I took my hurricane presentation up to the American Radio Relay League this afternoon. The ARRL is the ‘mothership’ for ham radio in America. It’s located into Newington, under an hour north of the house.
I don’t want to do it too often, but I enjoy the opportunity to present before a live audience. The response is totally different than what you get on TV (obviously).
I have certain expectations. There are times when I hope for laughs, other times when I’m looking for attentive silence. Much of what I do is similar each time. The reaction isn’t always the same.
I used to find that puzzling. What I’ve come to realize is, audiences are different. That’s especially true with school audiences. There is an institutional personality that can guide everyone in the room to conform. That’s bad much more often than it’s good.
Today’s audience was very attentive and kind in their response. A friend in the audience commented later that my presentation didn’t have a tidy conclusion and payoff.
Unfortunately, he’s right. My subject is hurricanes and New England. There’s no neat payoff because a major hurricane up here (ala 1938) would be catastrophic. We’re not prepared in any sense of the word.
My story asks lots of questions but offers few answers.