This last week I had the opportunity to present SL to a group of parents and educators at a district Gifted student council meeting. Cool beans right? Well, not exactly!
A presentation about bleeding-edge technology generally comes off best when the technology actually works, and mine didn’t. I had my Pwr Pt slides, my script, my SL pics, and the Starry Night video all ready to go, so far so good. I plugged into the mounted ceiling projector and first problem, I couldn’t get my laptop screen to show on the laptop. Never ran into that problem before, but ok, I can work around that. Next, the top four pages of my script disappeared -I think they were picked up by the custodial lady as she emptied the trash before the meeting. Ok, I know everything that was there, I can get through this. But then BAAM! My computer wouldn’t read my flash drive. After changing back and forth between my four USB ports, it finally decided to read. Ok, now we’re getting somewhere! Except the slides wouldn’t play or stop as I needed them to. Quick! talk! show other pics! dance! sing! do something! I did and people were looking at me like I was certifiable. They didn’t “get it.”
Long story short, I finally got “Starry Night” to play after the room had cleared of all but three people. Lessons learned -numerous, but the most important lessons were:
1) I can do a preso with technology without freaking out even when things don’t work. This was HUGE for me. A year ago I would have been unable to do anything, and even though I was upset because I couldn’t share something about which I am passionate, I didn’t lose it. That lead me to…
2) It is far better to put together a loose outline and materials about what I know well, and can speak about extemporaneously, than to write a script that I must follow. I am not advocating being unprepared, but I realized that having a script was a disadvantage; passion transmits better without the stiffness that accompanies scripted material -no matter how well you know it.
I will present to the same group next month, and do it much differently, without a script, and hopefully far more effectively than last week’s effort. I bet it won’t take me nearly as long to prepare either!