FOTB 2009 – My Presentation

This will be the first of two blog posts; My presentation and then the conference experience.

This was the first time I’d been invited to speak by John Davey. It was my top-most priority to do a good job and not let him down. I chose what I thought was a subject useful to me, procrastination and how to steer away from it. I titled it “The 10 Best Excuses to NOT do Amazing Work”. Here’s the opening slide.

The first three days I was there was really me freaking out about my preso and dry-running it repeatedly. Removing Slides, adding slides and removing them again. Hammering out exactly what I wanted to say because I didn’t want anyone to feel that their time was wasted.

Josh Davis was kind enough to let me borrow his laptop. On wednesday, I transferred my files, tested it out and we had some laughs at the expense of my poor, beleaguered voice. Turns out three days of too much drinking, too much smoking, too much yelling and too little sleep wore out my throat.

We headed over to Stacey Mulcahy’s talk Can play well with others and caught the last half. I’ve never seen Stacey speak and she really did a great job. Funny, engaging, comfortable and smart. Besides, a picture of a giant bottle of liquor on screen with a suggestion of “If all else fails, get drunk with them.” Thumbs up, Stacey.

When it came my turn to get on stage, the fact that I was on stage for the first time in a year and a half hit me and I had the worst case of stage fright I’d ever encountered. Then as people sauntered in, it hit me “Fuck it. Too late.” So I felt myself relax slightly and I stepped off the stage to chat with my friends who decided to forgo Seb Lee-Delisle and Colin Moock, who were both presenting at the same time. The support these people gave me by coming to my talk was really appreciated. As the seats filled and I got back on stage, and time was creeping up on me, a volunteer came forward to let me know he was introducing me.

The hour went quickly. The audience was top-notch; helpful, attentive and communicative. They laughed when I hoped they’d laugh and didn’t when I hoped they wouldn’t. So if you were in attendance at my presentation, you should know that a presenter feeds off their audience as much as an audience feeds off their presenter. Not in a creepy vampire way, but a buffet kind of way. No… wait… not like that, either. A good way. My throat held out and the applause was boisterous at the end.

If you’re looking for the presentation, I’d used Keynote to build it, and exported the slides as jpegs. There are some fundamental things missing, but it is my presentation. You just click on each image and you’re off to the races.

The response since has been gratifying, to say the least. I wasn’t really thinking that my own procrastination and excuses were universally understandable. It’s been a whilrwind of compliments and I’m truly pleased that y’all liked it.

Next post, when I have time, will be thoughts on the everything that wasn’t above.

3 thoughts on “FOTB 2009 – My Presentation”

  1. Your talk was great Hugh – straight to the point and a kick up the arse for all of us procrastinators (aren't we all at some time or another?). Nice to know I'm not the only one constantly carrying a moleskin notebook around 😉

    John should give you one of the inspired session slots next year, no question.

    Was great meeting you!


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