Brown bag accomplished

brownbag.jpgThere is a cycle I go through in preparing for a public speaking gig. The UED (user experience design) brown bag series at Yahoo! is low key in a way. We do it in a medium-sized room with hookups to remote campuses, such as Santa Monica. It’s “all in the family” and thus not as stressful as a large conference. But it’s also your peers and colleagues, so there is a desire to knock it out of the park and not waste anyone’s time.
I gave a talk earlier today on the current state of the Design Pattern Library, my role as its curator, and how my cow-orkers could get involved. (It was called “The Design Pattern Library Wants YOU!” and I probably won’t publish the slides outside of y! but the YUI Theater guys videotaped it and they are probably going to edit something together for the YUI blog, in which case I’ll surely mention that here.)
I think it went pretty well. About two days before speaking I get quite anxious, no matter how well I am prepared. I’ve been taught be speaking mentors to view that nervous energy as “excitement” and as a natural part and parcel of summoning up the necessary vim to get up in front of people and engage with them.
The talk really only came together in my head several days or so, although of course it gelled from a series of thoughts and ideas that I’m wrestling with all the time. I finally got the outline down on paper two days ago and spent most of yesterday putting together the slides, until the wee hours of the morning.
This meant that I really only got about four hours sleep last night, which is really not a good thing before speaking, but oh well. I ran out the door this morning in the rain and left my badge at home, the one I use to open doors and buy food at the cafeteria. I spent all morning trying to get a seven megabyte powerpoint file compressed, but whenever I put it on my PC and used the image compression features in the Windows version of ppt, it ballooned to 10 megs, so I gave up on that.
The talk itself went well, I believe. The room was full. The questions were good. I hit my marks and people laughed in all the right places. I’ll probable even be able to adapt some of my slides and talking points for a few conference gigs I’m hoping to do over the next year.
In the rest of the afternoon, I was sort of braindead. Fortunately, we had a big quarterly earnings report all-hands pep rally slash Oktoberfest party, so I was able to ride out the end of the day. Never made it to the gym, unfortunately, to pump out the lactic acid left making my muscles ache from my short night’s sleep.
Also, I lost my in-box zero state of grace that I’ve maintained for weeks now, so I’ll spend tomorrow trying to get that back.






One response to “Brown bag accomplished”

  1. Gordon Avatar

    That nervous energy for me has kicked in as I finish the first draft of a presentation for the TICAD conference.
    And it’s not until November!