Recent Presentations

You may have noticed that I've been giving Macromedia Breeze a workout. I'm honored they chose me to give the first two sessions in their inaugural webinar series. Five hundred people signed up for Sam's and my presentation today, although of course nowhere near that many followed through. The etiquette in signing up for webinars is undefined; suffice it to say that registering for an online event is closer to highlighting a show you want to watch in the t.v. listings than to accepting an invitation to a wedding reception.

I'll post the URL to Sam's and my gig as soon as I can lay my hands on it. In the meantime, here are a couple for your listening pleasure. Please leave a comment telling us what you think of Breeze as a delivery medium.

The Edinburgh Scenarios, 34 minutes, Jonathan Star and Jay Cross

    GBN's Jonathan Star and Internet Time Group's Jay Cross discuss the state of eLearning ten years hence.

New Directions, 17 minutes, Jay Cross

    Jay discusses emergent learning and the Emergent Learning Forum

I've said this before but I'll say it again: PowerPoint presentations without narration or notes are about as useful for learning as a Rorschach test. The interpretation tells you more about the reader than about what the author had in mind. Wordless PowerPoint decks are cop-outs, e.g. "I missed the meeting but I looked through the PowerPoints." You betcha.

Posted by Jay Cross at February 5, 2004 11:47 PM | TrackBack

Well, conversation is great precisely because it's responsive to the listener. It's a co-creation, not a one-way street. Too bad conversation doesn't scale.

I agree with you about narrated PowerPoint shows that come in one big blob, i.e. no way to navigate within it. In fact, one nice aspect of Breeze is that you can hop from slide to slide, at random, and pick up the sound for that slide only.

I would like to have a variable speed control, too. We humans can process words several times more rapidly than we can speak them. Eloquent had this feature. I remember blasting through presentations on Eloquent; when a speaker got boring, I'd speed him up to Donald Duck voice. When I wanted to review a point, I might slow him down. Usually 1.5x or 2x felt just fine.

Bill, I am not a fan of scripts, for they tempt one to be artificial. Outlines, on the other hand, let one tell stories and play little riffs off the main score. Improv. It helps overcome the feeling that the speaker is simply unloading dogma.

Rambling off topic insults the audience, in person or recorded.

At conference presentations, I tend to sit in the front row. I used to endure boring speakers. Online learning got me used to sticking with a presentation only so long as my personal cost/benefit ratio warranted. In a curious back-formation, now I'll walk out of a live presentation (unless its some visiting dignitary to whom I'm paying respect).

Steve Denning, in The Springboard, describes his epiphany that PowerPoint insults the viewer and chokes off dialog from the get-go. He found that he was more compelling without. Going without PowerPoint encourages spontaneity and the vernacular. It's friendlier. Natural. The message of The Cluetrain Manifesto pops into my head.

Today I have to prepare a presentation for next Tuesday. As an experiment, I think I'll create a wordless PowerPoint with nothing but abstract art. If you're at TechKnowledge next week, drop by and see how it goes.

Posted by: Jay Cross at February 6, 2004 03:52 PM

cool stuff

Posted by: spanking story at June 28, 2004 10:44 PM

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