My first business trip has been exhausting. In the days leading up to this trip, I was excited. I’ve never visited North Carolina, and I’ve heard from one friend in particular who loved living in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. I had hoped to see some of the sights and experience some of the local culture. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time for any of that. Each night I worked into the wee hours of the morning on the slides for our training sessions.
When setting out on the project to proofread and provide input on the slides used in our training sessions, I never expected for it to take as long as it did. The presentation still needs work, but the concensus seems to be that my changes have done much to help the overall performance as it were. Good thing, too; we really wanted to come out to North Carolina and impress our long-distance co-workers. Hopefully we didn’t entirely miss the mark.
During my first week at Qualcomm—only two weeks ago!—I attended the training session which I am now helping to deliver. Immediately, I formed a vision of what I thought would be the “perfect” presentation. Much of what I feel a presentation should be came from a talk I attended last August, given by Damian Conway. He was so dynamic and entertaining, yet informative at the same time. Incidently, Damian was in town to present a couple of his talks at Qualcomm, to the very people who are now my co-workers. With that in mind, I set out to redesign our presentation.
It was a lot of work.
It’s still not perfect.
In truth, I doubt it will ever be, no matter how much effort I expend. There will always be a detail to polish or an aside to add. That is part of what makes it fun.
The rest of what makes it fun is the performance. I only presented one-sixth of the slides to the attendees, but I feel I made it as dynamic, entertaining, and informative as possible with as little preparation—and as little sleep—as I had. I even have an entire page of notes, took during the performance, detailing ways to improve the presentation.
Unfortunately, I won’t be applying any of my ideas to the presentation prior to our next performance, which happens to be tomorrow. I’m far too tired to do it right, and I don’t want to surprise the rest of my team. No, I’ll just create a snapshot of this presentation, post it on our wiki, and save the improvements for another time and place.
Tonight we were treated to dinner at
Neo China in Cary, a short drive from the facility at RTP. The food wasn’t very good. At least, I didn’t care for it; but, I wasn’t very hungry. I had asked if it was family style, as Chinese restaurants tend to be, and was told it wasn’t. The waitress even took all of our orders individually. Well, it turned out to be family style, and the large plate of orange chicken I ordered mostly went to waste. I seem to have made the mistake of eating some of the charred orange peel that was mixed in with the chicken; at least, I think that’s what I ate. I have a short list of restaurants recommended to me by friends who have lived here in the past, but it seems these will have to wait until I return some day.
I am looking forward to getting a full night of sleep tonight, and to returning home tomorrow. I won’t set foot inside my house until 10:30 p.m., but it will be good to see my wife, my cats, and my own bed again.