Last week I received an e-mail from commenter Terry Moran, also know as Twemoran or TerryM. In the past couple of weeks he has been working on a talk called The Demise of Arctic Sea Ice that he recently held for a small audience in Canada (here is the original presentation on Google Docs, and here is a modified version). Here's the text he sent me, I will add
some of my thoughts below:
On May 4th I gave a presentation (linked above) to a group of not particularly concerned Mensans at the Canadian Mensa Annual Gathering in Niagara Falls. The response exceeded my wildest expectations so I'm providing the Google Presentation and notes that I worked from to others who may have the opportunity to address other groups. One of the offshoots has been that I've been asked to provide a video of the talk for an educational group that works with Canada's First Nation peoples.
I'd ask anyone making use of this for a presentation to provide us with a copy of the alterations made & feedback on how the presentation was received. I'd also ask that mention be made of at least one on Neven's Arctic Sea Ice sites.
Those that actually did all the work of making the graphs and charts used have given their permission to use their work usually with the assumption that the useage will be in a not for profit setting and of course that credit be given during the talk.
This is the presentation as delivered. It might be noted that I had no prior experience with any of the Powerpoint type of programs & that I chose the Google version simply because it's free. In the second link I've added notes in blue that I made the day following the talk & the second Presentation shows the changes as I've made them.
A few paragraphs about how this started and my hopes for it going forward:
About 6 months ago I was charged with finding speakers willing to address our annual gathering. We have a strong tradition of not paying for speakers and whether it was this policy, my own ineptitude at finding speakers or Stephen Harper's policy of silencing climate scientists, the result was that I couldn't come up with anyone willing to speak about the demise of our Arctic Sea Ice. My wife finally convinced me that I could do the job myself despite my lack of experience. I mentioned at one of Neven's sites that I was putting together a presentation and asked for help and advice. OldLeatherneck it seems has recently retired from a position in which he prepared Powerpoint Presentations for one of the Fortune 500 companies. He is responsible for much that is good in the product as given. Upon hearing of my plight he offered assistance & his help in both working up the presentation and the advice he gave me prior to the talk was invaluable. He acted as a collaborator, a mentor and a coach. If anyone should contemplate making use of this I can't recommend asking his advice too strongly.
My hope is that the posters here can modify the presentation as given in two distinct ways.
1st is to improve the slides and notes to better tell the story we're all eager to tell. The original was roughly divided into 3 sections, An Introduction intended to generate a surge of interest to keep them in their seats. The Body which ends at the slide announcing that the following is speculative and the closing where I was more concerned with things pertinent to my mainly Canadian audience. If improvements are proposed it would help to have the slide numbered so it's evident which slide should be replaced & if it's a change in the notes copying the full slide and making the changes in the note section would seem easiest to follow.
2nd As mentioned above the ending of the presentation was aimed at a Canadian audience with no special interest in the subject. When other audiences in other locals are contemplated it's assumed that this section would be rewritten. Perhaps a Google Presentation that could be appended to the body section would be a good method.
I'm not posting this as the final product but rather as a base from which to work. I think each presenter needs to have something in front of him that he's comfortable with.
It would be nice if this turned into a truly collaborative process where people could say that they're giving a presentation from work provided by the bloggers from the Arctic Sea Ice Blog and or the Arctic Sea Ice Forum. I can't believe I'm the only only one that's had problems finding speakers. In my perfect world we'd have a number of speakers in different areas that have proven (to themselves at least) that they can give the presentation & are willing to present it again to an audience of someone elses choosing. Many Universities and newspapers have speakers bureaus that groups can contact with the expectation that the speaker will arrive on time, put on a decent presentation and stay long enough to answer lingering questions. In my perfect world a person could find Neven's site, go to a thread named Speakers Bureau and find a speaker in his area that could be relied on to wow his audience with a knowledgeable talk about Arctic Sea Ice or possibly even related topics such as Sea Level Rise or changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet.
A few notes to prospective presenters:
- I'd written this with the possibility that my health would be bad and all I'd be capable of was reading the notes. As it turned out I was "on" that day, but I do think things would have turned out OK even if I had been flat. - Public speaking is not my forte & I hadn't addressed a group for decades.
- Your audience knows next to nothing about the subject - don't expect to have to answer the kind of questions that might be posed by a knowledgeable denier - be prepared but don't expect this.
- My venue had the speaker at the front of the audience, beside the screen. Try to read from the screen when possible and keep eye contact with the audience when possible (may need extra pair of eyes)
- OldLeatherneck stressed that it's important that the audience recognizes you as the authority on the subject.
- OldLeatherneck recommends practicing the presentation. I felt more comfortable reading everything as I went to give it more spontaneity.
- I answered questions as I went which stretched the presentation's time to the limit. Next time I give it I may try waiting until the questions slide appears.
- Bring your own laser pointer :-)
- Have the program on a thumb drive - don't count on an internet connection.
- My talk was to last 75 min. but because of lack of a thumb drive and an inability to crack the hotel's new password in a timely manner it probably went ~ 65 minutes.
- No one left during the talk, the room was packed with standing room only. The crowd blocked the door and the hallway. - Expect an interested crowd.
- Dressing like a prof that had gone emeritus worked for me. I seriously do think that dressing the part is important in doing something like this.
- Expect serious but simplistic questions - Someone asked how high the oceans would rise when all the floating ice melted - Wiseguy answers aren't appropriate.
- Talk to OldLeatherneck - a coach / mentor is invaluable.
I'm more than willing to talk or E-Mail anyone who has questions.
First of all I'd like to thank Terry for creating this presentation and sharing it with all of us. I think his idea of creating a template for a presentation that anyone can use, is great. Giving an Arctic sea ice talk in my local community has been on my to-do-list since last year when I wrote the Why Arctic sea ice shouldn't leave anyone cold blog post, and it would make the job a lot easier if there already was something to work with, instead of having to do it from scratch.
I don't have any experience with this kind of collaboration where a presentation is created collectively. Perhaps it would be better to create a repository of different individually created presentations. Either way, it might be interesting to discuss the various aspects of such an undertaking.
I've also opened a thread on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum to give the subject a more permanent status, and a place where eventual practicalities can be discussed.