Journal: News & Comment

Wednesday, January 22, 2003
# 10:08:00 AM:

The karma of effective presentations

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Surely it's coincidence, but David Coursey of ZDNet's Anchordesk discusses presentation software today, just as I did last week. He writes that "if you don't use Microsoft software, you'll have to present from your own machine anyway. But at many events, organizers have a single machine from which they run all the presentations. That means you need to bring a copy of yours on a disk of some sort." Avoiding that is a key advantage of the HTML-based approach I was talking about.

Coursey emphasizes the most important aspect of presentations, thankfully:

The software and hardware are secondary. The primary ingredient is the speaker -- you. [...]

My feeling is that fewer slides are better. Video or audio can be good things, but animation for its own sake takes away from the speaker. Plus, the latter is usually handled so clumsily, it's not worth the bother. [...]

No matter how good your hardware, no matter how clever your patter, no presentation is worth the audience's time if you don't have something important to say and have the ability to present it in an engaging manner.

Some of the best speakers use no visual aids at all, and are compelling even on radio. You don't have to be that good, but it's worth a try.


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