The collapse of not one, but TWO computers 3 days ago was a bit of a shock, as you can imagine, but it got me thinking. Nothing concentrates the professional (well, and social) life quite like it. As i write, sitting on a Turkish Airlines flight, the big question in my mind is will the guy I left my main computer with over the weekend have been able to restore my corrupted hard disk – or at least get all the data from it? Actually, that’s not the big question really. The big question is whether I would be able to continue doing presentations without my computer – or at least without an iPad – the device that allowed me to present at Izmir Özel Türk Koleji yesterday. Perhaps it would be better not to use any technology at all
[Picture & links to follow, but see, I am posting on the iPad and I'm not so good at it with this device!]
Wow, that thought scares me! I have got used to accompanying words with pretty pictures, slide transitions, video clips, music – all that kind of stuff. ‘Nice transition’ somebody said to me recently (which was kind of exciting!) because I had used Keynote. But others have said the opposite – namely that too much visual ‘noise’ detracts from what you are trying to say, and can be very irritating. I have quite pronounced views about using Powerpoint and Keynote, which I have blogged about before. They can be used awesomely well, or appallingly badly!
As an aside: recently I saw an experienced presenter having to call for technical help because they didn’t know how to play a movie from their laptop. This was in front of 500 people, most of whom were younger and more tech savvy than this man or woman. I thought it looked a little bit silly: being technically competent is surely part of the presenter’s art (I mean competent at the level you have decided to operate at). But a presenter colleague who was there with us disagreed. He thought the technician-needing person on the stage had made a virtue of his or her technical inability and that the audience was largely sympathetic.
But I digress. The point is this: how would you feel if you suddenly had to present ‘naked’ (I mean, of course, with no technical backup)? Could you do a ‘Crystal’? – that is David Crystal standing there and wowing his audience with nothing more technological than a microphone? Or (from the other side) do you LIKE watching presentations which eschew technology, that are, in the jargon of the times, ‘unplugged’? I only ask because it has suddenly become clear to me (partly because of my computer problems, and partly because the hectic travel schedule I am locked into provides almost no time for the complex business of putting together an AV show) that I am going to have to present unplugged (how ironic!) at the most important conference of the year. And it scares the **** out of me!
Would you be scared (like me)? Or would you, if you happened to find yourself in my (or anyone else’s) presentation with no technical backup, be relieved and happy to see someone speak – just speak?