Murphy’s Law will win 1000% of the time. This so-called Murphy’s Law (http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-true.html), of course, famously states that if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. My question is, “Why does this seem to happen during presentations?”
I was asked to present on some of our technology to the Home & School Association last night. I wanted to touch on what we’re doing with iPads and SMART Student Response Systems. Now, for whatever reason, I’m fine when you put me in front of kids; put me in front of adults and I get a bit jittery. No, it wasn’t the Mountain Dew working, for whatever reason, it harkens back to my high school days and having to present a report or project in front of my peers. Nevermind that I served two years as president of my fraternity (Kappa Kappa Psi) in college, even running a committee at one of our conventions. Maybe it was college. I don’t know. But for whatever reason, put me in front of parents and I get a bit nervous.
Plan and practice is the mantra for presentations, right? After deciding I was going to touch on the Nearpod iPad app and QR codes, I decided to test the SMART student response system with my fourth grade class. It worked fine; like a champ! “Alright, I got this!” 30 minutes before my presentation, I grab a few clickers and test it again. “Yes, still works! No problem!” Presentation time. Boom.
-Internet filter times out and I have to log back in
-Had to compensate for presenting computer AND iPad, so I had to swap cables (I had actually planned for this, but somehow, something became out of order and I had to cut something out)
-“SMART response cannot find Deissler class.”
So of course, we need to pause, our principal takes over and continues the meeting. I start tinkering around. After several close outs, restarts, this, that, and the third, I finally got it. I don’t think the transponder was transponding. It made me think of Back to the Future (one of those classic movies that the wife always knows to leave on when we come across it on TV), when Marty McFly is checking his time circuits and checks to make sure the Flux Capacitor is fluxing. Random things strike my mind sometimes to keep me calm.
I know that technology has it quirks, and I do expect something to go wrong every time. But what I LOVE is that feeling of exuberance when you finally figure things out; when everything clicks. It makes me feel like a kid again. Both arms are usually thrown up in the air in joy, a smile grins from ear to ear…I obviously couldn’t do that last night in the middle of our principal’s presentation, but that giddiness was there. Parents were able to participate and they were even kind enough to give me compliments after the meeting. Even though they were gracious enough to do that, and I held my composure through it all, I was furious with my presentation. Being able to be an effective presenter is a gift that I obviously need more practice for…and apparently prayers to the technology gods.