Thursday, June 30, 2011

Workshops, Presentations and Speeches

It's conference time. When you're first starting out as a writer, you get to sit in the workshops and learn. Or be rude and get up and leave. You get to judge the worth and value of the information to you-and sometimes you judge wrong, but that's another matter. As you progress in your years of writing, as you learn more than the basics, suddenly you are the workshop presenter. You are the person tasked with deciding on a subject that hasn't been done to death, working on the handouts and the possible PowerPoint slides. You need to determine the mix of lecture and exercises and discussion to give your audience something to go home with and feel as if they got value from their conference fee. You are tasked with sharing the knowledge others shared with you that allowed you to get where you are. You are responsible to pay it forward.
That's something I did last week. I learned some valuable things in my modules at grad school and last week it was my turn to create a module and present it to a small class. I think it went well. I have heard from the attendees that they found it useful. I'm so glad. The best part is that no one walked out.
Please remember as you go to conferences and pick workshops to attend that the presenters have taken a great deal of time and effort to share information with you. No matter how boring you may find it, or how repetitive. Please don't leave. Consider the person in the front. As writer's we aren't trained to be good presenters. We live in our small offices and write. We speak through media that can be edited and revised. We are not usually face to face. Remember the presenter is simply trying to pay it forward. Be considerate. You never know what kernel of info/inspiration you might get if you only stick it out.
When it's your turn to pay it forward, you'll understand and hopefully no one will walk out on you. Cheers~


John Dixon said...

Great post, Nancy! I just used information from your excellent marketing class to prepare a pitch sheet for Thrillerfest, which I'll attend next week.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi John, *waves*
Thanks and best of luck at Thrillerfest. Keep me posted.