I haven’t been around here much lately; for the last two weeks or so, basically all of my free time has been dedicated to writing, creating and assembling a presentation I have to give on campus tomorrow afternoon at 2:30. The presentation is going to cap a long day of activities – I will be interviewing for the position of director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State. I’ve been in the position on an interim basis since the middle of October, and tomorrow I get my shot to convince a screening committee to give me a crack at it permanently. To say I’m nervous is an understatement, but I know I can do well on the parts of the interview leading up to the presentation – the parade of meetings with screening committees, meetings with other administrators, meeting with the communications and marketing staff, having lunch, taking the campus tour, etc. I will do very well at that part of the day, because with two exceptions during my entire professional career I have always done very well at that part of the day.
Most of my nerves about the presentation are about actually giving it. I don’t do very much of this sort of thing, so I’m not going to be polished to start. I think I’ll finish strong, because while I am comfortable with the bulk of my presentation, I love my conclusion. I’m going to have a lot of fun with the last 15 minutes, and I think it’s going to be a hit.
One of the things I’ve struggled with this the most is not having a clear picture of what I was expected to produce. My assigned topic is vague, and is something that honestly cannot be properly addressed in a 40-minute presentation (which is about what I’m timing out at on practice runs). So I had tremendous difficulty getting an overall message crafted and assembled. Finally, I just decided I couldn’t do a straight-up classroom lecture type thing. I decided early on to take a page from Steve Jobs’ book and go very minimal with “reading slides.” I wanted visuals and images to support what I was saying, but I do not want people reading the presentation. From there, I decided to just have fun — because having fun was the only way I was going to be comfortable.
I think it’ll pay off, and I’m really looking forward to doing this tomorrow. So if you’re in Bemidji and you’re free from 2:30 – 3:30, stop by the Crying Wolf Room in the upper Hobson Memorial Union and see what I’ve got up my sleeve.