You must eat to live, not live to eat – A famous line attributed to socrates
If you want to make a big impact during a talk at a conference and you want that to be remembered by people, then choose to have a chiasmus. It is said that every presidential candidate of USA goes through the rigour of choosing the right chiasmus that will help them win.
I went through this talk from Mark Forsyth who researches words, it is a nice watch and shows speeches still matters in a lot of things.
While playing cricket, it takes some time to get settled into the rhythm of the game and play well as a batsman. One thing I noticed while playing is, as long as I concentrate on my game I continue playing well. The moment I admire my own shot or think that I did better than what I expected, I lose concentration and the performance dips. This was not only evident in cricket, it was more pronounced when I showed up on stage plays at school, it is imperative that I remain focussed till the end of the event.
This began to worry me when presenting to a large audience because I used to feel good that if first part of my presentation went on fine and I would lose focus for few moments before I regain it. Presentations unlike writing takes a lot of preparation and it is one time write only style of delivery. The focus for a presentation should be being present for the entire duration however the presentation turns out to be.
Q. How to stay away from analysis, course correction or recovery thoughts while presenting?
A. Think of worst case scenario – the worst possible thing that can happen is that the presentation can go bad. This will bring focus onto delivering the presentation than analyzing it midway.
Q. What about recoveries from failure? Should not I be prepared for it?
A. Garr Reynolds in his book Presentation Zen talks about how connected we should be with the subject we are talking about, such that we can weave a story around the topic we want to deliver and be able to deliver the talk even without the slides.
Q. How do I know the pulse of the audience?
A. It is better to do some homework about the audience we are delivering the talk to if we are new to presenting than to try to get the pulse of audience during the talk.
Q. How do I get to think about my talk or admire it?
A. Someone in the audience should record it for us to help us retrospect our talk.
I got a forward from one of my peers a month ago. Even though the video is just an hour long I was putting this away for a weekend. After watching this video I realized that I made a mistake of putting this away for a long time. This talk definitely made me think every problem differently. Bret Victor has also come up with reactive documents, he believes that most of what we do with computers were designed to be done on paper and we are not using the power of electronics.
Some of the quotes I captured from the talk in my own words.
When you have to compile, run and see what you have built chances are high that you won’t discover that a shimmering effect can be provided by just changing the radius of a circle.
If the feedback loop is longer; thinking something and seeing it much later does not bring any connection.
If creater needs to know about time, then need to know how to control time.
When we write program for the computer to do, why are we simulating in the head what a computer should do; instead ask the computer to do.
The languages were designed when there was batching through punched cards. No one wrote a program and was able to immediately see the output.
Ideas are precious, seeing an idea die hurts
One of my peers sent the following to my team as his take away from the talk.
Injustice, responsibility, moral wrong.. these are not the words we normally hear in technical field. We hear these in association with social causes. So things like censorship, gender discrimination, environmental destruction.. we all recognize these things as moral wrong. Most of us won’t see a civil rights violation and think that it is an opportunity. I hope not. Instead, we have been fortunate to have people throughout history who recognize these social wrongs and sought as their responsibility to address them. So this activist lifestyle where a person dedicates themselves to fighting for a cause they believe in. And the purpose of this talk is to tell you that activist lifestyle is not just for social issues. As a technologist, you can recognize wrong in the world. You can have a vision of a better world to be. You can dedicate yourself to fight for that principle. Social activist fight typically by organizing, you can fight by inventing.