Epic Presentation Fail

Presenting without slides. All the kids are doing it.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, today was the day that I was scheduled to give my talk titled Signal Processing for Species Identification. And as I had also mentioned in yesterday’s post, as of last night I still had to finish said presentation.

Of course, last night was also the traditional banquet for the Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada. As with all good banquets, wine was provided on each of the tables. There may also have been a beer ticket or two in my pocket. Mix that with an excellent spread of food, and it will come as no surprise to anyone that I was stuffed, and fully one-beer-plus-some-wine buzzed by the end of the eve. As such, last night was all about celebrating statistical nerdery, spending time laughing and chatting with friends and colleagues, and doing anything but what might be interpreted as work.

Last night’s celebration also meant that my presentation wouldn’t be finished until this morning. With that in mind, I made sure that I was up at 5:30 this morning so that I could have a few hours to put towards perfecting it. For your viewing pleasure, I have embedded it below with some fancy pants HTML compu-geekery. As with most of my presentations, there is very little in the way of text, as I prefer to tell a story and use the slides as a visual aid. For a change this time around, I also opted to not use equations – no one really reads them, and I think they are more often than not distracting1.

One fish over two fish plus red fish plus blue fish. The answer is so obvious!

Anyway, flash forward to this morning at 10am when I arrived to set up2. I quickly discovered that our room lacked one major item that was crucial to my and the other presenters’ success: a computer that could be hooked up to the projector system. After a bit of running about by some volunteers, a computer was found. This of course cut into each presenter’s time, and ultimately meant that I had no time to set up. Crapshite.

What was the result of all of this?

Well, let’s just say that I wasn’t able to even use my slides. That’s right folks, I presented without my slides. Fortunately, as I mentioned previously, they were set up as a visual aid and not as the presentation. This meant that I could still tell a story without the pictures.

DNA equals fish. This makes perfect mathematical sense.

Worst presentation ever? Thankfully no – and I’ve got confirmation of this fact from Rick, Justin, and Lauren. Biased opinions perhaps? Perhaps. But, their verdict was corroborated by several other attendees of my talk. So while I was disappointed that my slides weren’t used, I was still happy with the overall result. It definitely wasn’t my best presentation, but it clearly could have been much worse.

Anyway, the SSC officially came to a close today. It was definitely a good time; I managed to visit and chat with many colleagues, sat in on some very interesting (and relevant to me) talks, and learned that I could present without the use of slides.

Not too shabby. Not too shabby indeed.

1 Okay, I lied a little. I technically had two equations in my presentation (as indicated). Best equations ever!

2 As a good little statistical presenter, I made sure to be in the room 15 minutes before the session was to begin for just this purpose.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick says:

    Mos def the best presentation ever!

    1. dangillis says:

      Thanks Rick. I appreciate it, considering the disaster that it could have been 🙂

  2. Are you lecturing in MacNaughton? Is it 100 or 105 – it’s been a while since I sat there, but I remember 1st year physics in one of those desks!

    1. dangillis says:

      That was indeed MacN 105. Good times. I had calculus 1 and 2 in this room.

  3. afnanhaq says:

    How do you put prezi’s inside articles?

    1. dangillis says:

      I’ve actually written a brief summary of it on my other blog – check it out: http://danielgillis.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/somethings-fishy-ii/

      Let me know if you need any help with it, or if you have any other questions 🙂

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