakers use examples drawn from family life to convey a scientific message or concept. I found the strategy effective at driving home a point and helping the audience remember it. It also helped me relate to the speaker on a deeper level and made me want to listen closer.
I was pleased that it is not only women who used their family life in their presentations. Yesterday, social neuroscientist Christian Keysers of the University Medical Centre Groningen in the Netherlands used a picture of his baby daughter while explaining brain development. He also used personal stories, describing how one day, when he was cooking with his wife, he saw her cut her finger and shook his own hand at the perception of pain--an illustration of the empathic brain, which the couple researches together.
Some people might not want to share their private, family lives with an audience of strangers, but for those who feel comfortable doing so and can pull it off, it's a great and effective way to enhance scientific presentations.