The "Shiver" Moment in Presentation Writing

There's a moment in writing presentations; you are dispassionately writing and editing point-form notes about the things you want to talk about, a kind of disjoint series of ideas that you know all fit together somehow, and you're really just playing with them to see how they fit, then you take a bit of time off to help someone on IRC and you come back to it.

There, staring you in the face is "the" presentation, hidden among your ridiculously over-detailed notes, trying to push through the mess with a simple, clear, straightforward narrative, something that needs to be said.  You can suddenly see the underlying ideas that made the whole set of comments feel necessary, and now you know you need to toss out everything you have... but the message has finally shown up, and thus all is right in the world.

I *love* that moment.


  1. Peter Shinners

    Peter Shinners on 02/14/2010 11:16 a.m. #

    I completely agree. Unfortunately, the next phase involves a bunch of second guessing and doubt. :-)

    The next great moment comes when you get everything down to the required time. I did a trial run of my session at work last week. The stopwatch said "25:05" when I pressed stop. Victory!

    Although, now I'm busy changing everything around again. And tightening up the graphics on level 3.

  2. Paper Bag

    Paper Bag on 02/14/2010 12:44 p.m. #

    Is there going to be anything 3D related this year?

  3. Mike Fletcher

    Mike Fletcher on 02/14/2010 6:18 p.m. #

    Ah, the great advantage of being an arrogant so-and-so, can just skip all that :) .

  4. Mike Fletcher

    Mike Fletcher on 02/14/2010 6:21 p.m. #

    At PyCon, I'm hoping so, but not likely in my talk. Doesn't really fit with the "topics to keep you up all night" meta-topic. At the least, I'll be spending a day on PyOpenGL during the sprints, but I'd love to work on a game, or help someone with their 3D library, or do a few informal classes on OpenGL in the open spaces if people are interested.

  5. Peter Shinners

    Peter Shinners on 02/14/2010 6:49 p.m. #

    Add my name to the 'interested' column.

  6. Jack Diederich

    Jack Diederich on 02/14/2010 9:34 p.m. #

    Unfortunately it isn't a single moment. Once you find an interesting narrative is easy to find a similar but new one. And another, and so on. Not to mention different audiences view things differently: at PyCon you are best off explaining why "thing X" is cool but a local user group wants someone to tell them that "thing X" exists (new knowledge of its existence is cool by itself).

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