04 December, 2006

My Turn at the Podium

I went to NLS without my amphetamines, which means I was Mr ADHD all day and all night. This wasn't exactly a problem with my talk, I wasn't planning on taking it that day anyway. But it did cause problems for me putting the finishing touches on my notes. So, it ended up with me deleting 17 slides from my powerpoint presentation ten minutes before I was due on stage. I then spent the time during the preceding two speakers redoing my notes in order to match my changed presentation.
When it was my turn for the microphone I was as hyped up as a cicada in a vat of PCP. I launched right into things and completely forgot about my notes (which is of course why I write them, you see if you have notes you can be confident that if you forget what you wanted to say you have notes, therefore you are relaxed, therefore you don't forget what you wanted to say). On those occasions when i did feel I should look at my notes, I generally had to turn over about four pages in order to get to where i was up to.
I think i had the best slot of the conference.
Second day, last speaker before lunch and there were no other breakout sessions on at the same time, so I got the whole audience. In fact if you read my resume from here on in it'll say that I was a keynote speaker. Well if you can't lie on your resume where can you lie?
That evening at the conference dinner, I felt like a minor celebrity. People kept coming up to say hello, to let me know they enjoyed my talk and I sad back and basked in the glory.
Well, I intended to sit back and bask, in fact I ended up trying to tell people that there was a lot on that was better than my paper. It wasn't false modesty, I am a good speaker, I know that, but there were several very good papers at the conference that I think got overlooked because the speakers were unsure of themselves or just not confident at the podium.
Mine by contrast was not an academic paper, sure it wasn't just a standup routine and I know there was a lot of useful information for anyone who finds themselves acting in higher duties, but I still think I can do something a lot better content wise next time I decide to do a conference paper.
All in all though I'm smiling like a Cheshire Cat in a toothpaste commercial and I don't think it'll be long before I try to do it again.

4 comments:

Fiona said...

"So, it ended up with me deleting 17 slides from my powerpoint presentation ten minutes before I was due on stage."

!!! I'm so glad you didn't tell me that on Saturday :P

John, I, and everyone on the committee, were so impressed with what you had to say and how you delivered it. It is important to mix things up at an event like NLS, and I think you provided a great up point before lunch, and lots of laughs!

As for other talks, I think delegates will discover all the great things they had to say by either listening to the audio (when I get it uploaded!) or by reading their papers. The papers are excellent, and will give a fuller picture of some of the ideas and projects mentioned.

CW said...

So your talk has been recorded, John? Looking forward to hearing it!

snail said...

I'm sure I mentioned to Fiona that John needed to "test" his presentation beforehand, nay even delete a few slides, though I'm sure he told me 5 slides not 17. I concur with Fiona, your paper rocked, it was presented well, with good humour and plenty of content. Definitely one of the better ones for me.

ADHD Librarian said...

yes, five was the original intent. But then I got into the swing of things and ended up deleting a whole lot more. I will admit though to having pulled the number seventeen out of my.. um, out of thin air.
It was probably about 12 or 13 now that I sit and think about it. In my defense however, I learned from watching the presenters who came before me and worked out that mine was too graphic heavy and I think I made it work well.