I was not very enthused about presenting at the MERLOT International Conference. I submitted a proposal out of a vague sense of duty, of professional obligation. I put off preparing until the last possible moment. Then I found a slide show I’d assembled for ED-MEDIA 2003, on the exact same topic. I threw in a couple slides for some projects we’d started since then, a couple slides for Katrina, and I was ready. Easy enough.
When it came time to make my presentation on Thursday morning, I was surprised at how many people showed up. There were quite a number of other concurrent sessions, and I was up against a “featured” session down the hall. Nevertheless my little room was packed.
As I made my presentation, a strange thing occurred. I felt my spirits lifting. I hadn’t thought of myself as particularly dejected, except in retrospect as my mood improved. It sounds faintly ridiculous, but I impressed myself. I didn’t intend to talk myself up, but that’s exactly what I did. When all the work I’ve done over eight years is stacked up and described in a few minutes, it sounds pretty good. And when I got to the part where I was going to talk about shortcomings in my whole approach, I came up empty-handed. Without fully being fully aware of it, I’d been planning to imply that the whole enterprise was a failure. Suddenly that seemed patently ridiculous.
It was kind of a spiritual experience for me.
I’m skeptical of the craze for distributing presentation slide shows online. So much is lost without the presenter. Nevertheless, you can check out my presentation, at least for a short while. Hint: You’ll need the Flash player; navigate with your spacebar or arrow buttons.