Writing a flash talk under a tree

Each autumn, the company I work with, Automattic, holds our annual all-company Grand Meetup. We all converge this year in Whistler, British Columbia, where we will take and teach classes together; build internal tools; gather in town halls where we ask our CEO, support lead, and product leads anything we want; attend workshops on diversity and public speaking; and most exciting to me, give and listen to Automattician flash talks.

This year, we are 470+ employees strong, and each one of us will give a four-minute talk about any topic at all. They do not have to be work-related, and in fact they usually are not. Last year one colleague taught us relaxation and stretching exercises; a dog-loving colleague taught how to approach dogs who don’t know you; someone taught us how to make pour-over coffee; another sang a song.

I love flash talks. They are funny, poignant, instructive, light, heavy, beautiful, provacative, and I always leave the grand meetup knowing much more about my colleagues than I would have without the quick, fun presentations.

This year I have too many ideas. The meetup is  a little over two weeks away, and it’s time for me to settle on what I’m going to talk about. I need to make my slides and submit them. When I sat under the tree yesterday, watching butterflies, I wrote out the talk I decided to give.

Two hours after I wrote it, I changed my mind again. I’ve got 14 days until I submit my slides. I wonder what I’ll land on.

Journal by Flora Forager.

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