Monday, April 16, 2007

and if that doesn't work, imagine them naked

I sometimes think about returning to the US, but I’ve gotten awfully attached to living in a free country: and I’m not sure America is a free country anymore.

A friend of mine made that remark about a year ago. He's a Far Rockaway boy, from Queens, who moved to the UK many years ago. He made the comment in passing and it’s stuck with me since. At the time not so many Americans would have agreed with him, although I think in the last year that's changed a bit. But I still don’t think that’ll be enough to bring him back.

I pinged him today because he used to teach at Virginia Tech and the news coming out of there was so bad that I was concerned some of his old colleagues or friends may have been impacted. Fortunately, no.

While I had him close I asked him one last thing, because he’s the best lecturer I’ve ever heard – he has a brilliant far-ranging mind that one reviewer likened to “Umberto Eco on speed” – and I’ve been buried in preparations for four different presentations that I'm on the hook for in the next week.

The request: One line of advice about public speaking.

The response:
Never assume that the audience knows more than you about your topic.

It works both ways: It prevents you from being intimidated and from being arrogant.

And now it’s yours to keep as well.

But I’m going to keep his good luck wishes for myself -- 'cause I need all I can get right now.


anniemcq said...

Good luck on your presentations, D. I'll be thinking of you this week. That's great advice from your friend.

Mikkel said...

Someone on the news called it "the worst campus shooting we've seen", as in: This happens from time to time here. Campus shootings. We have a recurring campus shooting problem. I find it sad, and also very strange, because we don't have many of those over here in the other countries.

suttonhoo said...

the NYT even published a piece on "Major Fatal Campus Shootings" concurrently with the breaking news.

like a ticker.

Related Posts with Thumbnails