Big day today. We’re demoing our project for the first time to the whole company, and I get to be the one up on the podium talking to everyone. Five demos throughout the day to something like 200+ people per sitting. It’ll be the most people I’ve talked in front of since the Lean Startup conference.
I’ve spent about 3 weeks preparing a 10 minute talk. I’d made a whole presentation, rehearsed it by myself, and then Tuesday, gave it for the first time to a test audience. And it was terrible. That night, I decided that it wasn’t just a matter of tweaks, it was structurally “wrong”. I’d tried to give it a theme by working in our proposed name for the project & the meaning behind the name, but it was too fiddly, and the presentation in general got lost in the details.
One of the problems I have with things like this is that I find it really difficult to move away from the details, and get to the higher-level overview of what we’re doing. The demo, after all, isn’t for experts in the field, it’s for people who’ll be seeing this for the very first time. They don’t need to know the details because it’ll be impossible for them to understand. They just need the high-level overview.
So I redid the entire presentation Tuesday night in almost a stream-of-consciousness way, reusing as much as I could from the original presentation, and decided that for the demo, we’re going to pull a volunteer from the audience – which might be incredibly stupid, but in rehearsal yesterday, with a volunteer who’d never seen what we’re doing, it went great.
Today’s the day, then. I tried going to sleep at 9:45. Didn’t fall asleep until well after midnight. Woke up at 4:30 when one of the kids shot out of their room to use the bathroom, and I guess I’ll just ride that awakeness ’til the first demo at 7, and hope I don’t fall asleep before we’re done at 6:30 tonight.