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

Nathan Bailey nate at polynate.net
Wed May 27 11:17:40 AEST 2015

Hi Kathy,
   A few comments:
1. I think a speaker pack and template is a great idea.
2. Apple (for WWDC) actually rewrite people's slide decks to be "more
Apple", which is a combination of high quality presentation and branding.
This is regardless of speaker experience and status.
3. Great speakers tend to enjoy feedback. I suspect if we offer a "Speaker
feedback" service, it would equally attract experienced and inexperienced
4. I would encourage you to add the "Speaker feedback" service to the
speaker pack as an option, and include anyone who identifies themselves as
willing to give feedback to read the speaker pack, talk with each other and
provide feedback to speakers.

kind regards,

On 27 May 2015 at 07:07, Kathy Reid <kathy at kathyreid.id.au> wrote:

>  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,
> @kathyreid
> [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> 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> wrote:
>>>  On 26 May 2015 at 09:39, Ian <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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