Thursday, April 8, 2010

Aviation Talk (Captain Doug the Orator)

One of my slides they didn't get to see:
Today, I gave a talk on aviation in front of 120 or so Oakville Probus (Pro business) members. I prepared a 15 slide PowerPoint presentation. But like any well trained pilot, I decided to bring a back up laptop just in case the group didn't have one. (A pilot must always have a plan B). I must have had an inkling things may go off the rails because an inner voice had me print a copy of a speech I presented to another group in November. It turned out I didn't need a laptop because a projector was nowhere to be found. Without either, a PowerPoint presentation is not going to happen. A big assumption on my part. I assumed a conference center would not only have a computer and screen but a projector as well. Nada. But level heads prevailed. I tried calling a local business for a quick rental, but no answer. (My talk was after their general meeting so I had 30 minutes to get back to a scheduled departure).

Decision time. I was off to my alternate. I thank my lucky stars I had printed a copy of a previous talk. The show must go on, and it did, and I think quite well. The group consisted mainly of retirees and they were very attentive. When doing a talk, a speaker can feel the crowd. These people were hanging off each word. They laughed at my jokes and asked some great questions at the end. They even appreciated my two anecdotes of the "mile high" club.
I was presented a bottle of wine plus I sold 20 books.
Like the saying goes for giving talks, writing and most things in life, "know your topic." I now realize I can talk for hours on aviation. Maybe giving more aviation talks is in the cards?


Tim said...

Sounds like you did pretty well despite the challenges! Back from BWI and all is well.


From the Flight Deck said...

Tim. That's fantastic news. Seems like a great day all round!

Jack said...

Hi Doug,

As a occasional trainer/speaker I'm familiar with the challenges you faced today. Once I had a projector (borrowed from my head office) but when I opened it, there was no power cord to be found! I guess I should have used my before-presenting checklist to inspect the contents of the case! Lots of places now have flat-panel TVs that you can hook up to as well. However, if your audience was mainly retirees, they probably wouldn't care for PowerPoint anyway. I'm sure you've read the article "Death by PowerPoint"?

You should try to get on a speaker's bureau. I know from my work experience, there are lots of opportunities for interesting speakers at conferences and other events and there are plenty of marketing and conference organizers looking for the next excellent speaker to add to their program. If you tailored your profile to include leadership as well as aviation, I'm sure you'd get lots of attention. Check out


From the Flight Deck said...

Jack. Thanks for the encouraging words. I quickly checked out the suggested website. I noticed they did not have a category for aviation nor transportation. Maybe there is a void there?

I did a talk for a Nova Scotia Safety Board convention and a year later for the New Brunswick Safety Board. I mentioned a few aviation accidents and many in the crowd did not like it. :)

I do realize many groups would love to have a speaker but can't afford it. Today, I did it for a bottle of wine and the chance to sell books. Not a big motivator - money wise.

Anonymous said...


Would you be interested in giving a talk at one of our YYC Airport Watch meetings? Normally our meetings are Saturday afternoons, right in the YYC Terminal building. Next meeting will likely be scheduled for May.

YYC Dispatcher

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC dispatcher. If I get a YYC layover then I'll give you a heads up. I don't bid for May's schedule until the third week in April. I realize it's tough to plan things with such a tight deadline.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Captain Doug!

YYC Dispatcher

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC Dispatcher. You're welcome. Captain Doug

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