"PLAN FOR WORST CASE WONKY TECHNOLOGY DISASTERS"
Are you kidding me?
This is how I felt when I realized thirty minutes before my first presentation of five that my elderly laptop (tested at home) would suddenly not hold a charge from the electrical cord and the battery was dead. Thankfully, I had Dropboxed the Powerpoint presentation to each stop on my journey in advance. But, each stop used Macs and the conversion from my PowerPoint was only about 60% correct. So...what did I do? At the first presentation, I asked the audience for patience and winged it. (Humor goes a long way.) For the remainder of the visits, I borrowed my brother-in-law's PC laptop and downloaded my Powerpoint from the jumpdrive I brought with me. This was a great solution (for me, not so sure about my brother-in-law) except that three of the four remaining visits used Mac enabled projectors so I never knew for sure if the PC laptop and Mac projectors would talk nicely to each other. I made sure to arrive at least an hour in advance of each presentation to work out the kinks. Then I crossed my fingers. And toes.
Bates Elementary School -- such a respectful audience!
I've just returned from a school and library visit trip (three elementary schools in Dexter MI and my hometown library and can truthfully say these visits are one of my favorite parts of being a children's book author. I adore seeing how our book has contributed to understanding, broadened perspectives, and encouraged questioning about the world. Yes, there have been some sleepless nights worrying about the technology (will the projector speak to the laptop? will the image on the screen project large enough for children in the back of a big room to see? will the microphone work?) and wondering about my presentation (will it engage almost 200 children ages 5-9 for an hour? can I lead a song without squeaking? will listeners leave with a greater appreciation for animals and their adaptations?). But the reactions are so worth any lack of sleep and caffeine works wonders! Stay tuned for lessons learned on the road...
Carrie Pearson is a children's book author, writer-cheerleader, and mentorship matchmaker.