I woke up at 6:30 this morning and realized I had to give a 30-minute presentation to the company at noon, introducing myself to the entire gang. I was gunning for a largely visual deck and had flagged a number of photos in Aperture for this purpose, but I hadn’t even started assembling the presentation in Keynote.
It was definitely a cram and I think I pulled it off, but I did learn a thing or two about narration. If you introduce a character, say a car named the “Green Dragon Wagon”, your audience will become confused and uncomfortable when you replace it, unannounced, with a silver Subaru. Then, your audience will become downright hostile if you present a photo of an old pickup truck, unintentionally suggesting that this is your car, with nary a mention as to what happened to the Dragon or the Subaru.
You see, people interpret and grow attached to things, be they rhetorical conveyances or characters in a narrative. If you unintentionally toy with their emotions by flippantly dismissing or substituting these characters, they’ll call you on it. If they like you. If they don’t like you they’ll silently judge you for it, for the rest of their lives.
Also, in wrapping up my presentation I described to the company our concept work for Dane and James’ Lost Dreams, which is, for those who have forgotten, what you get when you combine a cruise ship with a roller coaster (you get Awesome, with a capital AWE). Yes, Dane and James’ Lost Dreams is a true work of user-centered brilliance, a cruise ship designed for the type of person that is most often attracted to cruise ships in the first place: chiefly, people who wear faded black Harley Davidson shirts with the sleeves cut off. Upon reflection, I wish Andrew could have been there for the “sharing out” of this, given his career history. Even so, we got some largely positive feedback on our work:
“Are you insane?!”
Probably. They’ve got eight more weeks of this, and they don’t even know the half of it yet.