Paul’s Nine Stages of Giving a Conference Presentation


What do you mean I have to give a presentation?! I don’t have time to put this together at such short notice! I have too much other stuff on my plate!


I did one last year. Other people are covering what I’d cover anyway. This would be pointless. Redundant.


Fuck it. I’ll just do it. I’ll slap something together, I suppose.


Hey, this is coming out pretty good. I have some genuinely useful things to say and novel ways of getting them across! My jokes are funny and unexpected! My slides are pertinent without being dominant. It flows really well. People might dig this.


After seeing what the other folks have done for their presentations, it’s pretty clear mine’s substandard. They really did cover all of my material, and they did a way better job of it. Mine seems kind of sloppy and half-assed now.


Oh god, it’s going to be a disaster. They’ll see I have no idea what I’m talking about. People are going to see right through my bullshit. I’m going to be revealed as the 57-megaton bucket of fraud that I really am right in front of my colleagues. I’m going to lose all credibility. I’ll probably get fired. 


Maybe I can just skip it, offer to send a video or write a pithy blog post on the topic. I think I’m sick, it wouldn’t be right to spread whatever I’ve got to the attendees. I’m going to the hospital.


I’ve got this. I know I’ve got this. I’ve done this before, I know what I’m doing, and the presentation is just fine. People will like it and the jokes are genuinely very good. This will work. This will succeed!


I did it. It’s done. I didn’t die. It was not a total disaster, no one was hurt, but, you know, those jokes didn’t really play like I thought they would. I paced too much, and I stumbled at that one point. Oh christ, I’m just glad it’s over. I need a nap.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s