Thursday, April 10, 2008

Should I get a co-presenter?

If you really want to present but aren't sure if you are ready to carry the burden alone, or believe that the reputation of your potential co-presenter may help you get on the roster, should you look for a co-presenter? Maybe. There are pros and cons for a co-presenter:

  • Reputation of the co-presenter may help you get a conference slot
  • Provided that your co-presenter is more experienced, you can get some mentorship
  • Is this truly a partnership? Have you worked on this thesis together? If so, you should share
  • Is this a co-presenter topic or is it all yours? If it is all yours, you should do your best to become the evangelist for your own ideas
  • Speaking as a practiced blowhard, the more experience you have, sometimes the more right you feel to dominate. I mean: will your more experienced co-presenter steal the show and make you look like a Rosencrantz to his Hamlet? I also may not be able to help it: with my co-presenter whining about how terrified she is, it just makes me all momma-bear maternal and junk.
I would, however, not decide to get a co-presenter as a way to bolster your own courage. If you think the lions are going to eat you, you need to figure out how to transform them into lambs. You do not want to be perceived as the weak link in your presentation, since this will make it difficult to capitalize on the triumph of the presentation. If courage is the issue, there are other ways to get some...and I don't mean Dutch courage. That could lead to a whole 'nother issue.

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