Yesterday I spent in creative vomit mode. In other words, I finally got around to getting down the text for my PowerPoint presentation about my new book Around Florence.
I did my usual procrastination. It was on my to-do list each day for the past couple of weeks whenever I was going to be home. But it was never the only thing on the list. So naturally, I always found a way to be “too busy” with the other items to fit it in.
During these past two weeks, I did wake up in the night more than once thinking about my PowerPoint presentation and thinking about it when I was doing other stuff too. So while my conscious self was putting it off, my subconscious self was busy working on it.
I actually did work on it one day weeks ago choosing the photos that I wanted to use. At first I chose 100, but cut it down to 80. So I had that much done at least.
Yesterday, it was the only item on my to-do list, and I was ready. I didn’t spend even a second staring at the blank screen. I started right in with a brief intro. Then I selected a short segment to read from the book intro before listing the 80 photos with some comments for each. I worked on it between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. when I stopped for lunch and again from about 3 to 7 p.m. when I stopped for dinner.
I haven’t timed it. It needs to fit into a 35 to 40 minute maximum time period. That’s when folks start to glaze over and nod off in a PowerPoint presentation. With 80 photos, it’s probably about an hour long, and I’ll need to do some cutting. But, hey, it’s down, it’s out of my system. And I feel so much better.
Now I get to rewrite and fine tune and tweak. At the moment, it’s rough; it’s first draft. But rewriting is my favorite part of writing. I’ll work on it willingly til it shines. Of course, this will be a spoken presentation. It’s not for folks to read. But this is how I put together my other two bridge book programs and they were very well received. I want it to come out smooth, cover the entire book, and allow time for questions and answers.
After the cleanup process, the next step is to get the photos fed into the PowerPoint program in the right order and practice a few times clicking on each photo as needed. I will go over and over it until it feels natural, until I feel really comfortable with it. I don’t want it to seem like I’m reading from a script. And I need to practice at least once with the projector on.
My presentation is due on July 16 at the Siuslaw Public Library––two weeks from today. I seem to need deadlines to get me focused. I have more presentations scheduled after this first one. For each, I’ll fine tune to fit the audience and time parameters, but they will all be based on this first one.
If I feel comfortable with the presentation that I put together, I’ll be relaxed, show confidence, have a sense of humor, and be able to handle any unforeseen glitches or off-the-wall questions. I learned in teaching that the key ingredient is preparation and that was simply reinforced with my 40+ PowerPoint presentations that I did with my bridge books.
1) The window part arrived and a local window installer put it in place. So now the bathroom window has finally been closed and the fourth of my four mishaps in 10 days last May has finally been fixed. (See #140–It’s always something . . . )
2) My new canopy arrived this past Monday, and I’ve been practicing on how to put it up. I’ll have a chance to use it tomorrow at the Yachats Farmers Market. I’ll let you know how it works next week. (I’m praying for no wind while setting it up.)
3) My 400 copies of Around Florence were mailed on July 8 and will be due to arrive early this next week. I just realized that will be a whole bunch of boxes and that I need to make room for them in the garage. I’ll put them on a tarp so no moisture comes up through the concrete floor. (If I’m not home when they arrive, my little front porch will be totally filled with boxes. Oh joy!)