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Here’s a PDF (Who Gets to Tell the Story?) of the Keynote deck I created for my presentation. The funny thing? I never used the slides.

Every time I’m on a trip, I always forget to bring something. It’s actually kind of fun to figure out what that object will be and when I’ll need it. This trip, I forgot three things. One, my glasses. Not great, but I have my contacts so I can make that work. Two, a dress shirt. This was a problem, as I had nothing but T-shirts to wear for my presentation. Who’s going to listen to a guy in a Vikings shirt? My solution was to wear my fleece sweatshirt over my T-shirt. It would have to work. The third one, though, was a real problem.

On my desk at school lies the dongle to connect my laptop to a projector. I had remembered to get one, and put it in my pile of gear to bring, but apparently didn’t do the last stop of packing it. Very strange, as I thought it was in my nest of cables I brought, for I brought every other cable with me to connect laptop, iPad, video camera – everything. I missed this one, I guess.

My workshop was early in the conference, right after the keynote speaker. This was great, for it meant some energy would be present from my audience. I found my site, and it was big; at least 150 chairs. I had no idea to judge audience size, but I was guessing the conference thought there might be interest. I started with setup, and that’s where I realized I didn’t have the dongle.

This was actually the greatest moment of my entire conference. In preparation for this conference, I went about it much differently than I normally would. Usually, with a big project, I keep a lot of details in my head, and my mind just constantly goes over every bit, large and small. This time, I took care of every detail, well in advance, as soon as I thought of it. (Except, of course, the three things I forgot). This allowed my mind to be very relaxed, open and calm during the whole process. It was different than normal, but it worked. I understand this might be obvious to many of you. But it’s a different process for me. Even if it made sense in the past, it was still hard to do in practice. Not this time.

So when it came to realizing I had no way to connect my laptop to a projector, which meant no way to use my Keynote deck, I had no reaction at all. I asked one person if they happened to have a dongle, and when they said no, I said, “Well, I’ll just have to be more interesting.”

I think I was. I did an 80 minute presentation, no slides, walking through the group and talking to people the way that has always been comfortable to me. We had laughter, and many people wanting to answer questions. Some were surprised by the information I had (one woman said, to much laughter, “You know I’m going to have to fact-check”). And I had conversations later that went well into the afternoon. I even ended the workshop with meditation; who ever does that? (That’s the blank last slide in the deck.)

Clearly, I needed to trust my presentation and not rely on the slides. But if you were in attendance or if you were not, here are the slides. Hopefully they give enough information on what I spoke about. Not everything is included, as you can only get so detailed in presenter notes. If you have more questions feel free to contact me.

If you found this site because you were at the presentation, thank you for being there and here. I hope you find this site interesting.

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