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Make better presentations

Download free PowerPoint templates, backgrounds and videos. You'll also find great links to online reference and research tools. There are special resources just for teachers, traveling presenters, ministers and business people.

Recent Posts

Projector in your pocket: present on the go!

If you are a coach or trainer, your presentations generally take place in a linear and orderly fashion. Likewise, if you’re in the office presenting to colleagues, you have all your presentation “stuff” available. There is a standard presenters discuss in great detail that pertains to presentations we make with the luxury of time and equipment available so we can follow the “how to make a great presentation rules”.

portable projectorBut many presentations are far less formal and made on the fly using tools that emphasize speed and immediacy of information over polish. These aren’t your traditional PowerPoint based presentations. I believe that this kind of information sharing creates a real niche for a tiny class of projectors that start at the size of your iPhone and all weight under a pound.

Check out the Mobile Magazine review of this little device from Aaxa that will hook to your camera, camcorder or iDevice (iPhone, iPod, iPad). At just over $100, I’ll bet there are some tech-savvy travelers out there who will just love this little tool. If you’ve ever shared photos or videos on your phone – this could be for you.

Pico projector’s are relatively new to consumers. They haven’t gained a widespread adoption yet, simply because not many people can imagine the possibilities of carrying one around. At nearly anytime and anyplace you can pull up a 50″ screen on a wall and begin presenting, displaying or projecting a video.
This is not going to replace your LCD TV, nor will it replace your full-sized projector. This will go along in that ever-shrinking gadget bag of yours, giving you an enhanced sense of mobility and that cutting edge ability of blasting a film on the wall at any time.

via Aaxa Technologies P1 Jr. Pico Projector Reviewed – Mobile Magazine.

By the way, the review also includes a coupon code for about $50 off 2 of the small Aaxa projectors – good through 2/23/11.

Teachers Using Technology

I really admire people who think outside of the box and come up with innovative tools for presenting information. That’s just what a pair of history teachers in Hawaii have done. You can listen to an interview with them on NPR and take a look at their videos for inspiration.

This video has had over 260,000 views! The right method can generate interest! They’re even popular on facebook.

YouTube Preview Image

Crossfading MTV and the History Channel

How do you reach young people in the classroom when they’ve grown up watching Youtube videos all day long? Amy Burvall is one half of the musical duo at the Le Jardin Academy in Hawaii responsible for a new sensation in education. Amy and her partner Herb Mahelona take popular songs that kids love – and then turn them historical. Amy joined us to talk about the personal origins of the project and how its changing the way she teaches.
via NHPR.org – Crossfading MTV and the History Channel

See all 50 of their history/videos at their YouTube channel.

What is the Future of Presentation Software?

We communicate with texts and tweets. We update our friends with our current status on facebook, control video games with our body movement and watch movies on our telephones. When I can do a quick interview, put a video on YouTube, upload it for the local/national news, and embed it on any blog in a very short time…I wonder – what is the future of presentation software? I’m not suggesting that a video replaces a presentation – but does our audience expect more than a set of slides to accompany our talks?

In the video above, I asked Matt Long – a participant in a local competition – to help me with a short promo for the event. The result was a little piece that the news, weather channels, etc. could run almost immediately. This experience made me think about the ways I presented in the past vs the tools available today. As an ex-salesperson, I wondered…how would I make presentations to my most important clients now? We can make presentations on the internet without traveling – but they still tend to be static slides. Are we using the available technology effectively?

If I want to share an idea with you, in just a few minutes using very affordable hardware and software – a camera and After Effects (or Movie Maker or iMovie or YouTube editing tools…), I can create a message. Just like using PowerPoint – the message can be well or badly done, but the format helps to engage.

I’d love to hear from expert presenters and consultants -

    - what tools are you using now, and what will you be using in the future?
    - has the latest version of PowerPoint (which allows a bit of text over video at least) made this tool viable for the future?

How should be thinking about our presentations? Are we using the right technology if we stay with the tools we know? I do know that a video is far more likely to be engaging than a series of slides with bullets. Can we harness that and make more effective presentations?

I’ve been presenting since the days of writing on transparencies and overhead projectors. From Harvard Graphics to the latest version of PowerPoint – the tools have always seemed to shape the message. I don’t blame PowerPoint like some do. I just wonder if we can get past how easy it is to follow the dots to boring and use our tools in a more effective way. At a time when self published video is so accessible, when a plethora of easy to use software presentation platforms are available, is PowerPoint still relevant?

If it is, how do we make a leap to the kind of engaging experience we have all come to expect? What’s your opinion?

Want to Know How Things Work?

How Everyday Things are Made An introductory website for kids and adults showing how various items are made. It covers over 40 different products and manufacturing processes, from airplanes and candy to clothing and plastic. This site has almost 4 hours of manufacturing video developed by Stanford University.

The Tech Museum of Innovation Their mission is “… to inspire the innovator in all learners”. Find a network of teachers engaged in using design and problem-solving as a method of teaching science and integrating other disciplines. The lesson plans and activities offer a design-based problem solving approach to learning science that supports the development of technology literacy.