Tools for a Better Presentation

The Google Presentation screenshot.

Yeap, I am done with all the bashing. Although I am still sharpening by public speaking and presentation skills, I do like to share some techniques and some tools and are going to facilitate your presentation, buckle up, coz you are about to level up!

Remote Presenter with your handphone

UPDATE 1: OK this is dumb! You can use wireless mouse to do the same kthxbai!!!

Think back again, people. When you were presenting, there were a few ways to switch to next slide, the first is by approaching that cute laptop and press the right key. The second option is to signal your teammate standing monotonously by your laptop and tap on the next slide. These two are no longer viable these days.

It’s been a long time remote presenter has been released to the market. Basically they allow you to control your presentation software remotely without having to touch the computer, thus allowing you to deepen your engagement with your audience and not letting your computer took away the amount of attention you gave them. Plus it’s kind of cool too, “the slide changes on its own momentum”?

You don’t have to buy the remote presenters, you rarely use them anyway. What I suggest you to do is turn what you already have to your advantage. You will (not really) be surprised that a simple RM200 Nokia or Sony Ericsson phones can do the same thing. Fret not, iOS, Android and WP7 should have some remote control apps in their store.

 

The app I used is Joypad Legacy. After I tried out Jumi and some other dedicated remote presenter apps, only Joypad Legacy gave me virtually zero headache. Although it sounds like it’s merely a game controller like PS3 or Xbox360 game pad, but you can customize the keys to your liking. As you see the big A and B action buttons on the device’s screen. I can set it so when I click on them PowerPoint will move to next slide! Simple as that!

Downside is you gotta setup your own hotspot everytime you want to use Joypad, I recommend you to download Connectify (Pro is free for college students), it creates a new WiFi hotspot without wrecking your existing WiFi internet connectivity by doing an ad-hoc connection. I just start the hotspot with Connectify, connect my iPod to my computer and start Joypad! Not a single cent spent!

The downside you guys gotta take note of: If you use a touch screen device as your remote presenter, you MIGHT mistakenly activate the next slide. It happened to me and I gotta improvise it.

Google Drive

If you are doing group presentation, there is NO WAY you gonna let one guy design the slides with the deadly PowerPoint while others sitting there, wondering the progress and what they have to say! And it decreases teamwork as well as morale, you can no longer go around and lie to other people “yea everybody contributed, everybody did their part”. Chances are the slides designer did all the job, and the teammates are just sitting there sucking free marks like vampires sucking blood. This is the situation the active people hate the most.

The Google Presentation screenshot.

As you can see in the Google Drive app that edits presentation, you can see how many people are editing the slides, where they are editing (notice the comic strip tagged with a green border along with name), chat with them, and everything happens instantly. When somebody edits something, it shows up on all computer within 1 second. It increases the effectiveness of making an awesome slideshow as well as teamwork. In fact when a presenter is absent, as long as other teammates know what they are doing, they can always take over since they are already familiar with the slides.

There are many collaborative apps that came with Google Drive by default, such as word processing, spreadsheet, drawings and some other you can get from Chrome Web Store. Take some time to study them and implement them into your academic and working life, you can thank me later ­čśŤ

More Images, Less Text

If you wrote an essay on the slides and you gonna read the exact same thing, which thing am I supposed to pay attention to? I would say neither.

Slides are merely an visual aids, and people should spend less than 5 seconds looking on it and spend 1 minute to listen to you. You yourself are the primary medium to distribute information, do not ever ever let the slides take it away!

With the power of Google Images Search and PowerPoint’s built-in Smart Graphics, shapes, diagrams, making a highly visual slides nowadays can’t be simpler. If one single slide cannot accommodate that amount of information, create another slide! A slide is free! But the impression you gain from doing a butt-kicking presentation is undoubtedly invaluable!

Imitate and Improvise

If you are willing to do this, congratulations! You are just a few steps away (and a hell lotta practice) to be an awesome presenter.

Step One: Learn from the classmates that have good presentation skills. Pay attention to their gestures, their visual aids, their ways of trying to engage the audience! If none of your classmates did a good job on this, you gotta go for Step Two!

Step Two: Watch videos of people presenting. Not to be biased, but people at Infinite Loop Cupertino did a better job on presentation, thanks to the famous Reality Distorter, Steve Jobs. If you read his bio he spends 2 weeks on making slides, rehearsing, over and over again to ensure the best experience to audience as possible.

Just to clarify, there is NOTHING WRONG with ┬álearning from other people. We always start out learning process by copying, imitating. Then we keep on improving on it. Don’t tell yourself that you are a thief by doing so. But if you insist of not improving yourself by having that non-existent guilt, sorry you gonna have a miserable life.

Yourself

We can’t always rely on other objects to deliver a great presentation. And here is what I am still a bit lacking, but this is also where MOST people (may includes you) ARE DEFINITELY LACKING!

You gotta understand why the presentation is there in the first place, it will shape the entire presentation afterward.

If you do marketing, then you are introducing the products you sell as well as showing the amount of confidence you have in the products!

If you were to deliver a presentation on a topic in then class, you, not only have to deliver the information, but you have to read a lot further to show your deep understanding on the topic you are assigned to!

There are many more but I guess there is a hidden dragon and ingenuity inside everyone that will tell you what to do. Listen to your inner self, sometimes they are right! One must be daring enough to change, brave enough to be different, to be better than others. If you don’t have enough balls to do that, be the 99% of the society, thank you!

 

Author: Anonoz Chong

Web Developer in Kuala Lumpur. Computer Science student in MMU Cyberjaya. President of IT Society MMU Cyberjaya. Rubyist.

1 thought on “Tools for a Better Presentation”

  1. Good list you have here.
    I totally agree with a particular point in your previous post “Why I hate my classmates’ presentations”, where you mentioned people reading directly from slides.

    I am disappointed with how people don’t seem to take presentations seriously. I think it’s an important aspect in a project because when you go out in the real world, big shot business people don’t have time to read your proposals. So it’s up to you to give one hell of a presentation to convince them.

    And here in your list, quote ‘Imitate and Improvise’. I love this point. I have always believed that we should never feel satisfied with what we have when we can see room for improvement. I am also a student from APIIT (currently APU, god knows why they change names so often), and I am extremely disappointed that most of the students here are lacking the ability to present properly. I am not talking about pro-level presentations, just the basics, most of them are still unable to grasp the core idea of how a presentation should be.

    It’s sad because I know some of my classmates are insanely good programmers, and their system is near flawless. Unfortunately, their presentation ruins it.

    By the way, I have just stumbled upon your blog, and I am impressed. Keep posting. :)

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