Sunday, August 12, 2007

my first-ever presentation at WFD

It was like a wedding - six or seven months in preparation on top of the 24/7 job, the winter blahs. I had all the research together from back in 2002 from my master's dissertation but needed to add the new information about the new UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (2007). It was no fun cramming a 50 page dissertation into a 10 minute 17 slide lecture. I basically decided to keep it along the message of empowering deaf people and those with disabilities worldwide by recommending current national legislation include rights to education and job training, acknowledgement of sign language and so on, or include them in a developing legislation.

I finally polished my slide with help of Debra the day before and had it downloaded into the central computer. Should be smooth sailing, no?

Some lessons learned - my bit of arrogance that things will go fine no matter how many times I'd run this through my head. I'd been knocked down by a virus laying dormant in my throat that would reappear no thanks to an uncomfortable overseas flight from New York to Madrid so I was pretty much flat on my ass and a nervous wreck for three days before my presentation. I didn't time myself on the slides - I'd done one too many tours and presentations at the MET between 45 minutes and one hour.

Seems the lady who ran this particular commission that I'm part of, her clock was several minutes ahead of mine, so I started late and ended on the dot by a hair. There was confusion between myself and the interpreters since we communicated through the commission. Quite a few minutes were spent on myself and the terps wrangling out the correct way to communicate. I relinquished control of my slides (gave it to the lady) and had to stand for the camera for international signing because there wasn't an ASL interpreter for me. So I did my best in my very bad and rusty international sign.

It didn't hit me until later that the previous WFD in Montreal used American Sign Language and Quebec Sign Language because the deaf Canadians used ASL. the Spanish used only Spanish sign language. the official spoken and written language were Spanish and English, like the French and English in Montreal. D'oh!

I was halfway through my presentation until this lady, told me time is up and tapped her watch. I pleaded for more time to finish, but she continued with her frozen smile and tapping on her watch. I'm like OK, OK, go on to the last slide. She refused. I'm like, go to the goddamn fucking last slide so I can wrap up. She refused. God. I went ahead and wrapped it best as I could.

Do practice time with slides.
Do plan to have an ASL interpreter if you did not make time to rehearse in International Sign
Get a remote control for slides.


Post a Comment

<< Home