The talk I gave during TEDx Singapore 8 months ago is now online!
The talk, entitled The Princess, the Witch, and the PowerPoint is a fairy tale illustrating some bad PowerPoint design practices. It’s really a minor revision of the version I gave 3 years ago.
A huge thank you to the TEDx Singapore folks, especially those who put in an incredible amount of effort producing and editing the video.
And all who attended my talk, who added their laughter and made it so much more fun for me to present it.
Despite my heavy schedule these few weeks, I had to attend and speak at Barcamp Singapore 3 because it was held at my previous workplace – the Teaching & Learning Centre at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. My presentation was entitled “How to bluff your way through an interview on Information Architecture”, which was really just to introduce what IA is, why it’s important and what kind of value it adds, and a little on how an information architect goes about doing their work. The slides are on slideshare – make sure that you’re viewing the Notes tab below the slides, otherwise it won’t make much sense. Slideshare: How to bluff your way through an interview on Information Architecture Brian Koh liveblogged my session, and had a very nice comment at the end:
That’s it! From the people next to me. “That’s the most educational talk i’ve heard at Barcamp.” “IA is awesome!”
All I hoped for was for more people to know about IA, because I believe it’s important – I never expected anyone to think that IA is awesome. It was also great that quite a number of people came up to me to thank me after the presentation. These were all really nice. Later on towards the evening, I decided to do another presentation, since there was a free slot. It was an old presentation I used to do on the use of Powerpoint, entitled “The Princess, the Witch, and the Powerpoint“. That one never fails to entertain. Updates: Chin Yong has a great summary of my session. He also mentioned:
The presentation style of Coleman was entertaining and educational. I give him a two thumbs up. And of course, he already given himself 2 thumbs up pointing at himself everytime he mention “Good Information Architect”
This was, perhaps, the most educational session I ever experienced at any of such events. Coleman isn’t just knowledgeable, he is charming and a great presenter with the right amount of humor. If there was a way to attach an affiliate link to the polar bear book and for the audience to purchase the book on the spot, Coleman would have cleared a fair amount of commission that day. Yes, he was that good.
Like I said, he was very generous. Just in case you can’t find the notes on slideshare. The notes start from slide 2.
Just starting my IA presentation – my first slide (photo by sgentrepreneurs):
Me showing a content inventory during the IA presentation (photo by Claudia Lim):
My audience at my IA presentation (photo by Lagoona Loire):
In my last post “Blogging, Podcasting, or Youtube? Choosing the right medium” – Podcamp Singapore, I talked about my experience as a speaker at Podcamp Singapore. For a long time, I wanted to try out a different way of using PowerPoint – using both the whiteboard and PowerPoint concurrently without having to move the projection screen up and down – and Podcamp was a great opportunity to do that.
Notice that I was only using the top third of the screen for the PowerPoint slide. Which meant that I could use both the whiteboard and my PowerPoint slides at the same time.
How I did it
I used a black background on my PowerPoint slide, so that the projection wouldn’t interfere with the whiteboard. The text (in white) occupied only the top quarter of the slide. I could have used a lighter background for the top part of the slide, but black was easiest. My original plan was to pull the projection screen a third down, but the technology was too smart – the screen could only go all the way up (and the projector would turn off automatically), or all the way down. Thankfully I could slide the projection screen behind the whiteboard, resulting in a sloping screen, but it turned out fine. Here’s a shot of another slide.
Thanks to the Podcamp Singapore organisers for these shots.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess…
The lecture room was pretty rowdy before I began, but the 17-year olds were soon absorbed my this fairy tale that I concocted to teach them the things to avoid and a few design principles when creating a PowerPoint presentation.
This story started some years ago, when I was still teaching at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. A few lecturer colleagues who had attended some of my PowerPoint workshops thought that the material would be helpful for their own students, so I agreed to guest lecture for them.
My initial presentation was called “PowerPoint Evils, And How to Avoid Them”.
(The animations and sounds are missing in the above.)
While students generally enjoyed that presentation, I eventually figured that I could do much better, especially since I had done a lot more thinking and learning in the area.
Thus came the idea to revamp that presentation completely, and convey the message using a silly fairytale – “The Princess, the Witch, and the PowerPoint”.