(Sorry for the gender-specific language; this is one of those words for which a suitably resonant and evocative equivalent hasn’t come to my attention.)
I’ve been laboring (some would say, “obsessing”) over the details of my upcoming presentations to the clergy conference. I’d rather not work from a verbatim manuscript; that’s partly because the occasion befits something a shade more relaxed, and partly because I have a hard time not pitching such compositions to a more technical readership. I keep feeling tempted to put in more footnotes and nuances, where the setting calls for more exposition and explanation. And when it comes to conference-presenting ex tempore, I have not been satisfied with my results.
So I’m trying to get the presentation onto 5×8 notecards, with a lead-in sentence, reminders of pertinent stuff to say, and a closing sentence. My rationale for preparing so detailed a schema rests on (a) my proclivity to divagate and lose focus, (2) the high valuation I put on transitions and continuity, and (iii) the importance of strong, clear, explicit thesis sentences for an audience to orient itself. This approach also affords me leeway conveniently to build paragraphs out-of-sequence for different topics when I’m getting stuck on one line of thought. Plus, using notecards offers an opportunity to use my pens, which by their design and functioning remind me of the value of my craft.
We’ll see how this all works out.

2 thoughts on “Craftsmanship

  1. Okay, I’m giggling at (a), (2), and (iii). Wonderful!

    I mourn the advancing arthritis (and other pains) in my hands. I used to write a letter – as in, writing longhand, addressing an envelope, and placing it in a mailbox – to my fiance in Canada at least once a week. We had a fun tradition of when one of us was traveling, we’d write a letter every day of the trip. I can barely write enough to fill one side of a greeting card now, without the owies. I’ve been itching for an occasion to pull out the Waterman fountain pen I bought when I worked in a stationery store during college; you know, before they were all replaced with big box office supply stores. I even have ink for it *in a bottle.* Some days, it bites to be decrepit before I’m even pushing forty.

    That whined, I like your plan for the presentation. It sounds smart, flexible, and fluid. Hope it goes well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *