By Tom Farrelly – GastaMaster
For those of you that are coming to OER24, you may be either presenting a Gasta, you may be part of the ‘mob’ that supports and encourages the presenters (or Gastateers as I prefer) or, this may be your first time being part of the conference experience that is a Gasta. Whatever brings you to OER24, be rest assured that you are in for a lively experience.
Okay….enough of the sales pitch! But in the run-in to the conference, I thought it would be useful to talk briefly about the rapid-fire presentation format called Gasta, which as you can see from the dictionary link above is the Irish word for fast, quick, or rapid.
All too often I have been at conferences where despite the chair’s increasingly frantic reminder that the speaker has one minute left, the speaker blithely carries on to the beat of their internal clock, seemingly impervious to time. In fact, it never ceases to amaze me how many lecturers (whose job is after all about standing in front of people,) cannot stick to the allotted time as they endeavour to squeeze the content equivalent of a 40-inch waist into 32-inch trousers! If you are doing a Gasta, please remember that five minutes means five minutes 😊. Think about one or two key messages that you want to provide and stick to that. Use text sparingly and try to use images and graphics as much as possible. This is your chance to give a shoutout, to alert, to stimulate so make sure that you provide contact details to give people a chance to reach out to you after the Gasta. And when you get through it you will get a Bryan Mathers designed badge which surely is the ultimate accolade 😊
If you are in the audience, remember that this a highly participative event so don’t hold back, count clap cheer, stamp your feet or whatever you are being asked to do. The two Gasta sessions are at the end of the day so when the enthusiasm levels are falling a little this is your chance to get re-energised and have a bit of fun. And, if one of the presenters has piqued your interest don’t hesitate to reach out to them. In five minutes, people have limited time, above all else the Gasta is an opportunity to shine a light on something, a springboard if you will, and to have some craic along the way.
See you in Cork.