It's been a very audience-focused week. Monday I spent the entire day in a training session on giving presentations at conferences. The instructor kindly declined my description of myself as a 'weirdo' for enjoying opportunities to give a presentation, but did agree that it made me a bit of a rarity in her sessions. And what a day! Loads of fantastic advice and really useful feedback for all kinds of situations involving speaking to people you don't know terribly well.
Then Wednesday we had an internal presentation by our resident graphic and brand designer, Kristina Langhein. I half-knew, half-trusted that she did good work, but I had no idea how good. Wow. She's done some really lovely and thoughtful stuff over the years.
Now, I can give presentations. I can talk for England. I can even do a lot of the conceptual work involved in things like brand design. But if you want to see my weakness, ask me to do graphic design. I tried putting together a one-page invitation to my birthday dinner. Copied-and-pasted photo: check. Event information, centred, each piece of information on its own line, in a readable font? Check. I then sat there staring at the page for a good ten minutes, trying to think of anything at all to make it look more like an invitation and less like a picture perched on top of some text. After ten minutes I gave up and sent it out.
My lack of skills don't bode well for any future posters I might have to create. Then again, I do sit next to a brilliant designer. And she likes dark chocolate. Hm...