Despite not being home all day, I was actually more productive regarding the panel today than I was yesterday. How so, you ask? On my way to Newington today, I essentially recited most of the presentation to myself, out loud, in the car. After the first sentence or two, where I think my mind had to convince myself that the good of actually practicing verbally would outweigh the “God this is silly” feeling of literally talking to myself, it was surprisingly easy to get maybe 4/5 of the way through the presentation while on the highway. I’m not exactly sure what that means time-wise, and I don’t have the videos done yet anyway (That’s an ongoing quest), but it did feel good to begin practicing, in a sense. I’ve decided that, while the panel may well end badly, it will not do so because of a lack of preparation on my part.
What did I do well from what I could tell? There was a minimum of “audible hesitations”–in other words, I did very little, if any, “um”ing or “ah”ing. My main area for improvement is almost certainly flow. While occasionally pausing, especially at the end of making a major point, is actually a positive thing (It gives the audience time to digest what they’ve heard, as well as giving you time to collect your thoughts, glance down at your notes, etc), my subjective opinion was that I was pausing for what seemed like forever after just about every sentence. While I don’t want one long run-on sentence, right now I think I’m going too far in the other direction. We’ll see once I actually solidify things a bit more, though. There were also one or two times when I started speaking, realized “Crap, I forgot something major”, and had to basically start over again, but I’m, for the moment, not super concerned about that–familiarity with my major points will come with actually doing this more in an environment a bit more conducive to practice than my car.