terça-feira, maio 08, 2007

I PowerPoint

I like PowerPoint’s or keynotes for that matter (I still don’t know if they’re equally good programs. Brief, keynotes should be better, I’ve heard). Sure, I’ve seen some lousy ones in my live and even made some myself, but a good presentation in general is a wonderful experience. People often mistake PowerPoint as a method - or even worse a default autopilot where you simply have to put in stuff, fiddle with some knobs and the program does the rest - but it’s not. It’s a tool and you’re the presentation.

A good story, some truly awesome visuals (but keep it simple) and a gifted, if possible funny storyteller make a great combination. I see and perform a lot of presentation myself but there’s still a lot that I can learn. I sometimes deliver, but sometimes I don’t. I’ve noticed that it usually goes wrong when I didn’t or couldn’t spend much time on a good visual presentation or when I have to rely on the outline of the support to know what I'm telling. I really don’t like using one I didn’t make myself. When a slide is simply ugly, it hurts. I get sick. Call me a sissy but I’m very picky about it.

That’s why I sometimes search the internet for presentations of all sorts and read books on the topic. An interesting site is
Presentation Zen.
That’ how I learned that one can even commit Comedy with PowerPoint presentations.

Like in this one on economics. I don’t have a PhD in Economics so every once in a while I need a hand to fill in some papers. they usually contain a lot of fancy lookin’ mumbo jumbo but luckily there are people who can actually translate all of this in reasonably understandable language.
A nice story and while listening one also gets some brief outlines on a better use of yes… PowerPoint, especially the use of bullets. Unfortunately the slides look rather bland though.

Only a miner portion of the communication during presentations is verbal, as is proven in this one. Even though the person only uses one word an a deadpan standard outlook (which is probably a part of the case here, I guess) the message gets across.
Anyone who ever had to sit trough on a presentation about management and assorted stuff or technical information knows what this is about. Just watch it until the end. The clue at the end is really funny and so recognisable.

At last, in order to end, one of the best PowerPoint/keynote presentations I’ve recently found on the - as usual - great
TED site. Only just images and no text this time though. It takes a while to load. You can also see it right here Edward Burtynsky on Earth's manufactured landscapes.

Did you notice how technicaly advanced these plugins are? Chapter marks and exploding views, great!

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