Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Presentations - Argh!

So once more I find myself preparing to give a presentation to a group of (mostly) strangers, scary much? This time it's on "How to run a successful Open Source project", a topic that I have lots of opinions on having spent the last 8-9 years involved in several projects.

There is a ton of good literature on how to run an effective presentation ("talk like so", "make slides like that"), but since I'm a geek I'm just going to mention the help that modern technology has given me :).

Firstly on the way back from a Hi-Di-Hi! style holiday camp (much fun, go the Falconry lesson!), I was able to use my Wife's Samsung NC10 Netbook to hastily finish off the first draft of the presentation. It's amazing what you can type out on that little monster even when crammed into the back seat of a non people carrier. Oh and thank you good genes for not making me carsick, very useful trait that.

Next up is the use of MS Powerpoint. Yes it's much maligned but it still beats writing notes up on a whiteboard with your back to the crowd. It also helps to have a Wife who happens to be a Graphic Designer, pretty Powerpoint template heaven!

Then there's the borrowing of my Flatmate's Macbook Pro to run the presentation from (not all of us can wear turtlenecks ;p).

Last but not least there's the use of the iClicker utility for the iPhone. I can go back and forth through the slides and have a mini representation of each slide in front of my nose, again I don't have to turn my back on the audience which is a good thing. Bonus points to the developers of this utility for allowing you to swap between the notes for the slide and the slide contents itself.

I'll post the post-mortem on the talk sometime tomorrow, assuming I don't incite the crowd into rioting (IT people are generally far more passionate than people give them credit for).

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