Immediate feedback requested! DRAFT of my Powerpoint presentation to my colleagues tomorrow

*Look below for the report on the presentation*


I present to my colleagues at Elon University tomorrow and thought I would present a draft of my ppt for reaction from anyone of you nocturnal/other time zone people.

There is much I will fill in verbally, of course, but you can get a sense of what I'll present by looking at the slides. I only have 20 minutes to present, so that limited the depth dramatically.

Did I hit the pith at all? Make any glaring mistakes? Leave gaping holes? Let me know asap. Thanks.

Here's the link: presentation 8-27-09.pptx

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Comment by Brad Feaker on August 28, 2009 at 8:53am
Thanks for your hard work Tom...
Comment by tom arcaro on August 27, 2009 at 6:48pm
Here's the more lengthy report I posted elsewhere:

More on the presentation this AM.

Although there were well over a dozen faculty members who had a sabbatical last year, I was one of four who were asked to present their research at our annual planning week "faculty research" showcase. A nice, minor honor to be selected, though there may have been many others who declined before they got to me.

Traditionally these presentations are low key affairs, though they do tend to mimic the tone and structure of a professional presentation at an academic conference. The attendance is typically decent, and at my presentation (I was the second of two in my room) there were about 50 people; the room was very near SRO. Interestingly, all of the senior administrators were there, from the president down to various deans.

Yes, I did experience some pre-talk jitters.

The presentation itself was very well received. I was told afterwards by several colleagues that I did a "great job" and "I was taking notes". In presentations I always have a fear that I might come off as babbling, and it was nice to hear that it appears to be not so in this instance.

As you saw in the draft of the Powerpoint presentation, I only presented the barest outline of the actual data. This, of course, is inherently frustrating because there is always a mismatch between content and time frame. I could have gone on for 90 minutes (instead of the 30 allocated) and still not touched on some of meatier findings.

The best news of the day comes from the fact that I think I educated more than a few people. When I talked about the laws against holding public office if you are a non-believer and the fact that "In God We Trust" and "under God" are Cold War artifacts, I saw many people look surprised and even shocked.

When I presented my term "social believers" and used the analogy from the gay community that there are some "social heterosexuals", I feel that this term resonated with many listeners. In fact I talked with three separate colleagues since the presentation who each mentioned the term and said they they or someone they knew fit this term exactly. I have a blog entry on social believers and my immediate plan is to buff it up a bit and see if I can get it published as an op-ed piece.

In the immediate aftermath I had several people, younger colleagues, come up and thank me and tell their stories. Of particular interest was a political science professor who was keen to talk to me about the huge voting block atheists potentially have. Walking back to my office and at a small social affair a bit later I had many colleagues give me very positive feedback.

In short, no bad/negative backlash/response as yet from anyone at any level. I did not expect any, and was not surprised. Though Elon is in the Bible Belt, my colleagues come from all over the US and are, as a whole, quite progressive.

I am working with a colleague in the school of communications here on a book proposal on this topic, and he said that the session energized him about our project.

So, I am glad that the presentation is behind me, and am more committed than even to find more and more ways to make public the results of the survey and, hopefully, contribute at least in some small way to the destigmatization of atheism.
Comment by Skylar on August 27, 2009 at 6:25pm
Nice presentation and well planned for a small space. Glad to hear the presentation went well.
Comment by Brad Feaker on August 27, 2009 at 2:34pm
Very interesting and concise. I was a participant in the survey and was excited to see the results. Good work!!
Comment by Richard Healy on August 27, 2009 at 2:15pm
Hi Flech - I'm on a mac, so no .exe files.
Comment by tom arcaro on August 27, 2009 at 1:56pm
Partnered was included as a choice in the survey to be just that: inclusive of those of are together but have chosen not to -are cannot legally- get married.
Comment by Sophie Francoeur on August 27, 2009 at 1:36pm
Does the parter status include divorced partners? It's not clear in your chart. Are they included in "seperated"?
Comment by tom arcaro on August 27, 2009 at 10:20am
In short, the presentation went well and was wonderfully rec'd. Much work remains in getting the data from the survey published, though.
Comment by Richard Healy on August 27, 2009 at 3:20am
I can't get the .pptx file to work. so no idea, sorry...
Comment by tom arcaro on August 26, 2009 at 10:41pm
Dude, thanks for the response. There's tons I've got to pull from the augment, so I feel OK at this point.



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