Tag Archives: powerpoint

athena, the powerpoint

I’ll be off for the next little while, conferencing in Pittsburgh at the Technology in the Arts conference at CMU over the weekend, then on a much-delayed vacation in NYC. 

I finally polished my Powerpoint presentation (on using blogs, photosharing and social networking sites in nonprofit communications) to a fine sheen last night in a sudden surge of inspiration and creativity, and am satisfied enough with the result that I can enjoy myself away in the world without any work-related sleepless nights.

I will admit that I was, tragically, well on my way to creating a rather drab and sad little series of slides until I got some more inspiration from Slideshare, and then sat through the entire hour of the microsoft webinar on the first five slides, by the author of Beyond Bullet Points, Cliff Atkinson. 

I ended up not taking the author’s advice quite to the letter, but watching that did have a profound effect on the way I visualized the graphics and the tone of the thing.

And, as always happens, it just needed to rattle around in my brain long enough until it was ready to emerge, fully formed, right out of my forehead. 

As it happened, I ended poking fun at the “cheerleader for technology” that I sometimes feel like by using a few images like this:

cheer out loud!

 And all right, I might as well come clean, this:

I cheer because I care

Let’s just say that the humor lies not in our shared physical appearance.

And of course I present all the necessary caveats and conditions, so I hold to my promise of not playing cheerleader, and provide instead just a basic introduction to some simple technology. 

Now all that’s left to do is compile a resources handout, as requested by the conference organizers.  Happy to oblige, but I’m thinking about augmenting this with a workshop-specific wiki, just to see what the response is.  See if anybody goes and contributes to it. I realize this is hardly groundbreaking, but would certainly be worth the exercise for me alone, at the very least.

And if folks from the workshop don’t use it, then at least I’ll have another place to play around with nonprofit technology links and news.   And post pictures of people who are not me.

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snagIt, tagIt, sell it to the butcher in the store

So in the interest of finally assembling the presentation I am doing on Web 2.0 for a conference in November, I bought a copy of SnagIt so that I can make the niftiest possible slides for the powerpoint.  I just watched as many of the short tutorial videos as I could assimilate in one sitting (i.e., most of them), and I can hardly wait to get started.  Of course I only saved one copy to my desktop at work, so wait I must.

I’ve been ruminating and cogitating on this presentation for weeks now, writing outline after outline, brushing up my photoshop skills, and practicing witty one-liners in the car.  My main difficulty has been striking the right balance of enthusiasm and moderate skepticism about how web 2.0 tools can be applied to nonprofits. 

The key, I think, is to present the material not as a cheerleader (“isn’t that neat?!”) but as a source of information on items that might or might not be a good fit for their organization, with some basic introductory material that they can then investigate and assess on their own. 

I plan to present just a few tools that nonprofits might use in furthering their communications goals (the workshop that I am asked to be a part of is supposed to cover Developing and Implementing Your Communication Plan), so I will be focusing on that aspect of things, rather than, say, fundraising with web 2.0.

So I’ve pared it down to the things I know best, keeping in mind the level of familiarity and comfort that I expect my audience to have:  blogs (personal and organizational), photosharing (flickr), RSS, and wikis.  I only have 20 minutes, so that is more than enough.

The conference isn’t until early November, but I’ve got so much travel scheduled between now and then that I will only feel comfortable if I get this “in the can” by late next week, so this will be my main after-hours project for about the next ten days.  What’s going to be really exciting is that almost all of the travel I will be doing is related to this work — conferences and podcamps, and the like — so I imagine I will just keep wanting to add more as I go along.  If the presentation is already “finished” (like anything is ever really finished), then I will be less likely to succumb to the temptation to add extraneous nonsense and louse it all up.

It’s been a very steep learning curve these last couple of weeks, and I am so glad to have found the resources I needed, exactly when I needed them.  SnagIt was just one — I have also gotten lots of great ideas and help from some of the sideshows on Slideshare, espeially everything tagged nptech.

OK, maybe not everything on that page.  But the way my eyeballs felt after a solid 12 hours of doing research on Saturday, you would think that I had watched them all.   I am nothing if not a completist.

I also heard today that a consultant I had been hoping to lure over to a project of mine is interested and is putting together a proposal, so hooray! for progress and getting the right people to play on your kickball team!