Talking to Myself!

Yesterday evening I spent a little over an hour talking to my own laptop screen as I flicked along slide after slide in a PowerPoint presentation. It wasn’t that I was practicing something, a run-through to familiarize myself with material. This was a life presentation. There was an audience, members of the Irish Garden Plant Society, but I couldn’t see them, couldn’t interact with them, couldn’t gauge their reaction to my talk – all a sort of disembodied experience. It was my first Zoom presentation and an interesting experience.

A posy today: Galanthus ‘Lady Moore’, Iris unguicularis ‘Kilbroney Marble’ and Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’

Thanks to the thoughtfulness and kindness of many who watched the presentation I have had a large number of messages, with flattering compliments, thanking me for the talk. It dawned on me today, given the number of people who contacted me, that the audience to these Zoom talks also feel the lack of personal interaction which is part and parcel of these events under normal circumstances – the coming together in the meeting hall, the chat and banter with fellow club members in advance of the talk, the interaction with the speaker, the selling of raffle tickets and the bit of teasing that goes with the collection of prizes, the cup of tea/coffee and the biscuits afterwards and the opportunity to catch up with what we are each doing in the garden and otherwise; the exchange of general gardening news, the gossip etc etc. the richness of social intercourse! Zoom doesn’t do that!

Helleburus x hybridus

In these days of restrictions because of the Covid situation, Zoom is the best available to us and it keeps us in touch, in a way, with our gardening friends. For that it is worthwhile, this screen to screen communication.

17 thoughts on “Talking to Myself!

  1. Hello Paddy I know the felling about Zoom. I volunteer one day a week to do a coffee hub over zoom. It’s a drop in center for anyone looking for mental health services. The zoom thing is not the same as many of the regular service users especially the older ones do not know how to work zoom. so I miss chatting to them on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was certainly different but the best we can do in the present circumstances. Is nice to connect with gardens and your garden is beautiful. We haven’t had any meetings in Hillsborough Hort since last March and as you say we miss all the chat and cups of tea etc. not to mention exchanges of plants and information. I bought some Cornflower seeds and Thyme today. They actually had them in Lidl.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I would have to agree. Zoom offers a bunch of new opportunities, but for me as well it’s just not close to being there in person. Perhaps in a small group where you can see the attendees and they can interact it’s fine, but like you say in a bigger group the presenter doesn’t have much to go on.
    Just imagine how much fun it is to do this every day to a group of teenagers who don’t need to have their cameras on nor even be present for calling on or requesting answers. I feel like I’m talking into a black hole, and based on the work students submit I am…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have two sons in the same position re online classes but they are back to school since Monday last. Thankfully, I’m retired and have left it all behind…without one regret!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, Mary. I think it best to concentrate on presenting a lot of photographs and to keep the moving. I had 150 in the hour, with that in mind.


      1. I assume they could see you when you weren’t PowerPointing? I switch my camera off, just in case, and prefer to interact by using the chat bar rather than a microphone (which makes me wonder why I needed to buy headphones with a mic for my course). 🎧


      2. Yes, I presume so! When I have watched Zoom presentations – garden talks – the slides occupy almost all the screen with the speaker in a thumbnail which I position to the top right, out of the way but still in sight. But, while presenting, I have no view of anybody, just my slides which is so different to presenting to a group in a hall, for example.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I was supposed to do a live presentation for an evening class I started in January 2020, When we went online, they wanted a video – I offered them a PowesPoint and a written script instead – which they accepted. Can do ‘live’ presentations but hate being on telly.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Paddy
    I am an RHSI country member for the last few years and I was delighted with your very informative talk the other night. I am delighted with the Zoom lectures as I get to “attend “Wonderful talks like your own that I would otherwise miss. You have inspired me to grow more snowdrops and if I listened to many more talks like your own , I would probably fall under the “Galanthophiles “ Spell that used to amuse me. I am in the search for G Sam Arnott as I love the idea of a good doer with a scent. Many thanks 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I recognise your position, Mary. I have been a member of the IGPS for many years but always a country member in Waterford. The three branch centres are in Cork, Dublin and Belfast and I have never been able to attend meetings, especially when we had children at home. They are grown up now and we make the journey to Cork regularly, about an hour and a half away – but there’s nobody waiting for us these days so we can take our ease. I always felt the newsletter of the IGPS was of vital importance for country members and constantly grumbled for it to be improved – and was made editor! I don’t do the newsletter any more but keep my hand in with the website and the Facebook page. G. ‘S. Arnott’ is an excellent snowdrop, a good healthy and sturdy grower which increases well. Lovely to hear from you and many thanks for your kind comments.


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