On Communicating Mind Boggling Stats

image: socialnomics09

I’m a sucker for statistics. Especially BIG statistics. Especially when related to things I’m passionate about.

I know many of you will have seen the Social Media Revolution and Did You Know? videos before. But some of you won’t have.

So I present them here partly because I was at a conference last week where the former was used to great effect in a presentation on the use of social media tools in government, and partly cos I wanted to listen to Fat Boy Slim just One More Time!

Incidentally, they are also a great case study in the ‘Picture Book’ presentation technique favoured by many adopting the Presentation Zen approach to great presentations.

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On Hans Rosling – the Master Storyteller

Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling

My admiration of the work and presentation skills of Hans Rosling is well known. Rosling is the master of presenting vast data sets in an entertaining, inspiring and educational way.

He’s also the creator of the Gapminder tools which provide stunning visualisations of those datasets.

This week, TED released the sixth TED Talk given by Rosling. (My admiration of TED is probably even more well known). In this presentation Rosling uses what he amusingly terms ‘Analogue’ presentation techniques (TED terms it ‘colorful new data display technology’!) to tell the main part of his story – a technique well known to Sunday School or Primary School teachers desperately trying to keep children entertained and in the process hopefully provide them with some visuals to remember an important truth. Continue reading

On Making and Using Screencasts

Screenflow logo

image: Screenflow application

I make a lot of screencasts, both for use in presentations where it is impractical to have a live demo, as an educational tool to introduce new concepts or technologies, and for use on websites as promotional material.

Thankfully, being a Mac user I have some awesome software that helps me do a great job. Rarely just one tool, most often a combination of ScreenFlow, iMovie and Skitch.

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On TED – The Future of Conferences

I attend a lot of conferences.

As a speaker, sometimes as a representative of a vendor out in the exhibition hall, and often as a delegate. In all honesty, I’m over it. Or rather, I’m over the big vendor sponsored, Conference Company organised, “same old, same old” conferences.

TED logoSo what got me out of bed at 6am on a Saturday morning to spend a day at a conference recently which I both thoroughly enjoyed  and came away totally inspired and invigorated by?

TED came to town.

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On Podiums and their (hopefully) impending demise

There is a great post today by David Gurteen proposing the burning of all podiums at conferences. (Check out the picture – there really is someone speaking behind that particular podium!)

Hear, Hear!

I get constantly frustrated when expected to remain in a single position, behind what is effectively a barrier to communication, when presenting. Worse still is that often in this scenario I am expected to use fixed mics limiting not only body movement but head movement as well. Often the podium becomes the focus of the lighting such that if the conference session is being recorded to video then even if I wanted to move from behind the podium I couldnt because it would screw up the video recording.

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On the Top 5 Gadgets of the Presentations Trade

David Eade at Activate 2009
In my job, I do a lot of presentations.

From my early days of training air traffic control supervisors on how to effectively manage their shiny new air traffic control systems; through the years as a technical pre-sales consultant; as a Product Evangelist for one of Australia’s finest home grown software products and now as a speaker at a number of conferences in the APAC region.

I’ve learnt a thing or two along the way (as you’d probably hope I would!). In later posts I will share some of these learnings, but in this I want to focus on what I consider to be the primary gadgets of the trade. The top 5 pieces of hardware that I always carry with me for presentations. Continue reading