(Photo From Chris Pippen)
For anyone who missed the mid-year meeting in Chapel Hill this
year missed probably the best OPS meeting ever held. Everything from the meeting location to the
topics discussed was perfect. The
thought the organizers put into the variety of topics was very evident. There were a lot of new fresh discussions and
faces this year. And regarding fresh
faces I want to encourage everyone to consider speaking at one of the OPS
Public speaking is a terrifying thought to a lot of
people. As a relative neophyte myself, I
still get very nervous but with every talk it gets a little better. It’s my opinion that everyone in the OPS has
something interesting or unique to contribute.
The sheer variety of places and circumstances we work in helps make our
working situations and knowledge unique.
So what you may not consider that interesting may in fact be fascinating
to others who work in a different kind of setting.
I can also speak from experience that for giving your first
talk there is no better audience than your fellow OPS members. As a group they more attentive and respectful
than any group I have ever seen. When
you combine that with the support and encouragement you get from the organizers
and the Board of Education, our meetings are the perfect place to tell your
colleagues what you know.
(Photo From Rona Esquejo-Leon)
I have learned a few tips over the years from
various people for making the process of preparing a talk a little easier. First talk about something you know well and
have a passion for. Gather images and
information as you go along so you’re not trying to scramble at the last
minute. Anytime you see something
interesting make a slide out of it. I keep
a PowerPoint folder on my computer so that whenever I find an interesting image
or bit of information I have a place to save it. My folder has over 300 slides now. So, when
I need a topic I already have a good base of slides to choose from. When we have guest speakers I sometimes request
a slide or two from them. If you use it
with their permission, put their university logo on it and let your audience
know where the slide originated from people are usually flattered and happy to
let you use it. Internet presentation
products like Webex and GOTO meeting are also great for rehearsing. Some of them even allow you to record your
talk so you can listen to it later.
I want to encourage everyone to at least think of a topic
they could present at an OPS meeting.
When I think about the meetings I have attended over the years, I have
very fond memories of the knowledge that my fellow OPS members have given
me. While certainly not an all inclusive
list I owe a lot to great members like Richard Hackel, Tim Bennett, Paula
Morris, Denise Barsness, Denise Cunningham (who could make paint drying sound
interesting!) and so many others. The
time they took to put together their talks over the years has benefited not
only me but every patient I have ever seen.
Darrel Conger, CRA is a Neuro-Ophthalmic Imaging Specialist
with the Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis in the Neurology department at
the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He is working on
developing models of structure and function relationships for use in
neuro-protective and neuro-regenerative drug trials. He spent 22 years working
in Ophthalmic Imaging in the Ophthalmology Department at UT Southwestern.