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Toni Talks about PT Today

The Presentation

Published August 17, 2010 10:28 AM by Toni Patt

This Saturday I will be giving my presentation on hemiplegic gait as part of the southeast district summer continuing education program. I, along with two other speakers, will spend the day talking about gait. I will be speaking for the bulk of the program on normal and hemiplegic gait. Up until a few days ago I thought there would be nothing to it. Write some slides. Type them into a Power Point presentation. Stand up in front of people and explain what the slides mean. Simple.

Well, actually not so simple. As soon as I turned in the final draft for the handout I started having doubts. Instead of being confident I started questioning if I even knew what I was talking about. What if I don't have enough material? What if I have too much? What if it's too simplistic? What if it's too esoteric? What do I think I'm doing?

Teaching continuing education courses is something I've wanted to do for a long time. This is the first opportunity that's presented itself. This is also the first time I felt confident that I knew enough to have something to offer. I hate going to a CEU class where I know more than the instructor. I'm afraid that's going to happen. Only in this case, everyone will know more than the instructor.

I even had to go shopping. I live in scrubs and jeans. Neither is acceptable attire for presenting. At least I had an idea of what to buy - the same thing everyone else wears when speaking. Finding such an outfit turned out to be almost as great a challenge as writing the presentation. Who knew last weekend was the tax-free weekend? I managed to miss the crowd but all of the stores looked like a herd of wild horses raced through them. At least the lines were short.

How difficult can this really be? I teach neuro stuff all the time. Sometimes people even listen to me. I need to ask myself what I am really worried about. It's probably the perfectionist in me coming out. I want things to go well. I want to know my material and sound confident. I want to feel like I'm presenting useful information. And I absolutely want no technical difficulties. God forbid they hand me one of those clickers. I tried that once. I kept hitting the button accidently and getting ahead on the slides. Someone manually advanced the presentation for me. Technically competent I am not.

I keep telling myself I'm going to have fun with this. Everything is going to be relatively smooth. Please let there be a Starbucks close by. I will definitely need caffeine for this. Even as I worry I'm already thinking of additional topics I feel comfortable with. The neuroanatomy class I just finished was fascinating. That is one topic very helpful to know but hard to find. I don't think I'd be so anxious with that topic. I doubt I would have any neuroanatomy experts at the lecture.


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