The Presentation

Photo credit: Ben White

In the Events division at my job, the process of getting a travel program going is divided into lots of pie pieces.  We have the folks who source the hotels and write the programs, the folks who program the program websites, the folks who book the air, the folks who write and design the communications, the folks who manage the participants, the folks who go on site and run the program.  Then there’s what I do; from the time a program sells until the participants arrive at their destination, I oversee all the other pieces of pie, getting all the details wrapped up tight so the program runs successfully.

Over the years I’ve been corralled a few times into doing work in other departments; I’ve been successful but I don’t like it much.  A couple of months ago we got the opportunity to bid for a big piece of business with a client that I’ve worked with for 15 years – in fact I’ve done 46 trips for their various regions.  As you can imagine, this opportunity has taken on a life of its own – specs from the client, questions back to them, a preliminary presentation made.  The number of meetings has been alarming, especially since I really don’t have that much input.  Others involved are excited to be doing the work, love the corporate lingo and are happy to be jumping through all the necessary hoops.  I completely understand this work has to be done but it doesn’t ring my bell.  So I smile, answer any questions asked of me and multi-task.  It really makes me appreciate zoom meetings.

The notification that we made the initial cut and have a presentation date slated came down on Tuesday.   We had a meeting on Wednesday – I knew this would be the meeting in which decisions were made about who would be part of the presentation.  I’ve been dreading this prospect for weeks; while I certainly wouldn’t be tasked with heading up the presentation, I worried that with my overwhelming experience on the account, they would think I would be handy to have in the room.  Not my cup of tea and the idea of flying to the east coast for two days for this presentation doesn’t excite me at all.

They didn’t ask me.  I can’t tell anybody at work how relieved I am not to be part of the presentation team.  But I can tell you all – I am very happy to stay home.  I’m not even going to grouse about the fact that there are two “practice” meetings that I have been asked to attend, even though I’m not practicing.  Phew!

What topic could you give a 30-minute presentation on without any preparation?

50 thoughts on “The Presentation”

    1. When I was walking this morning, I worked to mentally compose my presentation. I have plenty of material, but facts are not enough and organizing them is a challenge, not to mention building a context that would make them compelling and relevant.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. One error that I have encountered over and over again when attending, say, a three hour course on something, is the easy material at the beginning of the course being presented in brain-numbing detail, and then trying to jamb in the more difficult material in the last half hour. From time to time the problem would be exacerbated by attendees who didn’t have the prerequisite background to be in that particular course. They would disrupt and slow down the presentation by asking questions about concepts or material that they should have already been familiar with. This was particularly true in computer courses. More often than not, though, it was the instructor who didn’t understand how important it was to pace the presentation to facilitate learning.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. I’m not saying any of these 30-minute talks would be good or interesting but I’m pretty sure I could improvise a half-hour on wine, music (jazz), writing, the BWCAW, golf, and investments.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I’m enough of an introvert that just the idea of speaking for 30 minutes in front of an audience makes me ill. I could read for 30 minutes, my work or someone else’s, but that’s as far as I’d be comfortable going. Besides, I’ve stopped believing people will be interested in anything I would have to say.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Rise and Starting Talking, Baboons,

    There are a few things I could go on about, but I am not sure it would go exactly 30 minutes. If I want to go negative, I could go off on some really destructive family dynamics that are playing out right now, but I don’t want to discuss those all that long. Too depressing.

    Other topics:

    Gardening: composting, use of a cold frame, and how when I mulched my vegetables I got moles and ground squirrels burrowing under the mulch. Do I hear snoring?

    Polymer Clay: Use of the pasta machine, the Skinner effect, using polymer embellishments on knitted ear warmers. Also combining fabric arts with Polymer embellishment—I must try that. Riveting, huh?

    Psychotherapy: Suicide assessment, Behavior Chain Analysis, and Stage 2 trauma treatment. Ready to sign up?

    Liked by 5 people

  4. My topic would be survival in the new millennium:
    putting 1 foot in front of the other

    If people wanna talk about music or art or plays or lawn and garden or sports I could easily go on and on about those things but I find it all comes down to figuring out what you’re figuring out

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I could do 30 minutes on several things about literature such as depression in Shakespeare or many passages of literature or the Bible if I had the text in front of me. I could still do riffs on many aspects of education many riffs.
    But I would not do any of them.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. My sister was curriculum director of a 250 faculty district. Her opening workshop presenter backed out 3 days before. She called me. It was not a topic in my wheelhouse as they say in baseball but I put enough together of talk and mostly activities to do 5 hours. It went well very well to my surprise. Cleo did not want the staff to know I was her brother, but she did tell them I was a last minute fill-in. At morning coffee break about 30 of the staff came up and said they knew I was Cleo’s brother. Not because we look alike, which we sort of do in a pasty white German sort of way but because I had same voice and mannerisms as her second son. They said watching me was like watching Peter. The staff asked her to bring me back again. I went back three times.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. great story

      i’ll bet you’d be a great presenter

      do you want to do the 30 minute video mailing also?

      i’d enjoy it greatly


  7. I have long been a fan of Westminster Town Hall Forum, Ted Talks, and One Day University, all of which consistently feature excellent speakers on a wide variety of topics. I love speakers with a keen sense of humor and without a lot of verbal tics.

    Any presentation that I would give would have to be based on experience and something that I was really interested in. I would not frame it as a subject on which I’m and authority or expert, because clearly I’m neither on most subjects. In my view, cooking should be fun and not a chore, and I think it would lend itself well to such a presentation for the right audience.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. About a week and half ago, a friend said that they wanted to go up to Duluth and take a tour of the S/S Wm. A. Irvin tour ship. I immediately launched in my tour guide narration. I haven’t given a tour of the old boat since 1991 but I can still rattle it off.

    Liked by 8 people

  9. I would avoid giving a 30 minute presentation on anything. I’ve never been comfortable standing in front of people. I’m not an expert on anything, except possibly long-term care of people with multiple disabilities. Sure, I have lots of strong opinions but I’m sure no one wants to hear them.

    I’m grateful for this opportunity to write. I think I express myself best when I can write about something. I’m not good at talking.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. glad you enjoy writing
      nice to have you back
      i thought you were excellent at hosting the stage at rock bend
      and who says no one cares about your opinion… that’s wrong

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I can do it. It sort of turns into a ‘stream of consciousness’ thing, but it’s how I take daughter to bed.
    I just start talking about some random subject. Puts her right to sleep.
    I can talk about stage lighting for hours. Students eyes glaze over.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ben’s surefire, guaranteed to put you to sleep talk! There’s gotta be a way to monetize that. For a small fee, tim might give you some ideas.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. LED lights are wonderful! But they’re expensive. And every 2 months there’s a new and improved version out. And they have a limited lifespan… and then, what? Throw it out and get a new one?? But they save money in multiple ways, less fixtures because of their color changing abilities, less radiant heat off them, less
        Colors are different too. Fabrics take the color from LED different than from conventional. I can make some real ugly stuff with an LED. I can turn reds to mud.
        My college theater; I’ve got 100 conventional fixtures, half are fairly new. If we remodel, do I throw all them out? But anything new gets all LEDs.
        But then i want to add a table lamp or wall sconce and there’s no dimmers. So now I’m adding dimmers to control them.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I can lecture on toileting and elimination problems in children, ways to deal with child anxiety, Rorschach and IQ testing, bread baking, play therapy, and a bunch of other esoteric psychology things

    Liked by 5 people

  12. I can (and did) present lectures on nursing care of the neonate on ECMO, transition from fetal circulation to adult circulation, how to care for neonates after a number of different surgeries, how to set up an exchange transfusion, and a lot of other riveting topics regarding neonates. My audiences were small (new nurses in orientation to the NICU) and I repeated them often enough to not have to refer to any notes. Don’t put me in front of a large audience, though.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. Remember to repeat the important stuff. When doing the first day shop tour to the theater students, we emphasized the book they use to record their hours. And I tell them this is the most important thing to remember. Then I ask “What’s the most important thing?” Then I’ll
    Point to one of the jocks in the back and hold up the book and ask him what this is?
    And yet still, students come in and don’t know what to do. “Book?” They say? “What book?”

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I’ve taught a folk dance that took almost that long… of course, since there’s movement involved, it’s different, than straight speaking. I once attended a day-long workshop on how to teach folk dance, and I think I could be part of team teaching something like that. Again, it wouldn’t be straight talking.

    I did give a talk (about 20 years ago now) on “downsizing” at one of the food co-ops (Linden Hills?) – Have no idea how long it lasted.
    Husband and I did a presentation here at UU about care-taking with our friend W – but that was just about 20 minutes, and my part was only about 10 minutes.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ha! I can think of lots of stuff that I know you could go on about a lot longer if you wanted to. Not sure what would motivate you to do it, though. You’re pretty reticent.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.