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djberg96 (2603)

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Journal of djberg96 (2603)

Wednesday October 13, 2004
12:05 AM

Presentation Foo - Fewer Slides

[ #21318 ]
I was talking to Hal Fulton on IRC the other day when he made the comment, "The more I speak, the fewer slides I use", or something like that. And by that wry comment, he merely meant that he relies less and less on slides with each presentation.

I was thinking about that today and how I should have used fewer slides at RubyConf. The problem, in my case, is a question of mechanics. I was trying to use slides, then jump to Eclipse, then jump to the Services GUI, then back to the slides, etc. It didn't flow that well because I kept having to minimize one program and maximize another.

There was also the problem of having way too many slides. Better than too few, I suppose.

Next time I'm going to reduce most of the slides to notecards that I can refer to if needed. I'm hoping that the talk will flow a little more smoothly that way, as there will be less pointy, clicky going on. This is, I think, a better approach when your presentation contains a fair amount of interaction, rather than just informational material.

I suppose there's the drawback of not having any slides available for others to peruse afterwards. I'm not too sympathetic, however. If you wanna know what I talk about, you have to come to the conference. :)

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  • The way to avoid having to switch between different apps for demoing is not to do it yourself: persuade a friend to do all the typing, app-switching, and slide-progressing. That frees you up to concentrate on keeping the audience's attention, and if it takes 10 seconds to switch from a slide to a demo, so what? You can keep talking and let the demo appear on the screen behind you when it's ready.

    My friend Aaron has been my keyboard monkey at several conference talks now, and it really does make things g