Monday, September 24, 2007

Oh the irony

I switched to using a Mac a few months back, as I've mentioned before. I have been getting quite into Keynote, Apple's presentation tool which competes with PowerPoint, and you can do some really cool things with it that blow PowerPoint away. So I'd been working on my five minute lightning presentation for FOSS4G and it was really a thing of beauty, the transitions and animations were amazing, it had really cool special effects, videos, everything ... George Lucas would have been proud of it.

And then I hear from Paul Ramsey on Friday and he says "we need your presentation in Open Office or PowerPoint format as we'll be presenting them all from the same PC". PowerPoint? PC? Aargghhh!!! Of all the places to force me to convert my beautiful Mac presentation back into a boring old PowerPoint to run on a PC, I didn't think it would be at an open source conference ;) !! Oh well, I'll have to save the launch of my Keynote pyrotechnics for another occasion :). To be fair, Paul has had a huge amount of work organizing all sorts of things for the conference so I can quite understand him wanting to simplify the presentation logistics ... but I figured I still needed to give him a bit of a hard time!

Anyway, it will force me to focus on content versus style. I am talking about the "past, present and future of the geospatial industry" in five minutes, so will be interesting to see if I get through it all before I'm thrown off :) !!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't we always focus on content over style? :-)

I really hate it when presentations gets too fancy. They take away the focus of what's important, and you can't help feeling that the presenter is trying to make up for something else thats lacking...
In my mind, animations should only be used if they actually help proving a point (and the point is not "Hey I'm really good at making boring stuff look fancy".

Furthermore, those animations and transitions never make it onto paper either.

eparsons said...

Paper ? don't use it myself - too much is lost in translation. Although I give you it has great battery life

Alan said...

So just how badly does "File->Save As... *.ppt" mangle it??

Peter Batty said...

Alan, It ended up not mangling the basics too much, though I did tweak a couple of things in NeoOffice. But it lost the cool animations, video, etc. In response to anonymous, my comment about substance versus style was a little tongue in cheek. But at the same time, while you obviously don't want style with no substance, if you have both then people find your presentation much more engaging and will take more away from it. Having won more speaker awards from GITA than anyone else (9 between North America and Australia), based on audience feedback, I think I have a pretty good feel for what makes a good presentation :). And to add to Ed's comments on paper, that's a completely different medium, if you constrain yourself to what can be communicated on paper then you might as well not do a presentation. And finally, there have been quite a few presenters using Keynote here, it was just in the lighting presentations, where we needed to get everything on one PC, that we had that constraint.

Anonymous said...

could you please change the background color to white or...

blackcolor with white word really hurt readers' eyes