Nov 19, 2007

nywc: atlanta - day five, part 1

My seminar? Thanks for asking.

Painful.

So here's the deal...

I spend all year working on this seminar... I pray on it, bounce it off people, do research, develop notes, create a power point presentation, and select appropriate media. I even get one of my good buddies to play music in the backdrop.

Then the day of the seminar I go to the speaker's lounge early and print off my notes. They somehow have a vanishing streak in the middle, which means the toner is low. So we swap it out, print it off, and I glance at the first page - looks great.

I go to the room and set up - earlier than needed. Yet for whatever reason my laptop won't project on to the screen via the projector. I call for help... it arrives, but the gentleman is as perplexed as me. We reboot the computer, and finally the Windows logo shows up on the screen. Good news... he leaves the room.

Actually, bad news. After a few moments, the screen goes to a low resolution of scattered lines. He's nowhere to be found.

"Okay," I think. "I'll just work on my flip chart stuff... wait, where's my flip chart?" Nowhere.

"Hmm," I wonder, "That's odd. Guess I'll just cue up my backuo DVD I brought with in case there was a problem." No DVD player. "Odd - I requested one."

By this point people have come in and I'm trying to be social. After a bit of this, I kick the seminar off with a story... going well... might as well turn to the next page in my notes... and... yes... while the first page has text the remaining ten pages are blank.

Blank.

Thankfully, I kept the original notes with the vanishing streak in the middle that builds into a larger wipe as each page progresses. This is fine in the early stages, but once I start reading Scripture on pages 4 and beyond I find myself guessing at words. That's never good with the Bible.

The media guy comes back in with my DVD player. He's trying to help, and I must say doing a good job at it. At this stage, though, I can't cue up the movie because the fine folks who make it put ten minutes of previews you can't fast forward over to get to the menu. "Don't worry about it," I tell him. He reboots my computer again... no victory.

Then there's the handout. Singular. I had two handouts, but only one made it. And on top of that, I didn't grab one since I figured I had my notes. Now, from memory, I am trying to give everyone the fill in the blanks.

"Ah... this is why I never use fill in the blanks when I preach," I think.

So about 2/3 of the way in, I blurt it out. "Okay, I'm sorry, guys. These are my notes (I show them) and I have no idea what I'm supposed to say next, so I'm just going to have to talk to you from my heart."

And I did. It was nice.

Only, after a while I didn't know how I was to end... I had that video clip all planned. So I say something first-year-rookie-esque like, "So, yeah... that's what I wanted to share with you." Even Forest Gump had the line, "And that's all I have to say about that." Not me... I end flat.

So I pray. Then I take some Q&A. And then we call it over.


Painful.


This is about the time that I start hearing comments. Things like, "That was so amazing!" and "This was my favorite seminar of the whole weekend!" and "YS really needs to have you back again next year!" and "Homerun, dude."

And I think..."What are you people smoking? Or was I smoking something?"

When everyone leaves I glance at the evaluations... the majority of them 10's (meaning very good) and some 8's and 9's. "Where are the 1's and 2's?" I wonder.

Ah... in my head.


Painful... just painful.


I don't know why I'm telling you this, but you can download it here.

4 comments:

Len said...

Good to hear it was in your head. This way you won't be tempted it was you that made the impact. Theologically ironic, don't you think?

Good to see you there.

veldugo01 said...

Dude!!! That happens to me every time I think my message sucks: "Man! God talked to me today... and I think the same:"What are you people smoking? Or was I smoking something?"
Maybe God works with our ego through those kinds of situations?
Bless my brotha from Dominican Republic!
Fausto

gavin richardson said...

i did some professional training for a few years. this stuff happened to me all the time. winging it became part of the norm. i think people know when you wing it you are either passionate about the message or not, and that they can get behind

Robert said...

amazing how the Holy Spirit can work despite your best laid plans seemingly gone up in smike eh brother??? lol love these kinds of stories hope you do go back lots more in years to come I miss those conventions oh the joy of being a youth worker