Tag Archives: keynote

Animation with a Purpose: Jakob Jochmann’s The Fight For Better Presentations

Former student and slide swag superstar, Zachary Peterson shared today’s awesome example of animation with a purpose with me during our recent conversation about pushing Keynote to the very limits of animation awesomeness. I hesitated when he uttered the “Scarlet Letter” because often, presenters overuse animation. My hesitance for animation extends to my own presentations. I rarely use animation or transitions, and have really only skimmed the surface of what Keynote can do. I get serious animation anxiety! Well, I did until watching Jakob Jochmann’s The Fight for Better Presentations. Jakob developed this entire video using Keynote, editing only the music and tempo/pace in iMovie. As someone who only uses Keynote to develop her presentations, I appreciate Jochmann’s approach. But, as someone who believes in the power of a great presentation, I am even more impressed by Jochmann’s purpose–to support the cause for great presentations, for strong communication.  Check out Jochmann’s video below and if you are like me and must know how this is done, Jakob has made the source file for the presentation available for download. Joy!

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Deck of the Day: Lessons from Guy Kawasaki

If you know AllTop, Apple, or Slideshare, you know who Guy Kawasaki is. If you are hungry to get your idea financed, you better know who Guy Kawasaki is. If today, like me, you need a bit of no nonsense solid wisdom gained from years of experience to empower and motivate you, check out Empowered Presentations latest, “10 Hindsights Accumulated in the Past 35 Years”, which is a lovely visualization of Guy’s keynote address at this year’s Menlo College graduation.

As always, EP creates something beautiful, sleek, and dynamic, but what really impacted me most was the common sense practicality of Kawasaki’s message–it seems that some very important ideas–expect to fail, work hard, seek joy in life experiences not material possessions–have become diluted. It’s good to see an infusion of this via a medium like Slideshare, where the idea can truly spread!

I am off to class for the morning. Happy Wednesday!

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Lovely busy day!

Today, I worked with my superteacher bestie, Alex Rister, on our upcoming month of Professional Communication and Presentation. I am anxious to get back into the classroom, and want to convey that same much needed “reality check” to this incoming bunch of superstudents. I cooked up an explanation of the online course structure. It’s not perfect, and it needs polish, but it reinforced to me just how completely empowering design-centered thinking is. I love finding and tweaking problems and through collaboration with amazing people generating workable solutions.

I also got back on the grading horse this evening while my jambalaya cooked. My students are really impressing me with their slide:ology analysis discussion posts! They are choosing excellent examples of Nancy Duarte’s principles of slide arrangement and the choosing of impacting visual elements. This deck of slides comes via Mallic Braxton:

Back to work! Grading, then it’s time to get back to tweaking my on campus class’ first day!

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A Deck to Admire as I Climb Mount Grade

March has been one of my busiest teaching months. 70 students all submitting major projects for which I record video feedback and thousands of words in discussion posts have definitely kept my focus away from the blog, I am sure to my own detriment. But, I can already see the summit of Mount Grade, and with only 40 students this month, I will be able to devote much more time to further explorations into design and public speaking. I am working on a new deck on visual resumes to debut at our annual spring break faculty development week, and I am stoked to share it very soon. In the meantime, as I graded discussions whose focus is to analyze a slide deck on slideshare that illustrates Nancy Duarte’s principles of design and her new slide ideology, I ran into this gem by Forsythe Technology.

Mobile Devices in the Workplace: 5 Key Security Risks is not only chock full of practical information, illustrating Duarte’s thesis #2: Spread Ideas and Move People, but it also Practices Design and not Decoration; it provides clean and easily identifiable visuals, clearly following the Help them See What You are Saying rule. Finally it’s use of storytelling appeals to a universal audience, and focuses on audience needs–Treating the Audience as King and Cultivating a Healthy Relationship.

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Tweak of the Day: The SOTU Visualized

As I gear up for slide design day in class, I peruse slideshare.net for examples of the elements of design: contrast, hierarchy, proximity, unity, flow, and whitespace. Here is Obama’s recent SOTU address visualized. Give this rich deck a moment to load!

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Deck of the Day: Getting Unstuck: A primer

Today’s deck of the day comes from Adventure House. Check out this excellent presentation that not only illustrates excellent design, but also gives some great advice on how to get that creativity flowing and get unstuck!

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Storyboarding a Pecha Kucha

Monday marked presentation day in Professional Communication and Presentation. I had high hopes, primarily because Alex has worked so hard to develop these students’ delivery and engagement skills, and because their topics were overall fascinating. I was not disappointed. This was by far the best bunch of PechaKuchas in recent memory…perhaps even since I introduced this subject in class. This makes me question whether this class should not consistently be taught by both Alex and myself. She brings something to the table I often forget–application. I tackled application in class last week during our discussion of arranging and organizing a PK by discussing and then facilitating an in-class storyboarding session.

This post is a bit backward, as I previously discussed how to rehearse for a PK, but I tend to adapt and adjust based on the circumstance, and I think being in the place of observer as opposed to teacher this month has helped me see what sorts of revisions my own heavily-cerebral, theory-based approach to public speaking needs to become the dynamic experience that Alex Rister brought to this month’s students. I’ve used storyboarding in class as a means of organizing this presentation since discovering Felix Jung’s guide on Avoision.com (yes, I know, I’ve mentioned it before–but it rules! If you are planning on presenting a PK–read this guide!).  Each month, students are required to ditch the traditional outline in favor of a storyboard, which usually follows the format below (which is three Power Point slides, set to print at 3 slides per page). Students use these sheets to help them develop an analog plan for their slides.

Want a quick and easy storyboarding sheet? Create 3 blank slides in Power Point. Then, print the slides in 3 per page handout format.

Not only does storyboarding provide a more well-rounded learning experience (kinesthetic, visual, auditory–they have to talk me through their storyboards), but it also serves as a much more worthwhile tool when it comes to visual design.  One challenge for novice slide tweakers is the concept of thinking in visual metaphors. Finding that impacting image in a site like Flickr (do you use Compfight.com to search through Flickr? No? Seriously–do it. It’s the easiest way to search through thousands of creative commons Flickr images. Do it!) takes conceptual thinking, to find an image of academic integrity, one cannot look for that term and expect magic results as one would get from conducting a search on a stock image website like istockphoto.

While I love Flickr's users and their bounty of Creative Commons images, to get to that content, I have to run a regular search, then an advanced search. Results for the same search term a few minutes apart generate completely different results, sometimes unusable or irrelevant images are included.

Stock images are images that are purposely shot to convey a concept or idea. However, Flickr is not a typical image repository. It is instead a collection of user-generated images, some of which are done by professionals, some of which are done by amateurs. One must search for concepts and visual representations of abstract ideas like academic integrity, for instance, a diploma, a graduate, an A+ (hint–do a search for the term in a stock image website and see what the results are. Then, return to Compfight and run a search for the concrete results you see in the stock image website.

Much better--all Creative Commons content, all sizes available via a quick preview glance, and the results are much more relevant to the term. I ❤ Compfight!

Why Compfight, you ask? While I love Flickr, I am not so in love with it’s search engine, which leaves me frustrated and confused. I was introduced to Compfight a year ago by a colleague and I now cannot live without it. I love it so much that the days when Compfight is down are dark days, desolate tweakless days.

Storyboarding a Pecha Kucha requires that the presenter take the same basic concepts that govern organizing a speech and adapt them to the pk format of 20 images x 20 seconds. In an effort to aid presenters aka amazing students (and hopefully in February Alex!) in creating a solid pk structure, I’ve developed, with a bit of help from Felix Jung, a short how to:

First, as Jung suggests, break your talk up in to sets.

Like small cupcakes, the sets in a Pecha Kucha should be delectable, satisfying bites of well structured content.

Keep it simple; break up your speech into three recognizable chunks:

Think about coordinating your presentation via recognizable ideas. In this case, Reeses' Pieces colors serve to remind me of what will go where.

Now, give each of those segments a number of slides.

Thinking about your speech as one long chain of connected ideas as opposed to a disparate series of chunks will help you see how these 20 second increments will work together.

Felix Jung found that 4 was a pretty good number to work with.

  1. Opening (4 slides)
  2. Body 1 (4 slides)
  3. Body 2 (4 slides)
  4. Body 3 (4 slides)
  5. Closing (4 slides)

Make these segments flexible—you might need five slides for your opening; you might only need three for one idea. Be flexible and keep the ideas simple. You can only reasonably speak 100-150 words per minute, or 33 words every 20 seconds.

Pecha Kuchas are about removing content, not adding it. Focus on what you know and what will help you prove your point and convince your audience.

Now, take each segment and write down one idea per slide that is related to your topic. These can be specific ideas or just things you know you need to include, like “thesis” and “PUNCH/opening.”

What you title each segment is up to you. Use the blank lines on your storyboard to title each segment. The blank slide to the left will work as the content placeholder or drawing of content you will place on a slide.

What you title each segment is up to you. Use the blank lines on your storyboard to title each segment. The blank slide to the left will work as the content placeholder or drawing of content you will place on a slide.

Now, in the blank space, include visual cues; you can draw these or write them out. Tie the visual cue to the big idea you are covering in the slide. You can create a separate outline for specific content or use the presenter notes feature to keep track of specific content for a specific slide.

Finally, transfer your storyboard into your slides. Create 20 slides, add your big idea, and start adding the content information from your outline and your visual cues into the presenter notes section in Keynote or Power Point.

The next post will cover a few different ways you can adapt this chunking pattern to several successful organizational patterns of persuasion including an adaptation of Nancy Duarte’s sparkline and Monroe’s motivated sequence.


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Tweak Your Slides: the Workshop

I am off to conduct my favorite workshop, Tweak Your Slides for Educators. In an effort to continuously improve my own design, I’ve updated the presentation, added a few more examples, and revised my ten principles a bit.

I noticed today that this presentation has been viewed over 900 times. Neato! I am super glad the ideas that sparked my design obsession are helping others.

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