Saturday, August 15, 2009
How many of you have engaged in public speaking? You know, making a presentation to a large group of strangers. Did you ever have a nightmare about how things could go wrong?
This past Tuesday, my nightmare came true.
This past Tuesday I was invited to speak to the executive board of the Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC). MASC represents all of the secondary schools in the state. Every year they choose a single charity to raise funds for. The amount they raise varies from year to year but is quite substantial.
In order to keep my talk from being too "dry," I thought I would interview the parent of one of my patients. I asked her what it was like to be the mother of a child with cancer. I taped her son, who is VERY cute. Then, I created a powerpoint presentation that alternated informative slides about our Sarcoma Program with clips of L and his mother.
The night before the presentation, I spent hours making sure the embedded movies played flawlessly. But I went to bed sure something wouldn't work.
Sure enough, when it was my turn to speak, the first slide with a movie in it came up.... blank.
Not even audio.
I tried to rescue the moment: "I know why it's not working! You're using a Mac to project the presentation. Hi, my name is David, and I'm a PC." At least that got the kids laughing.
Thankfully, some nightmares have a happy ending. The student running the Mac was able to show my movie clips, just not as an integrated part of the presentation. When I was done, the kids asked several insightful questions. And then, later that evening, we got the call.
The Johns Hopkins Sarcoma Program was chosen to be the designated group to be supported by MASC.
If anyone from MASC reads this, I just want to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart. It means a lot to me, and even more to the patients we care for, to know that you will be out there all year, spreading awareness and raising funds to help. I can't thank you enough.