It’s Public Speaking week at the NDD!
I gave a Napkin Dad presentation this past weekend to the Oklahoma 4H Parent Volunteer Conference. It took place at the OSU Alumni center in Stillwater, OK. The topic was ‘Coping with Change Within and Without’.
I spent many hours getting the presentation ready. I first threw in all sorts of napkin drawings and ideas that I felt applied. While I did this my ideas were all over the map. It was disconcerting. I don’t like that feeling of not having the message together, knowing it just doesn’t make sense yet. I was nervous, would I be able to find a cogent message?
At that point I hadn’t really found the major points to hang the presentation on. I was like a gold miner looking all over the mountain, with just a few clues as to where the gold might be. I eventually stumbled upon a set of compelling ideas. That made me worried, could I make the ideas make sense together?
Once I did that, the task became even harder. It was editing and arranging time. What drawings and quotes went with the ideas. Which ones would be visually interesting? Which ones would confuse and distract the audience? Did I need more drawings or less? That made me anxious, would I be able to fit my presentation to the time allotted?
Finally I started practicing the presentation, even though it was only the first half I had together. Giving the speech to myself helped me understand what was working because I found myself completely stopped dead in my tracks saying ‘uh’ many times. It was my clue that I needed to work more. I started to build the second half, arranging and rearranging it. I ended up doing about 4-5 dry runs of the presentation. My last dry run was in my car, an hour before I had to give the presentation, parked in the parking garage. That made me increasingly confident, knowing I had the ideas, organization, message and timing pretty well covered. But I worried, wondering if I would be able to stay on topic, keep the pace and timing going in a dynamic situation.
By the time I was up in front of the crowd I was comfortable. I was feeling that I could do it, and do it well. I think I did. One can never know, some may have thought it was confusing, some too long, some too this or that. but in my mind I gave them my best.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by George Jessel, 1898-1981, American comedic actor