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Nadolig Cymru In Aotearoa

A teenage Welsh Christmas afternoon in New Zealand (2017).

Back In Front Of An Audience With Smelly Books

What's the cliche everyone spouts about public speaking, something about people being more stressed about public speaking than dying  and therefore they'd rather be in the box than giving the eulogy.

Not so for me, I am at home there on stage with a well prepared and rehearsed talk that interests me and I know is new, in parts, to the audience.

But it's been a while since I upped and spoke. I think it may have something to do with the last talk, an Ignite session entitled "Paul Henry Wants Me To Be Your Governor General". The talk I delivered to a packed Paramount audience however was not the one planned and rehearsed as I got out onto the skinny branches and changed it completely the morning of the event. And if you know how Ignite talks work you know that's not a normal state of affairs. All in all I didn't disgrace myself, got something off my chest and still manage to look attendees in the eye to this day.

But I took a step back from speaking.

For a bit.

aimee whitcroft (@teh_aimee) is both a force of energy to behold and a caring/sharing person that seems to want everyone to shine and blossom. She also loves nerds, geeks and everything that its in between and to that end runs nerd nite wellington (http://wellington.nerdnite.com/). Every few month or so 3 speakers get up and have up to 25 minutes ("if you're not boring") to let the audience at The Hotel Bristol (Cuba Street, Wellington) know what their passions are and why it's so interesting.

aimee finds these people by asking - usually a tweet goes out and the hands go up.

My hand went up just before Christmas with a title of, "The Glorious Smell Of Books" ... I don't know why, it came out of me before I had a chance to be introduced. By then it was time to have the Christmas/New Year holiday to end Christmas/New Year holidays (proof in colour) and all talk of nerds and nites was well and truly forgotten.

"Can  get a bit of a blurb to go with the title please?", was the reminder from aimee as 2014 started to rev it's engines and cracking into the race towards 31st December. Oh, yeah, of course, um ... how's this:
There are book smellers and those yet to admit it to themselves. With the inevitable, unceasing and inorganic move to electronic books are we going to lose a deeper connection with the words we read and the pictures we marvel at? Mike will, through that aid of smelly books, fancy diagrams and spoken words, remind you of this declining world before painting a picture of the glass and metal empire we may end up serving – hands up who smells their iPad.

Mike, vell, he’s just zis guy, you know.

Seemed to go down well. Then there was the timeline for getting the preso to aimee. Now, aimee has been doing this quite a number of times (I was part of nerd night #21) and so the instructions were fantastic ... I even gave Prezi a whirl, but gave up and went back to a 'normal' Google Slides instead.

In compiling the preso I learnt so much, especially the around the science of smells and books. It also challenged me to think hard about what the new world of electronic story telling/reading will be like and will we truly lose something or not.

Before I unleash the smelly books on you though I have to say a few words on Chris McDowall (@fogonwater) and Jules van Cruysen (@xy_eats) talks. I loved them! Chris is someone who's work I've admired and shared for quite some time and so it was a pleasure to talk with him, his new adventures (and how our paths cross) and listen to him talk, "On Delight".

Jules was brilliant and, from his "The Beer Geeks vs The Terroiriste" talk, has given me the most memorable slide of the night, "What is the difference between a wine tasting and a beer tasting?" ... ok, the answer slide was the most memorable as it garnered a massive, "Of course!" from everyone :)

I hope you get the opportunity to hear them both speak on these and other subjects at some point in the near future (not sure if their slides are available, sorry)

And so ladies and gentlemen, here's my preso.

Oh, before you begin, I'm a big one for using pictures and then talking so you may not get the most out of the slide deck itself, however scroll down and you'll see the opening slide, click on it and voila, all the slides with my notes which is almost my script - enjoy ... and of course I'd love to know what you think


Or click this opening slide below to see slides with my notes which will make much more sense:

Thanks to all that came on the nite - DO NOT miss the next nerd nite as it will involve a Kraken!

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