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Presentation Thursdays January 22, 2009

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Presentations.
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On the internet, content is king. The more I think about it, between the two and a half years I spent as a teacher (on two continents, mind) and my affinity for using slideware, I’m actually sitting on lots of content that would just go to waste if no one gets to see my presentations anymore. And not just my lecture slides, either: it goes without saying that every so often I have to make that corporate presentation I wish had had a bigger audience.

But then I learned about Slideshare. Thus my idea for “Presentation Thursdays” was born.

Every now and then, on a Thursday, I’ll post a presentation from my archives and include some accompanying commentary. Because most of these were prepared for academic purposes, I’ll try to offer some remarks in the hope that anyone reading might learn something new. But for the most part, I also intend to use this opportunity to reflect upon making presentations in general: what works, what doesn’t, what can be done differently, etc. After all, I read Presentation Zen, too, so it’s amusing to see the evolution of my own presentation sensibilities over time, if only in a cringe-inducing sort of way.

One caveat however: where the lecture slides are concerned, I have no intention of updating their content anymore. What you see is what you get, warts and all. Sure, if anyone sees an error or would like to debate a point I welcome feedback (leave a comment). Maybe I’ll get around to amending the presentation sometime. Or maybe I won’t. I’m afraid I just don’t have the time to do so as diligently as I’d like.

So to kick off Presentation Thursdays, here’s a presentation I made about making effective presentations. No joke. Short commentary follows below.

I prepared these slides for a training session with incoming senior college students in 2005. This was the first presentation I made using Keynote 2, and I got a kick out of using a Mac program to teach people how to use Powerpoint (taking screenshots of the program via a combination of Grab and Virtual PC). The slide template is based on the demo presentation accompanying Keynote 2. To this day, I still use the “navigator bar” layout as my default template whenever I’m in a pinch.

This was also the first time I ever experimented with using hyperlinks in my presentation to jump from slide to slide. I’ve never looked back since.

It’s a shame that Slideshare doesn’t capture animations (builds), as I included a bunch of relatively fancy ones here to great effect. The “screenshots” of Powerpoint cube in/cube out corresponding to the points being made in the text, and the “right click menus” pop up/pop out to simulate them actually being used. Fun stuff. Obviously, this was back in the day I was fond of using lots of animations in my presentations. I’ve since grown out of that phase and nowadays rely solely on slide transitions.

Incidentally, I also have a Quicktime version of this presentation that preserves the interactive links. It turns out that the “export to Quicktime” capability of Keynote is actually pretty useful — even if the filesize becomes unwieldy (in this case, over 100MB).

If there are any problems viewing this presentation, or for those interested, it can be downloaded in PDF format from my Slideshare page (Creative Commons license applies).

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Comments»

1. dinesh - January 23, 2009

Hi,

Just read your post. Have you tried http://www.authorstream.com? It is the first PowerPoint sharing website which retains animations, sound in output. Even presentations with timing are converted in videos(Mp4) and also offers send to YouTube. I guess you will like Present Live feature which let you discuss your presentation.

Dinesh

Brian L. Belen - January 24, 2009

Thanks for the information Dinesh! It looks pretty useful; will keep it in mind for future reference.

The immediate difference between authorstream and SlideShare is that the latter accommodates Keynote presentations besides Powerpoint, albeit in PDF format. Right now, this is more important to me as Keynote is my slideware of choice.

2. BBFI Corporate Presentation [Presentation Thursdays] « BRAIN DRAIN - February 12, 2009

[…] Presentation Thursdays: Every now and then, on a Thursday, I post a presentation from my archives and include some […]


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