Today I would like to share my experience preparing and presenting our TFS T-5 at the Space Up France 2017 that took place last February in Toulouse.

Just in a few words, Space Up events are normally weekend space unconferences. The term ‘unconference’ means that they’re done by anyone who want to participate and everyone is encourage to give a talk during the event. This is, people working for the space industry, space enthusiasts, amateurs or even a 5 year-old child, everyone is invited! Anyway if you want more information about SpaceUp’s here I let you the  Space Up website.

In my case I came to Space UP France in Toulouse in February 2017, representing TFS together with Remi Gourdon. During the event we met fascinating people and companies: listening to their talks, discussing directly to them,… but there’s something that is always remarkable in a SpaceUp, the T-5 presentation!

T-5 is a 20 slides presentation in 5 minutes. When I say 5min is really 5min, there is no room for extra time, no matter the reason: you got lost in one slide, you distracted with a bird passing through the window, no matter what, 5 minutes! If you make the calculation 5min/20slides = 15 seconds per slide. So if you really want to manage, you’d better do some training  before, at least, that’s my advice.

The method I followed to prepare this was quite ‘simple’ (very simple to set very difficult to control):

  • Thinking about what to tell and how
  • Preparing the slides
  • Writing the ideas to tell in each slide
  • Writing a text linking those ideas between slides
  • Prepare one joke or two (I normally try it at least)
  • Doing real conditions simulations, respecting the 5min challenge and 15sec/slide

I worked point after point until I arrived to the last one, the 5min simulation. I repeated it like 20 times until I felt confident enough to go for the SpaceUp, the real presentation with a real audience. Here i let you one of my simulations that I recorded (I think it was the 6th) which was almost what I was looking for.

If you want to see the result expected: go back to the first slide (just here below) press play and run the audio above.

As you can imagine the live was more difficult to manage than the simulations, space people know that! However, I was happy with the final result. Even if I made several mistakes and went blank for a few seconds I had a good feeling at the end. It could seem easy but the fact of having only 15sec for each slide can really drive you crazy. Especially if the  tempo is misaligned (that’s why I was turning quite often).

Preparing a T-5 is passioning but preparing a good 5minutes presentation can take you a whole week. Professional communication speakers say that 1 minute of presentation needs at least 1 hour of preparation. In this case, 5 hours at least but I have to confess that I doubled the time, anyway, it completly worth it!

You’ll find the live presentation video below. Have fun looking for the differences from the expected result (audio above) and see you soon again at TechForSpace :wink:.