Should I do a Presentation @ 2008?

This is a question I have been asking myself a bit over the last week or so, ever since I learned the call for presentations was open. I am leaning more towards not. My reasons are pretty simple. Here they are in no particular order:

The first issue is pretty easily dealt with, I just need to think harder. The second problem involves a sub $100 investment. It is the last problem that worries me.

I did a presentation at LCA in Dunedin in 2006. I had my slides ready to go, I had my demo ready to go, I had my example links ready to go, I had my speaking notes ready to go, I even got to the room about 15 mins early. I hooked my laptop up and it wouldn’t work with the projector, I tried a few things (mostly xorg.conf hacks), still nothing. My talk was due to start in a few minutes and I still had no picture, by now I had a few people helping, but to no avail. Almost 10mins after the start time I had a borrowed laptop up and running, but it wouldn’t mount my USB key. I borrowed a USB hard drive and copied the files over. 15mins after starting time, I was ready to go. I still didn’t have my demo available (which was on my laptop) and I couldn’t easily pull up the links.

The me talking part of my talk lasted about 30 mins and I felt like I was dying from start to finish. I was pretty relived by the end of it. I think at least half the audience wished they went to Tridge’s talk.

If I do change my mind about speaking at LCA in 2008, the 3 things I will do differently are:

  • Test my laptop during the miniconfs to make sure it will work
  • Have a backup laptop arranged before the start time of my talk and test it
  • Have multiple copies of my slides on paper, just in case the projector doesn’t work

Either way I should be attending LCA next year, especially as it in my home town.

Update 2020: Removed broken links.