Tuesday, July 22, 2014

OAUG Connection Point - AppsTech 2014: Day 2 - All me!

As expected, today's focus during the OAUG Connection Point - AppsTech conference was giving my presentation but after I gave my presentation I really wanted to see 3 other sessions!  Unfortunately, I learned that a drawback of a virtual conference is being available at work so I was sidetracked from the conference and did not get to attend ANY of the other sessions today!  What else did I learn today?

I learned that depending on technology can let you down when you least expect it.  I practiced my presentation with my Bluetooth earpiece for my phone, and while I made sure to charge it last night, it must have been switched on then or in my pocket on the way to work this morning so it started beeping as soon as the recording started today.  You would think the beeping in my ear would have clued me in to a problem, but the moderator said I would hear a beep when the recording started so I thought the constant beeping was the GoToWebinar product telling me it was recording instead of the battery dying on the earpiece.  Not only was this distracting me a few times every minutes taking me out of my stride, but about 10-15 minutes into the presentation the earpiece totally died so I had to switch to putting my phone on speaker after taking about 30 seconds to realize what just happened.  Also at the beginning of the presentation when the beeping started, I lost another 20-30 seconds trying to figure out what was going on and when the moderator told me that she could hear me I did not give the beeping a second thought.  What a mistake that was!

I also learned that having a presentation with constant bullet points moving in to view leads to a lot of clicking and that can be a problem with a remote presentation tool where it seemed like the first click would just wake up the tool so that my second click would actually advance the slide.  This also helped to take me off stride since at the start of the presentation I never had control until a few bullet points advanced all at once and we were on slide 3 suddenly.  I had a few other times when I had to go back when the first click actually did what I wanted it to!  Options are to get control on my computer locally to avoid this, or modify the presentation to remove the transitions so all of the bullet points show up when I switch to the next slide.

The biggest take away for me is I have to learn how to deal with adversity so I do not let it fluster me.  The beeping, the lack of response from the virtual audience, the change in having to hold my phone halfway during the presentation, and the time I lost dealing with the technical difficulties all contributed to me speeding up my talk and even dropping a few bits of information (intentionally or not) so instead of the 45-50 minutes I rehearsed yesterday became 38 minutes today.

What would I give myself today in terms of a rating?  I would be generous in saying 5.5 out of 10 because of pretty much everything I detailed above!  I was happy to receive a few direct responses letting me know that the performance was not as horrible as I think it was, but I am really determined to up my personal score for the next presentation because it is not anywhere near where I think I should be.  I was really glad that we had about 10 minutes of Q&A because I would have felt really bad for the attendees (around 50 were scheduled) if they had paid for an hour and they only got 2/3 of that.

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