I'm gonna add to this briefly, and probably a bit less tactfully than
Jonathan :-)

   - My number-one complaint about past presentations: Don't have slides we
   can't read. "You probably can't read this, but..." isn't a helpful thing to
   hear during a presentation. Make it legible, or figure out a different way
   to present the information. A kick-ass poster or UML diagram or flowchart
   or whatever isn't kick-ass when we can't read it. It's just an
   uninformative blur.  [Note: this doesn't mean you shouldn't include the
   kick-ass poster when you upload your slides. Please do!]
   - Make sure your content fits well in the time allotted. You're not
   there to "get through as much as possible." You're there to best use our
   collective time to make the argument that what you're doing is
   important/impressive/worth knowing, and to convey *as much of the
   interesting bits as you can without rushing*. The goal isn't for you to
   get lots of words out of your mouth; the goal is for us to understand them.
   If you absolutely can't cut it down to a point where you're not rushing,
   then you haven't done the hard work of distilling out the interesting bits,
   and you should get on that right away.
   - On the flip side, don't present for 8mn and "leave plenty of time for
   questions." Odds are your'e not saying anything interesting enough to
   elicit questions in those 8 minutes. If you really only have 8mn of
   content, well, you shouldn't have proposed a talk. But odds are you *do*
   have interesting things to say, and may want to chat with your colleagues
   to figure out exactly what that is.
   - Don't make the 3.38 million messages on creating a non-threatening
   environment be for naught. Please.

As Jonathan said: this is a great, great audience. We're all forgiving,
we're all interested, we're all eager to lean new things and figure out how
to apply them to our own situations. We love to hear about your successes.
We *love* to hear about failures that include a way for us to avoid them,
and you're going to be well-received no matter what because a bunch of
people voted to hear you!

On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 10:47 AM, Jonathan Rochkind <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> We are all very excited about the conference next week, to speak to our
> peers and to hear what our peers have to say!
> I would like to suggest that those presenting be considerate to your
> audience, and actually prepare your talk in advance!
> You may think you can get away with making some slides that morning during
> someone elses talk and winging it; nobody will notice right? Or they wont'
> care if they do?
> From past years, I can say that for me at least, yeah, I can often tell
> who hasn't actually prepared their talk. And I'll consider it disrespectful
> to the time of the audience, who voted for your talk and then got on
> airplanes to come see it, and you didn't spend the time to plan it advance
> and make it as high quality for them as you could.
> I don't mean to make people nervous about public speaking. The code4lib
> audience is a very kind and generous audience, they are a good audience.
> It'll go great! Just maybe repay their generosity by actually preparing
> your talk in advance, you know?  Do your best, it'll go great!
> If you aren't sure how to do this, the one thing you can probably do to
> prepare (maybe this is obvious) is practice your presentation in advance,
> with a timer, just once.  In front of a friend or just by yourself. Did you
> finish on time, and get at least half of what was important in? Then you're
> done preparing, that was it!  Yes, if you're going to have slides, this
> means making your slides or notes/outline in advance so you can practice
> your delivery just once!
> Just practice it once in advance (even the night before, as a last
> resort!), and it'll go great!
> Jonathan

Bill Dueber
Library Systems Programmer
University of Michigan Library