My first garden group presentation sucked
It was a fiasco. I'm totally incompatible with the Greater Rochester Perennial Society. Not only was my MacPro laptop incompatible with the projector (You'd think a bunch of gardeners would use Apples...), but I prepared the presentation in an Apple software - Keynote. It's Apple's version of Powerpoint. Well, between these two issues, I was not able to project the slideshow I'd worked on feverishly for two days onto the screen.
Despite valiant attempts by my Rochester friend, Pat P.,-- with trips to a hardware rental place (closed), a Bestbuy (couldn't help), and an Apple Store (bought an adapting cable, but it didn't work) -- I ended up setting up my laptop on a cart and using that to talk about Garden Walk Buffalo in front of around 50 members of the group. Gardeners tend to be pleasant, generous accommodating and patient souls. Well, except for me.
Once I got going and was able to tell some of the stories of some of the gardens, point out some of the unique gardens of Buffalo and was able to answer some questions, it all went well. Just without the impressive visuals. Most of the photos in the presentation were shot by Don Zinteck and really were of a great quality.
Afterwards, while they were trying to make me feel better about botching up their meeting, they said I did a good job, that I was entertaining, funny and informative. They said they usually have speakers talking about plants with bad photos and that it was good to have someone talk about the plant settings and the other aspects of gardening -- architecture, art and garden design ideas. And even small visuals of great quality were better than big visuals of poor quality.
A handful of attendees had been on the Walk and I think many more will attend this coming year. It's an easy day trip for Rochesterians (about an hour-and-a-half by car). The biggest issue may be their big plant swap, which happens the Sunday of Garden Walk Buffalo this coming year.
I raffled off a Garden Walk book. So I know at least one person in the room was grateful I had attended.
There was a small honorarium, and I would love to come back and do it again for the group at no charge, I feel like they only got to hear me talk, which is not worth the money the attendees spent on gas to get there. At the very least, you'll be able to see the presentation above in video form. Though now you get to see it without the benefit of my off-the-cuff talk, which was apparently entertaining and funny -- if I wasn't lied to.
If only one thing showed me it was a success, it was the three people that came up to me afterwards asking if I knew of any good hotels to stay in for the Walk. My recommendation is always Embassy Suites in the Avant Building. Not only are they a Garden Walk Sponsor, and the hotel that will accommodate the Garden Bloggers during next summer's meet-up, but they have some of the best views of the city, look over some Garden Walk Gardens and are basically across the street from one of our three headquarters during the Walk. Oh, and free internet access, breakfasts and happy hours.
Thank you Laurie B. for inviting me. Lesson learned -- get a hold of my own projector and not be dependent on the hardware generosities of others.