Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to give a Presentation .... Cue the Meltdown


Last Thursday was a bit of a breakthrough day as I would be giving a talk about the book I am writing.  This had been scheduled earlier this year at the Herman Melville House in Troy, NY (actually Lansingburgh - I still maintained that Troy is occupying the village where I grew up and has been for the past 124 years, but someday we shall throw off the shackles) and I'd worked damn hard with teaching notes, visual presentations, and my decent communication skills to make a 1 hour talk about Herman Melville, and his association with Lansingburgh, Presidents Chester Arthur and Theodore Roosevelt, and murders and conspiracies, that is, a halfway decent novel.

          Herman                                                 Chester                                                     Theodore

My wife and I arrived a little later than planned (thanks to my shortcut) and the room was filling up with interested folks, most of which I (gratefully) knew.  So after some hellos and hugs, I set upon setting up my Mac with the projector provided by the sponsors, but after some minutes of attaching A to B, it became apparent that it was not going to work, much to the consternation of the org's President who finally threw his hands up and said "It's a Mac. I don't know what to do." The part that made me go Hmmm was that I had sat in the audience here two weeks previous when another speaker used a Mac with no problem.  Sabotage? my bipolar mind asked.  Did he not like me?  What was going on? Making me look bad deliberately?

At this point, the MS leader, Captain Fatigue, stepped into the center ring, and announced the reason it was not working was because I was tired, very tired.  I had been putting in hours on this presentation more from my days at my old job.  I knew, of course, that I was dog tired. Even driving to the site in Lansingburgh using a "shortcut" which seemed to my wife as completely out of the way, I was telling myself to just get through it.  Get through it.

I would have to talk it through.  Fortunately I had a lot of support from friends in the 30 seat room and I stumbled my way through looking at now useless notes and the dragging info from my lesioned brain before Captain Fatigue and Sergeant Bipolar could hide the stories in a brain file labeled Great Kale I Have Eaten.

So I made it. And since that night I'm still slowly recouping energy.  I've started a writing class (three hours Tuesday night for eight weeks) and I need to write stories while continuing the Herman tales.

I hear about marketing and appearances and signings, and I've talked with writers who do a lot of it. Before I get serious on any of those subjects I need to finish the story.  But hyping will be a tough road because the energy that I admire in other authors as they succeed in this area is just not there for me.  Local? Sure.  Big time? Probably not. I will not get better.

Pace myself.  Isn't it odd that pace in Latin is peace? I enjoyed the talk despite the problems and the positive reinforcement never hurts.  Believers can lift you up.  Now I have to make sure I keep up with it.  I will start when I open my eyes tomorrow. Maybe.

Thanks for the 10000 views.  I'm going to move back and forth between this blog and one on writing.
Writing the 1,391st Greatest American Novel in a decade or less! Please take a look should you wish, and my thanks for your support.


And Herman Melville and President Martin Van Buren thank you too...

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