Friday, December 10, 2004

Well, that went poorly...

Yesterday was my final presentation for my ostensibly "online" course I am taking in pursuit of my Masters. Honestly, I didn't work all that hard on the presentation itself as I am much more focused on the paper which the presentation was going over. I'm about 80% done with the paper, and have outlined it to completion, so I felt fairly confident in my talking points.

I don't like Power Point as a resource for presentations. People spend too much time worrying about which trippy background to use, how to make cool sounds and flashy animations whiz in and out of the frame. I pretty much like to use a white background and black, arial text. Totally boring, but I guarantee you, I spend 1/2 the time of some people on my presentation prep, and the audience doesn't care.

Seriously, nobody cares. I hate to be the one to tell you, but it's true.

Anyhoo, apparently presenting on "Considerations for Implementing Distance Learning Programs in Institutions of Higher Education" is not as sexy a topic as I had originally believed. I announced that I do not like giving presentations, and would feel more comfortable having a conversation using my PPT's as a springboard. Well, that didn't work. The blank stares I received as I proceeded weren't just the usual "hey, you're not making any f**king sense" stares I usually get when I present. Rather, these people were actively NOT listening to me. Doodling on notepads, playing on computers, checking their voicemail... luckily my instructor was nodding emphatically and smiling the entire time as if encouraging the syrupy smelling kid in the class as he brings his macaroni art to the front of the room for Show & Tell.

Of course as I concluded and asked for questions, nobody raised their hands to ask any questions and everyone looked down at their shoes or at their desks.

"Oooookay..." I nodded.

My teacher tried to help out by asking a question, but it didn't really go anywhere. Someone sort of asked a question which didn't really relate to anything I'd just said. And at that point I was trying to figure out if it was possible everyone in the class just didn't care, didn't like my presentation, or didn't understand a word I said. Or if it didn't matter. And there's no graceful exit in a classroom.

Anyway, that's why I've been busy.

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