Thursday, September 23, 2010

Speaking Season - 32 to 36 of 107

Photo by [F]oxymoron

Last weekend was an easier weekend than most - only 5 presentations - 3 in Minneapolis followed by 2 in Mankato. For the most part, they went well, though both the first and last offered unexpected challenges.

Saturday's first meeting in front of High School students saw a power problem hit. My laptop, on which I run two videos, died right before the first video. It was plugged in, and for a few minutes, troubleshooting it was getting frustrating. Luckily, I had a school district theatre tech there - unluckily, he wasn't familiar enough with the school to realize the outlet we had used was dead! In fairness, I also could have headed off this problem, by looking at the bottom right hand corner of my desktop and noticing the power settings were off.

My solution at that time was to move to a later part of my presentation without resorting to "if you'd seen the video...." - simply touching on other points. The crowd was understanding, even letting out a sympathetic laugh when I initially restarted the computer and on the bigscreen all could see the 'dead battery' message! Overall, I don't believe it affected anyone's decisions about sending their kids on the program, though I will never know for sure.

Sunday's final meeting in Mankato saw only three families show up. We were in a giant auditorium, having just had a full house the hour before with High School and Middle School families. But Sunday afternoon, grade school families, and a Vikings game seemed to play havoc with attendance that late in the day. Eschewing the microphone, I got the families all together down front, and gave the presentation at a lower notch, and worked in more back and forth participation. Despite my best efforts, it was clear to the audience that most people chose not to attend, which lowered their overall interest. Had I been more prepared for a small showing, I may have been able to tailor the program better, and created a setting of exclusivity rather than lack of interest.

I was happy to be done, and head back to Minneapolis for the night, in preparation for heading back to Denver. Saturday had been two of my daughter's birthdays - and I hated missing them. Couldn't wait to be home.,

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