The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Preparing to present

In a couple of weeks' time, I'm due to give a presentation at the Annual IATEFL Conference in Glasgow. I'm going to be talking about how we put together the wordlists for the Collins COBUILD Key Words for IELTS series that I worked on as senior editor (Breaking down the AWL; Thurs morning, 10.25). I generally really enjoy presenting and I've given talks at IATEFL several times before, so I know more-or-less what to expect. I had to put in my proposal back in September, so I thought about my topic and a general outline back then. It's sort of been in the back of my mind since and occasionally something crops up that I mentally file under "possible talk material", but generally, I haven't thought too much about it. It always seems to me that there's no point preparing miles ahead then forgetting it all.

With the conference just a couple of weeks away though, I'd set aside some time this week to sit down and prepare in earnest, especially as the folks at Collins want me to send them a copy of my presentation by next week. I started off yesterday by pulling out my proposal and various notes about the project and jotting down some rough ideas on paper. Then I spent the rest of the morning wandering around the house talking to myself! Anyone walking past and glancing through the window would've thought I was mad, especially as I can't talk without using my hands. I tried out different sections, wording and rewording, then checking out stats or examples, so that each chunk of the talk gradually came together. I then went off and did other stuff for the rest of the afternoon and let everything bubble away in the back of my mind.

This morning, I sat down and started to translate everything into a set of PowerPoint slides, putting all my chunks into a sequence and filling in any gaps and links. Then it was time for a trial run to check out the timing. I put my slides on my laptop on the ironing board (just because it's a good height!) and set the kitchen timer. I also took the opportunity to test out the new boots I've bought to wear - I haven't worn them yet and I wanted to check they were comfy and didn't rub anywhere! And off I went ...

My first full run-through came out at about 35 minutes, which is great as I've got a 45-minute slot and that gives me a few minutes late starting and a good 5 minutes for questions/overrun time. So I think I'm more-or-less set. I'll have another look through my PowerPoint slides tomorrow before I send them off. I'll save everything onto a memory stick as well as my laptop. I've got my outfit sorted, including the boots which were still fairly comfy after a full afternoon's wear including a walk round to the supermarket! Now I'll wait until the day before my presentation to have one last look through. I'm really pleased to have a morning slot - I don't get very nervous before presentations, but there's still nothing worse than hanging around all day waiting to speak. Apparently, the talk's going to be filmed, so if you're not in Glasgow, I'll try and put up a link to it later.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home