Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cool and Different Presentations

Having worked in the IT sector now for about 20 years I have a finely tuned bullshit monitor.  This is especially true of presentations.  Most hour long presentations I sit in on have 5 valuable minutes of new or interesting material. We all know “cool” when we see it and we all know what the other 55 minutes of the presentation are for….to fill time.  So when I saw my first Google I/O Ignite presentation I about fell out of my chair.  The presentations are 5 minutes long each with 20 PowerPoint slides.  Oh yeah and they are rotated every 15 seconds so the speaker isn’t in control…he/she has to keep up.  I love this format.  It forces the speaker to cut the the raunchy essence of the topic and eliminate the bs.  My hat is off the folks at Google on this.  I’m presenting a small piece of an open source firewall talk at ILTA this year (pfsense…yeah baby!) and I may very well steal this concept for that presentation.

As an avid viewer of TED presentations, I’m always intrigued by new and different presentation styles.  This presentation is done in a style that I’ve copied a few times and had much success with.  It’s based on the “Lessig Method” (example here) which I find drives the listener to pay attention just to keep up.  At last years ILTA, I did a presentation on Wireshark in this format and it was well received.  This is my presentation style of choice if my presentation is a tutorial or training session.

What presentations styles have knocked your socks off?  Hit me up in the comments and let me know. I’m all ears.

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