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This article by Bryan Einsenberg at Clikz.com is worth a look.
It is directed at web marketers, but translates almost word-for-word into advice for presentation pros.
A quick translation guide:
1. Personas = Audience Profiles
2. Scenarios = Persuasion Process
3. People Friendly = Audience Relevancy
4. Web Analytics = Presentation Evaluation
5. It’s the Copy = It’s the Content
6. Best Practices = Best Practices
7. Conversion Rate = Persuasion Rate
Posted by Robert L. Lindstrom at 2:55 PM .
Dave Paradi has some good things to think about regarding slide design in this article on InfoComm International’s website.
Posted by Todd Dunn, CTS at 1:17 AM .
Email or store large (up to 1 gig) files easily and securely.
Collaborative writing software online with Writeboard. Write, share, revise, compare. From the creators of Basecamp and Backpack.
(tags: brainstorming tools)
Posted by Lee Potts at 6:51 PM .
I’ve been using my Boom Bag for almost a year now with no problems. It’s a 21″ short trip suitcase like many others except for one thing. It’s also a portable sound system. The sound is decent and the volume will fill most small to medium sized hotel and meeting rooms. Forget lugging around sound dock solutions for your portable players. Just plug them into the Boom Bag and you’re set. It also has USB ports for charging anything able to charge via USB connection. I recently got the new rolling back pack version and was able to get almost everything out of my trusty Wenger bag and into the back pack. The new bag fit better in the smaller regional jet overhead compartments. All of these bags, or pieces of luggage, are great for the road warrior presenter with moderate presentation audio needs. Plug in your computer and you will have enough sound for a room of at least 50 people. There is a line out available to connect multiple bags for even more sound reinforcement. So far, I think it’s a great product. The luggage has a limited lifetime warranty and the sound system comes with a one year warranty. After the one year Boom Bags will replace a failed sound system for $50 for the lifetime of the bag. Is there anyone else making something like this?………….TD
Posted by Todd Dunn, CTS at 3:42 PM .
I had the pleasure of hearing Jeffrey Zeldman speak at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX. I was impressed with him and all of the folks who have worked so hard to turn Web design into a “practice” based on a growing body of Web standards. Here is a five year old article written by Zeldman and just recently resurrected by the newly launched Adobe Motion Design Center. I think presentation designers can learn a lot from our Web counterparts.
Posted by Robert Befus at 4:49 PM .
Some of you have BFAs in Graphic Design, or some other form or level of design degree. For those of you who do not have formal training (or those who need a refresher), here is a nice, developing resource on the use of typography. Although it is geared toward Web design, it incorporates classic typography principles that apply anywhere. Typography is an often ignored element of presentation design. If Arial and Times New Roman fonts suddenly disappeared from the planet, so would most presentations.
Posted by Robert Befus at 5:11 PM .
In many VB posts I have expressed my opinion about the “Death by PowerPoint” thinking that has been so pervasive in recent years. Many blame the tool itself. By its very design, these folks believe, PowerPoint interferes with a presenter’s ability to communicate effectively. Others, (like me), blame the user for not learning how to use the tool effectively. I also indirectly blame myself and others in the presentation media community for not taking our profession seriously enough to research, train, develop best practices and in general treat our work like a serious and important enterprise. As a result, the notion that anyone can simply load up a PPT template and develop effective presentation materials is widespread. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Robert Befus at 2:02 PM .
4 Comments »
Marissa Mayer is in charge of defending Google’s Web page from all who would clutter it up. She says Google’s site is like a closed Swiss Army knife. It is easy to get a hold of and slip into your pocket.
Some presentations are just the opposite, complex and difficult to understand. Simplicity and ease of use are not only important in Web or product design. Presentations need to be easy to use as well.
Here is an interesting Fast Company article on the beauty of simplicity.
Posted by Robert Befus at 10:49 AM .
A Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning
Doug Vogel’s 1986 study demonstrated a clear and significant effect on persuasion when a presentation is delivered along with supporting visuals. What is not clear from Vogel’s work is exactly how the improvement in persuasion happens. Persuasion is a complicated process involving attention… comprehension… yielding/agreement… and retention …. culminating in action. Vogel studied 17 modifiers of these components of persuasion trying to understand what was going on, but in the end his results were inconclusive and even contradictory.
Professor Richard Mayer has approached the challenge of understanding the use of visuals from a different perspective. Mayer has focused on the effect of visuals on learning. Just as Vogel developed a well researched theory of persuasion, Mayer has done extensive research on learning and developed a cognitive theory of multimedia learning. All of the research he presents in his excellent book “Multimedia Learning” is designed to test the assumptions of this theory.
Why should a Presentation Professional care about a cognitive theory of multimedia learning? Because the design of visual support material should be based on what is known about how the mind works… how information is processed and how learning occurs. Effective presentation design cannot be based on intuition, heresay or opinion. If we were to overlay Mayer’s learning theory over Vogel’s persuasion process, it would clearly overlap with the components of comprehension and retention. I believe there is also an overlap, although a little less clear, with the component of yielding/agreement. Mayer’s work is meticulously researched and referenced. While I won’t present all of his supportive references, they are available in his book for those who are interested. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Robert Befus at 7:21 PM .
1 Comment »
From the Presentation Council listserv:
“Julie Irvin, President of Keystone Resources, is presenting the upcoming InfoComm International Presentations Council webinar, “How to Effectively Communicate Data Charts & Graphs,” on Wednesday, December 7, 2005 beginning at 4:00pm EST. If you are able to join the webinar, please send a RSVP to Shana Rieger, email@example.com. The meeting link and call-in instructions will be emailed to you December 2nd.
When you and your clients are tired of regular bar & column charts, what do you do and how do you make sure you are communicate your point(s). Julie will walk you through real client scenarios on how they went “out side of the box” to communicate the client’s data effectively.
* Pie of Pie Charts
* Use of Small Multiples
* Using PowerPoint & Illustrator to enhance basic charts
* The importance of chart labeling, titles and colors
* Other Software & Tools that help you illustrate points”
Posted by Lee Potts at 9:09 PM .
To: All News and Wire Services
For Immediate Release:
Professor PowerPoint™ Loses Tenure
By Tom Bunzel
As an active member of the Visual Being web log, the Presentations Council of InfoComm International and the presentations community at large, I need to inform you all of a change in my circumstances necessitated by my recent correspondence with Microsoft’s law firm, Katten Muchin Rosenman.
I was contacted by a member of that firm a short while ago and informed that my use of the phrase “Professor PowerPoint™” was an improper use of its trademark and among other matters, potentially created confusion as to my relationship with Microsoft.
As many of you know, I have spent a fair amount of time and effort writing articles and books, educating users and in many ways promoting the use of PowerPoint™ in creating and enhancing presentations. However, when I explained these circumstances in some detail, I was informed that while Microsoft certainly appreciated my endeavors, my continued use of the trademarked name PowerPoint™ in my business and web site was inappropriate.
After consulting Microsoft’s web site pertaining to the proper use of its trademarks, I realized that there was no way I could continue as Professor PowerPoint™ without violating the clearly set forth canon of: “Do Not Use Microsoft Names or Trademarks as Part of Your Name”. There was very little wiggle room in that sentence.
To my relief the attorney added that Microsoft was not taking an aggressive posture in this issue. Since I had no great interest in retaining a law firm with the names of three partners on its letterhead, I appreciate that position immensely and sincerely.
So it is with some regret that this week I am publicly and irrevocably renouncing my position as Professor PowerPoint™, and now also admit that I got most of my diplomas through self study. (My B.A. in English from Tufts University is, alas, legitimate).
Obviously I had hoped to complete my career as a fully tenured Professor PowerPoint™ basking in the glory of a position in an albeit virtual and wholly nonexistent campus, but that is not to be. As of today the ProfessorPowerPoint™ web site is no more, and I have assumed a new position…
Henceforth my web site will be www.professorppt.com, and I hope that those of you who have linked to me in the past or referenced me in your own work will make the necessary adjustment.
The title of this web site has now been changed to “The Presentation Professor” (even though I shall remain, in reality, a humble untenured teaching assistant).
Let me make it perfectly clear that this entirely new web site has no relationship with either Presenters University or Presentations Magazine (even though I am an intermittent Contributing Editor at Presentations). Let me state for the record that I am also in no way connected to the “Ask the Professor” professor at Presenters University, the Video Professor on national television, nor any other real or virtual institution of higher education in the presentations industry. If in fact there are any other professors, real or virtual, teaching in the presentations community, I simply ask, can we all just get along?
It is indeed with a sad and heavy heart that I leave this entirely nonexistent campus, and set forth in search of new vistas in the presentations (and not just PowerPoint™) universe. I hope you will not forsake me for my past transgressions and continue to count me as a valued colleague as I carve out what I hope will be a new area of specialization and expertise beyond PowerPoint™ and into the virtually infinite realm of communicating more effectively using technology. (Oops, not to be confused with David Paradi’s http://www.communicateusingtechnology.com).
I will post my new office hours shortly but drop in any time. With fondest memories of a great ride, I remain sincerely,
The Presentation Professor
Posted by Tom Bunzel at 4:10 PM .
5 Comments »
Every creative person has experienced the feeling of being stuck. A deadline is right around the corner and the ideas just aren’t flowing. When you’re staring at a blank mental wall and can’t seem to get things moving, try visiting this ideagenerationmethods site. You will find lots of ideas for ways to generate ideas… either on your own or in groups. They are listed in alphabetical order, and the best ones aren’t at the top of the list, so try starting at the bottom, or in the middle.
Posted by Robert Befus at 10:22 AM .
Many of you may already have spotted this, but I think Garr Reynolds’ post entitled Gates, Jobs & the Zen aesthetic (on Presentation Zen) is an interesting read.
I had already viewed Steve Jobs ‘Special Event’ presentation on the Apple site (longing for the days when I used to be allowed to use Macs at work – the IT department banned them a while ago now…). He certainly is a good performer and I enjoyed his approach. You can compare him with Gates, whose presentation is also available.
The previous day’s post on Presentation Zen ‘Bill Gates and visual complexity’ is also worth a view.
Posted by Roy Hammans at 7:23 AM .
1 Comment »
It’s early Wednesday morning, and the client sitting across the small conference table is harried and obviously stressed. She explains that she will be giving a 45 minute talk to company managers on Friday and has just found out that several of the other presenters are developing PowerPoint presentations. She hadn’t planned on using PPT, but now feels pressure to conform. On the conference table are a small stack of printouts and several CDs. She has provided a nearly finished script, a list of the 35 visuals she thinks she will need created, a PPT file she has started using a Microsoft template, and a variety of other files and resources you might need. Can she see something Thursday morning she asks?
You begin by asking your client about her audience and objectives. How much does the audience know about her subject? Is there already widespread agreement with her position? What exactly is she trying to accomplish? Where will the presentation take place… and what kind of presentation equipment is available? You also try to assess her experience and skill as a presenter. Does she present often? Has she presented to this audience before? She resists at first, but you coax her into delivering her introduction to you so you can get a quick feel for her delivery style. She seems fluent and confident.
You go through each prospective visual carefully, making sure you know what she will be saying with each one and what key points each visual should reinforce. Finally, you review the production schedule. By lunch you will send her a few format comps for her to review. At nine the next morning you will have her visuals ready for a preliminary review. You insist that she schedule some time in the afternoon to rehearse with her presentation. Throughout your discussion with this client you are careful to manage her expectations. There is not enough time to design each visual as it should be designed. The quick turnaround will require you to focus on the design of an overall presentation format, and then develop each visual consistently within the format specs. The format you design will carefully incorporate all you know about effective visual design including projected colors and contrast, spatial layout and use of grid systems, font selection and the use of supporting imagery and animations.
Let’s assume that this job goes according to plan – you deliver a nicely formatted presentation, your client delivers her talk and is satisfied with the results. Is that all there is to presentation development? What evidence do you have that you have made a real difference in the outcome of your client’s presentation? After 11 Presentation Fact articles, what do we know that gives us assurance that our professional efforts on our client’s behalf are truly worth the investment? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Robert Befus at 7:32 PM .
1 Comment »