Sunday, July 03, 2005


One set of slides. Just one measly set of slides. For a measly little talk I'm giving early this week. Why, why, WHY is it that I cannot bring myself to even get a rough draft of the slides done???

OK, I do know why---here are all my excuses as to why I can't get started:

* The talk is for a different audience than I'm used to, so I feel as though I have to aim my talk differently. (i.e., I can't use the same talk I've been giving for the past few months)

* I don't want the talk to suck. And all my ideas for the talk so far suck.

* Some of my senior colleagues, the ones who have less of a clue about what I do, will be attending this talk. For some reason, I am hyper-concerned that they don't come away from this thinking I'm an idiot.

* I've received zero guidelines as to how I should structure or aim the talk.

* This talk is part of a colloquium. I have not seen any of the other talks. I have no idea what the other talks were like. I don't want to have the worst talk in the series.

OK, admittedly these are all really silly reasons. I know that they are silly reasons. I know that whatever I end up talking about will be just fine and dandy---and if it isn't, well, it's not the end of the world. I know all this. But it doesn't make the silly thoughts go away. Instead, they seem to be playing on an endless repeat loop through my brain.

All right, 10 slides is my goal. Let's see if I can quiet the chatter in my head long enough to get 10 slides done.

Update: Well, it was a bit of a struggle, and took a few starts and stops and wrong turns, but I finished 10 slides, and made some notes about what should go into the rest of the talk. The good news is that I can pilfer about half of the slides from a previous talk, and the rest are graphs, which I should have electronic versions of somewhere...


Turtle said...

Oooh, I feel your struggle. Those are all thoughts that would also cross my mind. I am lousy at doing any kind of audience analysis. And I've always gotten such contradictory advice from academic advisors. However, it sounds like you've got a good grasp of these skills. I'm sure it will be fine (and knowing you way better than fine).

BrightStar said...

those reasons feel familiar to me... I don't think they're silly, except one: I would bet not all of your ideas suck. :)