Keep slides short and tell a story

I enjoyed this post. What did I learn?

  1. Don’t immediately jump to making slides when you have to give a presetation.
  2. If you have to use slides to help facilitate your presentation, start out by writing prose. That is, tell your story. Then make your slides. For a 20 minute presentation, try to stick to 3 slides. This way, only the most needed content (main ideas and graphics) will be on the slides, and everything else should be spoken. I like this because it forces me to know the content of my presentation cold without having to rely on the slides to know what I need to say next.

My current way of doing things? I start off by writing slides immediately. I start with an outline and fill in the gaps. This leads to many slides. However, I do I target my presentation to no more than 1 slide per minute. I have to admit that I always rely on my slides to remind me of the content I am to present. Many times, I even read the slides verbatim. If the slides were not available, I would not be able to deliver my presentation.

I really need to improve on my presentation skills. I think the key to it all is to know the content of your presentation as the back of your hand. This, no doubt, will lead to higher level of confidence when delivering the talk. Having a limited number of slides will definitely help with knowing the content cold.

S5 Reloaded themes with Sigma’s emacs org-mode method

In the past, I’ve described the benefits of a slide show based on html. I used to prefer the html5 method over S5, but after some use, I’ve come to realize that the html5 method (at least the one described here) isn’t ready for prime time yet. The display of the slides can get screwy. For example, the current slide might not be centered correctly. Therefore, I’m going to recommend the S5 system for html slide shows for now.

For use with Emacs org-mode, use Sigma’s method. Why? It is easier to change themes compared to Eric Schulte’s method (the latter method currently does not support a change in themes I think). In addition, it is compatible with the very good looking S5 Reloaded themes.

To change themes in the original S5 archive and have it work with emacs org-mode, copy ui/default/slides.js to ui/i18n/slides.js. To get S5 Reloaded themes to work, add jquery.js and org-slides.js from Sigma’s archive (in ui) into S5 Reloaded’s ui directory. Also, change /default/ to the desired location (theme) in S5.org from Sigma’s archive.