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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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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 go more smoothly (thanks, Aaron).

    For actually doing the app-switching we used multiple desktops (this was in Gnome on Linux), so the slides stay maximused on one desktop and the demo is on another one; there are window manager keystrokes for switching cleanly between them.

    Regarding terser slides meaning less-useful notes: that only applies if you equate the two, which I don't think makes sense. The slides should contain content that is appropriate for people attending the talk, and not be cluttered up with anything that is irrelevant or redundant, or detail that doesn't matter till they go and try things out for themselves.

    The hand-outs that you provide should contain content that makes sense for somebody to read on their own, without you being there. If something is important to put on the hand-out, put it on the hand-out, but don't also put it on a slide unless it is helpful to have it there.

    I do this by putting notes between the slides, for example in this Vim tips talk [ukuug.org]. Any other way and your compromising both audiences: the slides end up too cluttered, and the people trying to follow your work afterwards don't have quite enough detail to go on.

    Smylers