Slides For All Audiences

Tufte tells us that filling our slides with reading material is bad form. I try to keep this in mind when putting together talks (with varying degrees of success), and am reminded of it when I attend a conference. Usually there’s at least one presenter who has really compelling material, but terrible slides. The thing is, they’re probably great slides for certain audiences; namely, the audience not in the room. If you’re reading them after the fact, text heavy slides can give you the full picture, where arguably Lessig-style slides (on their own) can not.

Slideshare, an online site for publishing your slides, has a feature that’s new to me: “slidecasting”.

Slidecasting 101

Slidecasting involves taking an audio track and syncing it with your slides, giving you the best of both worlds. Right now it requires uploading an separate MP3 file and manually syncing it with your slides. Extra effort on the presenter’s part, but arguably worth it if you’re trying to reach the broadest possible audience with the greatest efficacy.

It’d be great if Slideshare supported some standard [“SMIL?” he asks with no real insight into the specification] that allowed you to upload the synchronization information without using their web-based tool. You can imagine an application or plugin that records during a presentation, noting timestamps for slide changes, and generates a set of files immediately suitable for upload.

date:2009-02-18 10:13:34
tags:presentation, slides, spoken word

Color Me Open

It’s not exactly a secret that and I have a love-hate relationship (nor that it frequently tilts towards the hate side of things). But I’ve yet to find a better free software package for presentations, so like a couple with a mountain of shared assets in a no-fault divorce state, we’re stuck together.

Alex (CC’s crack-graphic-designer) put together a color palette for use when producing CC publications, and Jon Phillips began using it quite effectively (in my opinion) in his presentations. I tried doing something similar for my talk at COMMUNIA last month using one of Jon’s slide decks as a starting point, but OOo Impress kept eating my master slides (and not showing me the actual colors used). So I jumped over to Slidy. The results were mixed: I was able to explicitly specify my color choices in CSS, but when I went to present the fact I had designed the talk on my Eee PC at a wonky resolution (WVGA) caused lots of font weirdness.

So as I prepare for SCALE 6X I’m back with, still wanting to use the CC and Tango color palettes. So I dug in and created a couple of palette files; you can find them on the CC Colors page. Note that I’m still not sure how to make OOo just “find” them and add them to the full palette, but they are usable and hopefully they’ll ease some of the pain.

date:2008-02-09 09:11:16
tags:creative commons,, palette, presentation