Help with a presentation.

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at
Fri Apr 18 02:12:54 UTC 2008

On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 16:38:20 -0300, Ricardo Nabinger Sanchez <rnsanchez at> wrote:
> On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 19:49:40 +0200
> "TooMany Secrets" <toomany at> wrote:
>> Hummm... I never heard about that. Looks like a great way to make a
>> presentation, and also participative way for the assistance.
> Don't forget to do some practice before the real thing.  This way you
> avoid stage panic, or at least reduce it considerably.

Good point :)

I have discovered that giving a similar talk to multiple places helps a
lot too.  The second time a talk is scheduled (and all the subsequent
times) I have at least the following advantages over the first time I
gave it:

  * The questions of the audience from the first talk are _very_ helpful
    in expanding the "interesting" parts and trimming down what they
    didn't seem to take a very active interest in.

  * I've practically had a chance for "live" practice of the same talk,
    by giving it in the past.

I also like preparing for a talk by firing up "presentation mode" and
keeping a sheet of paper and pencil/pen nearby for notes.  While I am
timing the talk, I use the paper for notes like:

    "5>6 no connection"
    "10 too many bullets in one page"
    "29 needs more"

and other random scribblings about anything that seems "odd" about the
talk style, content, or timing.

Then I go through the notes and the actual slides, looking for places
where improvements can be made.  It takes me two or three iterations to
catch some of the obvious stuff, but the whole process helps me a lot!

Naturally, I don't always have the time to do *all* of this, and I've
given talks after staying very late at night and furiously stuffing
slides with text and images.  These presentations/talks tend of be major
disasters or mind-numbingly boring sessions of "See?  I can so totally
read the text on the big white thing!  Oh, where was I?".

I have learned to avoid that now :)


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