mixed messages

A couple weeks ago, I celebrated six months at my new job with an update to my bosses.

To be more accurate, at a meeting of our church leaders, I talked about some things I’ve learned during the past six months. It was challenging to know exactly what to say, particularly since I needed to say it in order to find out what I was thinking.

I ended up building a powerpoint deck. Before you panic, those of you bored with powerpoint, let me tell you what I did.

  • I created my own background. I wrote the words “becoming less clueless” on post-it strips, put them on my desk blotter, shot a picture with my phone, sent it to flickr, and pulled in into the show.
  • I shot a series of 1-2 minute video clips of ideas that I wanted to capture. I used my webcam, and moved it to a new position for each clip, so there was different wall of my office showing. By prerecording, I was able to shoot and reshoot until I got the time and language focused. (In the screen capture, where you see my picture is where the video clip is).
  • I created images to pull into the slide to illustrate the commentary. (That language, by the way, is intentional. Rather than commenting on the illustrations, I illustrated the thoughts. ) Some of the images were lists I wrote and photographed. Some of the images were screen captures using [prnt scrn]. Some were images I had created. Inserting all these images allowed me to have lots of visual information on the screen for a long time, allowing people to listen to me and let their eyes wander.
  • After each video played, I commented live, if necessary. I also skipped one of the videos and told the story even quicker.

For a presentation that ran at 8:15 on a Monday evening, this worked. The format helped me stay focused, helped 8 guys have something different to see and hear, and allowed me to be linear in a non-linear fashion. It even allowed me to videoblog in a live setting.

So, how are you finding the skills you are building on-line helping you in real-time presentations?