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Well, we're just a few days away and preparation is winding down. We've got an article written and ready to go, and I've got my presentation mostly complete and just need to work on layout, notes and review. Sounds like I'm almost done... just hope I don't get sidetracked by some fire drill.
The media alert went out today and it got me thinking that it might be interesting to share the creative process.
Personally, I don't get nervous with public speaking. It doesn't mean I always do well, its just that I quite enjoy the opportunity to get in front of a crowd of strangers full of adoration for the gems spewing from my mouth. In fact, I tend to not "rehearse" for presentations as much as "immerse" myself in the content and visualize how it will go, the thoughts I'd have, the questions that might come up, and feed that back into the presentation in a way that makes it more robust.
This presentation started with work on a white paper I began working on about two months ago. It was a bit of a free form set of ideas I have about cloud computing. I had only the guideline of my submission - The Impact of Cloud Computing on Enterprise Architecture - and I ended up with content in four areas:
The level that I speak at is relatively high, and I worry that it's not enough detail for people. I guess we'll see on Monday.
It took me a week of writing, with some interruptions I'm sure, to get down about 3,000 words on paper. That's about 3 1/12 pages of writing, and it was handed over the PR team for editing.
It may be totally behind the scenes but the people that have edited my stuff in the past, this time included, do wonderful work. It's always important to double check the content and the meaning, and to make sure that the important points stayed, but they really tighten it up and focus it down.
They turned my 3,000 words into 1,120. The final piece has just 20 additional words, though I had to do about a day of editing to bring some of the meaning back, and highlight some points that were lost originally. It'll be posted on Monday so keep an eye out for it. As always, let me know what you think.
I had been thinking about this cloud stuff for some time, and tweeting ideas to see how people would respond. I've also been vigorously reading the tweets and blogs of others to get a sense for where the conversation is. Hopefully, my presentation on Monday adds something to the conversation, in a way that constructively builds on what others are saying.
The difficulty with creating the presentation, of course, is that I didn't just want to put the paper in presentation form.
That would be boring. (Boring is bad.)
I came across a presentation titled "Charts are Cheap" by Major Dan Ward (who unfortunately, didn't include a link to his blog in his presentation, so I can't link you to him!). The idea was 1/2 - 1 idea per slide/chart. Simplify and people will understand more.
So, I'm trying something new with my presentation. It's really lightweight and a lot of what I'll say is not written on the slides. It is, mostly, written in the paper. And, what's not, would be great to discuss online after the event.
Part of the reason to do something different is my "middle of the night" speaking slot. And, I believe I'm also last for the day, so anyone that does come, and stays awake, has me between them and the bar. Not an enviable position.
Though, if they need a drink after my presentation, I believe Mike is organizing a Tweetup at ESPN Zone in Times Square after. Hope to see you there.
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