Phrembah (a potato-like mystery) (phrembah) wrote,
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)

"I'd give my left arm to be ambidextrous!"

--paraphrased from the DNRC Newsletter

Slid past another "oral presentation" in ENG119.  It never bothered me to get up in front of a room full of Boeing engineers or Department of Energy wigs back in the day when I did that sort of thing, but these English assignments are decidedly nerve wracking.

I think I finally figured it out: These oral presentations are too much like a stand-up monologue.  God knows it takes some talent to pull that off with grace and aplomb.  There are people on TV who aren't particularly good at it--and they're supposed actors or comics or whatever.

Two things used to save my ass when I had to present something to folks in the past.   One was that ubiquitous ever-crutch, the PowerPoint Slide.  If you can't figure out what to do with your hands, point to your damn slide.  Click back a couple to reinforce a point or forward one to show them you already thought of that.  The other thing was that when I was talking to a group who knew something (sometimes more than I did) about what I was talking about, the monologue would almost immediately devolve into a dialogue.  People would start asking questions before I could get through the second slide and, whether it became a hug-fest or a slug-fest, at least I wasn't up there tap dancing alone to an awkward silence.

No matter.  I do well enough.  Some of the folks I think write their talks on the bus on the way to school and when they read it, it's the first time they've heard it.  I at least rehearse it aloud a couple (or twenty or thirty) times just to get the timing right.  He said if a five-minute talk didn't land in the four-to-six minute range, you were going to lose points.  So I do at least make sure it comes out the right length.  That's usually a relief.  I've almost always written way more than will fit into the allotted time, so I can just hack off the potentially unsightly tumorous outgrowths.

. . .

So . . .  Do we suppose there's a movie we'd rather see than producing a "semantic diagram" for our database project or mowing the accidental lawn?  Hmmmmm . . .

There's another variation on John Lennon's "Life is what happens while you're making other plans:"

"Life is what happens while you're avoiding other's plans."
Tags: compelling chronicle

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