500 Words At A Time: Research, The Undiscovered Country, Part 1

There is something different about giving a presentation in a classroom situation and giving a presentation in front of a audience; students don’t pay attention. The end of summer rapidly approached. Our research had results, pretty exciting results for not expecting to find anything. And I had to prepare for the end of the Summer Research Fellowship presentation. Only problem (s) were we got our data with two weeks to spare, we were still having problems explaining what we were researching and why our findings were exciting to other people, and because of my lack of familiarity with statics I was having a problem explaining to myself what the numbers meant. Oh and did I mention the power point, probably not.

At that time, I had not created a power point as a visual aid for any presentation. I don’t like power point. I understand that there is an expectation for the usage. I understand that power point is an alternate way to present information. I also understand that power point is often used poorly, as a crutch for poor presenters, and can muddle a point quicker than flubbing a word or forgetting a sentence. I want people’s attention on me. Unfortunately, a power point presentation was a requirement for the presentation.

Once again, Paul came through, creating a power point presentation that I familiarized myself with, that went with my speaking style and our sense of style. Unfortunately, I was not able to practice enough with it. I knew I needed to be more familiar with integrating power point with the actual dialog. Speaking of which, no matter how many times I wrote out what I wanted to say, it never sounded right. Presentations are a lot like shopping for a card, I know when I have what I want. I did not have what I wanted.

Couldn’t explain what the research was in a way that didn’t sound overly convoluted, to my ears. Had problems explaining the results, in part because I did not understand the stats that went with them, thus the words sounded off to me. I could explain all of the processes and observations because I was part of that and understood what happened. Let’s just say that instead of my usual cocksureness I was not feeling it, even with practice. Then there was the clothing. By now you are familiar with my style of dress, not formal. Formal wear makes me uncomfortable and like I am attempting to be a faux me.

Time for a recap: I had to use a power point, which was excellently crafted by Paul. I had a presentation to give with information I felt confident to give, information I felt less than comfortable to give, and an intro that did not sound right. Last, but certainly not least, I had to dress in a manner not conducive to confident me.

0460099_32063_MC_Tx304The location of the presentation was auditorium in style. The picture should give you a clue as to how it felt. At the bottom of a pit looking up at faces, which got smaller the further away they were. As a bonus, I did not have to use “dad voice” to be heard and as far as I knew, there was going to be a handheld clicker for the power point which meant I would at least be able to move about in my uncomfortable clothing…



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