Here I am obsessively compulsively adjusting the projector....
photo: ©Bill Woodhull 2014
I was the keynote speaker for the Texas Association of Photographic Instructors and I took my job very seriously. I spent a couple of days editing down images to show and I wrote two complete, and completely different 40 minutes speeches. I showed the first one to my son, Ben, and asked for a critique. With brutal honesty he let me know that the first script might cause high school students (of which there were about 300) to run screaming from the building in the first three minutes. Asked why he went on a riff about narcissism, self aggrandizement and the unassailable fact that 58 years old of any ilk should never reference rappers in a presentation. To anyone.
I changed to plan B which was a heart felt script entitled: The Golden Age of Photography is Right Now. There wasn't a single reference to my work and few references to my career. No rappers. No jokes and, as prescribed by Ben the word "cool" was expunged in over 23 places.
At the end of the presentation I got a standing ovation from the kids at Frisco High School who were brilliant and incredibly motivated. Go Frisco!!! The rest of the kids applauded vigorously----but from a seated position.
At the end of the presentation we called for questions and opened the floor to "selfies" on stage with the speaker. I now have many new followers on Twitter. #vizsciencelab
The teachers were incredibly welcoming and obviously dedicated. I am less worried about the future of photography with such steady hands on the helm. The entire afternoon of workshops, contest and portfolio reviews in the conference rooms of the state capitol building was great.
In order to true new stuff I left the car in the driveway today and road the #30 bus from my neighborhood to the capitol. It was a great experience and one that I'll do again. Saved me between $12 and $18 for downtown parking. I got to do some work on the speech while someone else did the driving.
Finally, I want to say how much I appreciated VSL regular, Frank, for taking time from his schedule to come and listen to my speech. I felt better with a friendly face in the audience. Thanks.
Also thanks to my long suffering wife who also came out on a frigid friday just to watch me talk. Like she doesn't hear enough at home. But seriously, it was nice. The kid, of course, was nowhere to be found. But that's okay, now I don't have to sit through the post mortem critique.
I wanted to go out with the instructors and have dinner and drinks but sadly I have to be on the road to San Antonio tomorrow where I have a full day of photographing in a luxury high rise. I'll be on the road at 5:30am. No party for me tonight.
Just thought I'd wrap up the loose ends on the whole "public speaking" thing. Good night.