TEDx time in Fort McMurray


I get the sense that the TEDxFortMcMurray presenters are sharing a common experience, one of feeling a stunning mixture of nervousness, excitement, and determination.  We went through a dress rehearsal on the weekend, an opportunity to get familiar with the space and technology at the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts.

To be honest, I was relatively calm heading into the run through of my presentation, until two small technical glitches decided to put me to the test.

Time is a critical component of a TEDx talk and we are strictly limited to no more than 18 minutes.  As I launched into My Social Media Timeline presentation, I glanced down at the countdown clock to see 00:00:00.  They had forgotten to turn it on.  So, I just marched on, losing all concept of time, my only comfort being the fact that if I kept on pace I should be close.  The other small glitch revealed itself four sentences into my story as my voice suddenly boomed through the entire space; my microphone had not been switched on.

The small technical or physical things beyond our control often have the capacity to put a wrench in the works.  A number of years ago, Kenny Jones and I were on stage doing The Zoo Story at a cute little venue at the Redpoll Centre during the interPLAY Festival.  I knew something had gone wrong during that final run of the show, but couldn't put my finger on exactly what had happened.  It hit me hours later that during a particular scene, a black masking sheet which had been affixed to the wall had fallen, a tiny ripple in my peripheral vision, but enough to cause a slight line error that resulted in us skipping a couple pages of dialogue.

The organizers of TEDxFortMcMurray, who have all done a stellar job in putting this together, graciously videotaped our dress rehearsal presentations and gave us a copy to review.  It turns out that despite being chronologically lost at sea, I timed out at just a few second over 18 minutes.
producer Chris McIntosh and his team for posting on the TEDxFortMcMurray website and YouTube.  They will also be sent to the TED mother ship for possible posting (though no promises) on their website.  That would be the holy grail in terms of reaching a global audience.

I've spent the last few days reviewing the images that I use in my prezi (presentation) to ensure that there are no copyright issues.  I was completely successful until I got to the picture of the Slave Lake Town Hall and Library on fire during their catastrophic event last May.  No matter where I looked and who I asked I was coming up empty.  So, finally I decided to email Slave Lake Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee, the leader who was remarkably stoic as much of her community burned to the ground.  Karina came through with permission to use a number of images they owned.  Ironically, the one that I had scooped off the Internet was one of theirs, which means I'm good to go.

I'm looking forward to watching the presentations from my colleagues, as the brief preview I saw on the weekend was pretty impressive.  Thank you and congratulations to the Leadership Wood Buffalo case study group (Matt, Michelle, Gaurav, Karen, and Jude) who put this together with a dedicated group of community volunteers.  We owe you a debt of thanks.


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