[Linux-aus] [sort of OT] Making a better LCA Presentation - Avoiding "Death-By-Powerpoint" [1]

Kathy Reid kathy at kathyreid.id.au
Wed May 27 07:07:51 AEST 2015

Thanks everyone for your input to this issue, and for your passion in 
wanting to make linux.conf.au even better than the five days of awesome 
it already is every year.

One thing we need to keep in mind is that many of our Speakers are 
incredibly accomplished in their field / discipline. Some are also 
experienced at public speaking, and are very savvy in terms of what 
makes a good presentation. There's a fine line between attempting to 
help and being patronising - and I know that everyone who's commented 
here has the best of intent.

Therefore, the way I'm going to tackle this - as the Speaker Liaison for 
LCA2016 -  is to produce a Speaker Info Pack for accepted Speakers. This 
pack will contain helpful hints on what makes a good presentation. We're 
also planning to provide a presentation template in something like 
OpenOffice or Impress.js that can be used - and Tim, your slidelint will 
be a useful tool for this template. This Pack will be based on the one 
that was provided at LCA2012 Ballarat [0].

One thing I'd like to include is a one-page, tear-out of 'Presentation 
checklist' or similar - specifically to address some AV concerns that 
make video and streaming harder.

Where I'd like the community to do is therefore provide feedback on a 
draft of the Speaker Info Pack, which is about 6 weeks' away. A separate 
Subcommittee is not needed for this task.
If you'd be willing to assist with this task, please reply to me offline 
and we'll come back to you with the draft.

Also, get ready to put your #CfP hats on. I have it on good authority 
from our awesome Conference Director, Mr David Bell (@dtbell91) that 
#CfP will be opening soon [1].

As always, we appreciate your feedback, comments - and input.

With kind regards,

[0] which I'd link here, but due to the server compromise, the 
lca2012.linux.org.au host is offline. Props to the Admin Team for their 
huge amount of effort in resolving this and putting together a plan to 
get us operational again. It's been no small task. Have some spare time? 
Great. We'd love more volunteer help with LA. Give council at linux.org.au 
a line :-)

[1] yes, we're opening #CfP 8 months out from linux.conf.au. Aside from 
this indicating that we're a crack team of ninja conf organisers, it 
also means that we're better able to attract high calibre international 
Speakers, who have busy schedules and need to have confirmed acceptance 
as early as possible to get reasonable flights. Big thanks to our 
amazing Papers Committee, and special shout out to Michael Davies and 
Mikal Still for their guidance and wisdom.

On 26/05/15 18:43, Tim Ansell wrote:
> As a person actively involved with the recording and live steaming of 
> the content a many conferences I'm very interested in methods of 
> making presentations better.
> One thing I've found is that even experienced people often make minor 
> mistakes which adversely affect the quality of the output. These are 
> things such as; using low contrast text meaning the slide is 
> unreadable from the back of the room, or putting text too close to the 
> edges of slides meaning it gets cut off.
> To try and fix these problems (in a more scalable way then yelling at 
> every presenter) I created the slidelint project. The tool 
> automatically checks for these common problems in PDF presentations.  
> It is like a code linting tool for presentations. There is both an 
> online version at http://slidelint.net/ and an offline version at 
> https://github.com/timvideos/slidelint
> Obviously it doesn't fix problems with content but might be a useful 
> first start.
> The project could use some love because I don't have any time to work 
> on it. I'm happy to help anyone who is interested in helping out.
> Tim 'mithro' Ansell
> On 26 May 2015 2:28 pm, "Ian" <ilox11 at gmail.com 
> <mailto:ilox11 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     Good suggestions Phillip. I did years of community projects and
>     committees but when I did about 8 months with Rostrum as part of a
>     project I found out so much more about speaking and meeting
>     management. Certainly recommend the experience that either
>     organisation can give to those willing to learn and share.
>     Perhaps Kathy and the 2016 Team could put you and myself and
>     others that put their hands up on a sub-committee as part of
>     Speaker Support?
>     On 26/05/2015 11:58 am, "Phillip Smith" <lists at fukawi2.nl
>     <mailto:lists at fukawi2.nl>> wrote:
>         On 26 May 2015 at 09:39, Ian <ilox11 at gmail.com
>         <mailto:ilox11 at gmail.com>>wrote:
>             I would like to discuss - preferable off to one side so
>             I'm not filling the list up with non-Linux posts - how to
>             help presenters for any LCA to produce a better
>             presentation and avoid the common presentation pitfalls.
>         ​ I too would be willing to review speakers ​presentations in
>         this manner. I certainly don't claim to be perfect, but I have
>         been a Toastmaster for several years so have some experience.
>         On that note, if there are people who would like to present
>         but aren't confident doing so, look up your local Toastmaster
>         club and give it a go :)
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