I'm in New Orleans attending PowerPoint Live and just completed day 1 of the conference. Unfortunately, I'll only be able to stay until the middle of tomorrow so will miss part of the 2nd day and all of the 1st day. The conference appears to be attended by a large number of first timers, cleverly designated as such by the single star on their badge. There are quite a few others who are veterans with the number of conferences they've attended ranging from 2 - 5. The conference is well organized with a wealth of opportunities to interact with attendees and a wide range of presentation topics for the novice to the more experienced presentation professional.
Keynote Sessions I attended two keynotes and three breakout sessions. One of the keynotes by Jim Endicott on "The Coming Age for Presentation Professional" provided a nice historical perspective on PowerPoint and how presentation professionals were changing their roles to a more consultative and value-added part of the presentation dynamic. The other was by Julie Terberg, where she showcased a number of animation techniques with samples of her work. These animations ran from the "relatively" simple to the more complex work she's done for her clients to use in trade shows and sales meetings. She really does some interesting and sophisticated work.
Breakout Sessions Breakout sessions are set in three tracks - Tools and Techniques (T&T), Design and Deliver (D&D) and Beyond PowerPoint (BPP). I attended one from each track:
T&T - "The New Age of Slide Masters" by Microsoft team member Jason Schneekloth was heavily geared toward PPT 2007. It was interesting and gave me some tips on differences between 2003 and 2007 when I elect to shift.
BPP - "Video in PowerPoint" Richard Harrington, addressed some of the complexities of different video file formats .WMF, AVI, MPEG 1, MPEG 2 and MPEG 4, etc. I'll pull together my notes from this one for a report later on when I have more time.
D&D - "The Mother of all Makeovers", Jim Endicott, followed up on his keynote address with a couple of case studies showcasing ways to more effectively tell a story. I liked his 3 points related to designing for the medium, a good reminder for anyone producing PPT presentations. His 3 focus areas were "mitigating text", the power of digital storytelling and less is more.
PPT Live Trivia Contest The day finished up with three teams competing in a Jeopardy and Taboo trivia contest. With a range of increasingly difficult questions teams had a chance to showcase their knowledge of the ins and outs of PowerPoint production.
As an entrepreneur I always have to ask myself if the investment in attending a conference or joining an association is worth it. For entrepreneurs this worth comes about through professional development opportunities, networking opportunities or a chance to showcase your talents to a potential buying audience. For me, this show has provided some benefits on the first two of these and I wasn't trying to do the third.
My suggestions for improvements would be to include the company names of attendees on badges, not just their first and last names and the titles and city they've come from. I'd also suggest giving out an attendee list as part of the registration material. The real networking and value should happen not just at the conference but through the contacts that are made after the conference too. Another suggestion that I'd make is for there to be some sort of sub-group or session for the different types of attendees - corporate and independent.
I'll be attending Rick Altman'sPPT Live Conference starting this Sunday in New Orleans. I'm looking forward to picking up some good tips, ideas and to networking with other PPT and presentation professionals. As I learn new things that are worth sharing, I'll be sure to post them here on PPT.
In addition, I've given myself a couple of reading assignments while I'm planebound this weekend and next week to read and comment on two new PPT books I just received from Amazon - "CLEAR and to THE POINT" by Stephen Kosslyn and "Why Most PowerPoint Presentations SUCK" by Rick Altman of above mentioned PPT Live fame. My initial scan of both tells me that I'll be able to pick up some good tips and techniques to add to my repertoire.
I'm working on creating PowerPoint Presentation Guidelines for a client that runs seminars. In preparing these guidelines, I've been identifying new resources and reviewing existing resources that I've been compiling in my PPT-PowerPoint & Presentation ResourceGuide.
If you have additions or changes to the Guide, drop me a line and I'll be sure to include them in REV 7.
Paul J Gibler the Web Chef
P.S. I'd be happy to talk to you and your organization about the customized PPT - Powerful Presentation Techniques training sessions that I have available. They blend Tips and Techniques related to Presentation Strategy, Preparation, Technical Development Using PowerPoint and Delivery tips to improved the effectiveness of your presentations.
In a previous posting, I referenced a couple of educational videos from YouTube on embedding YouTube videos in PowerPoint. The videos cover two options for the use of YouTube videos with PowerPoint. The first discussed embedding a YouTube video for use while you are connected to the Internet amd the second described the tools and steps to take for downloading and converting a YouTube video for conversion and later insertion into your PPT for offline viewing.
Here's the video clip for YouTube use while online:
Since then I've come across a PowerPoint Add In that creates a short cut for inserting YouTube videos into your PowerPoint slides for online viewing. The add-in was created by Shyam Pillai and is one of several available for download. I've downloaded the tool and found it to be a useful shortcut for the mult-step process that was described in my earlier posting.
Tianamen Square is where the Olympics will be, not a massacre..
experienced the Berlin Wall
Want more? Check out the famous Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2011. The list is put together every year by Beloit College in Beloit WI to explore how traditional freshman from around the United States see and have experienced the world. This year's traditional class was born in 1989.... (well beyond my graduate school graduation of 1980) and have a very different world view then mine.
An experienced older blogger from the The Wharton School Class of 1978!
For presenters...think about your audience when developing your presentation strategy.
I've written another article in the series of Buzz Networks columns that I contribute to Wisconsin Technology Network every month. This article "The Expanding world of social networks" looks at the continuing evolution of social networks for consumers of every age and interest, for businesses to improve internal operations and for other marketing purposes.
I encourage your feedback and comments on the article, either here on the Web Chef's e-Bytes or at Wisconsing Technology Network.
Interestingly one of the social networks that I referenced in the article last week, Sermo, was in the news today for its agreement with Pfizer described in the Financial Times - " Sermo and Pfizer will work together to establish how drugmakers can best communicate with physicians online, and provide drug and disease information to them on-demand". The site reportedly has 30,000 members and is adding 2,000 a week. It will not be supported by advertising accoring to the article.
Microsoft has a free PowerPoint 2007 Viewer that can be downloaded to view PowerPoint versions from 97 to 2007. The program does not allow you to edit PowerPoint slides, but you can view and print presentations. You will be unable to open linked or embedded objects with the software. The software is also only compatible with the Windows operating system from Windows 2000 sp 4 to Vista.