What a relief! Last night I finished planning my OO presentation for the SPC and sent the PowerPoint slides to Synergex. I’m looking forward to giving this talk, but lots of other things had kept me away from working on it, and the deadline for slides was today.
It’s been about five years since I last presented at a conference, and I’m taking quite a different approach with this one. Usually in the past, I would write my presentation as bullets (essentially the overheads) and just talk from them. That worked OK, provided I was lucky. And alert. And not too nervous.
But typically, I’d talk too fast and forget half of what I meant to say, and end up at the “Questions?” slide about half-way through the allotted time, with nobody asking any questions because they hadn’t even begun to follow any of the jargon-laced broken sentences with which I peppered them like so many live rounds — the “ums” acting as tracers.
Or else in trying to avoid that scenario I would pack my slides full of content so there would be no way to run out. Which resulted in me talking even faster and flipping through the last slides just as time expired, finishing off with “Questions? OK, great. Thanks, bye.”
This time, I started by writing my presentation out longhand. This came very naturally to me, now that I’ve been blogging for over a year. It only took me a couple of days to write it, almost as if it were a lengthy blog post (in fact, I used Windows Live Writer to compose it). From that, I went back and created my slides. Some of the slides act like graphics for the post, others outline certain sections of it. So when I present, I’ll be more or less repeating my narrative and flipping the slides that go with it. I’m thinking that will be quite a bit more natural and interesting than flipping to a slide, studying it for a moment, and then trying to think of what I meant to say.
Another difference that five years has brought: I’ll be referring to blog posts for the first time in a presentation. Specifically, Steve Yegge’s Execution in the Kingdom of Nouns and Chad Perrin’s OOP and the death of modularity. It may seem strange to use ostensibly anti-OOP posts in a presentation on the benefits of OOP, but both of their arguments really zero in on what bad OO design looks like — even when it’s necessitated by a lack of language capabilities. I hope to use their points to indicate by contrast what constitutes good OO design, and how that’s supported by Synergy/DE 9.
Now I just need to figure out how to keep Richard and Steve from getting me thoroughly boiled as an owl the night before. <O,O>