Tag Archives: Presentation Skills

Keynote presentation power users: Don’t upgrade to Keynote 6 until you’ve read my experiences with the new version. You’ll save yourself much grief. (The news is not all bad).

It’s now been a few days since the October Apple keynote announcing new products and services. Much to many Keynote presentation software users’ initial delight, Keynote 6 was announced, almost five years after the last significant update.

I write “initial” because for many, to judge from Apple’s own discussion support groups, and others on Yahoo, this update feels retrograde, with too many existing elements cast out, and insufficient hoped-for new features added.

Indeed, some expected they could open their existing and in some cases very complex Keynote 5 files and expect them to somehow be transformed magically into something ethereal. Or at least just work.

I did this too, only to watch a shopping list roll down before my eyes, of missing builds replaced by a default “dissolve”, missing transitions – ditto – and missing fonts.

This of course was the same experience I “enjoyed” when I opened Keynote on the iPad the first time in July, 2010, again with the hope of full compatibility.

When that didn’t happen, and another year went by with no upgrade to Keynote (but numerous updates to the iOS version), Apple’s intentions for iWork became clear.

So, before you go installing iWork – actually the three apps that used to be referred to as iWork – please bear the following thoughts I have previously cast on this blog in mind. And then I’ll make some recommendations. Don’t rush in – I did before the free update for iWork DVD installed apps actually became free (it took about 24 hours after the October keynote), and paid $40 for Pages 5 and Keynote 6.

On this blog, I have suggested, not based on insider knowledge, but a long time user and observer, that Keynote 5 would not receive an update until there could be parity between iOS and Mac OS versions.

With the A7 chip and Mavericks, and the maturing of the “iWork in the cloud” beta,  that has come about. It’s a distinct poke in the eye to Microsoft and we long term power users of Keynote are the poker. We have been sacrificed on the alter of “progress”, parity, and another nail in the Microsoft hegemony/monopoly/”we control the vertical – we control the horizontal” – attitude to the consumer.

But I also predicted much gnashing of teeth from said Keynote users would parallel our colleagues in the Final Cut Pro sector who had hoped for further evolution of their professional “It pays the bills” software, only to be rendered (ahem!) Final Cut X. For some it felt as if an iMovie Pro had been thrown at them: They were insulted as power users. The same can be now said to be happening to Keynote power users, who’ve been with the program for a decade.

Many in the Final Cut Pro world of course left for seemingly greener grass and the open arms of Adobe and Avid, who facilitated this unexpected gift from the gods. But those who stayed with the Apple program have apparently received their reward as FCP X has matured, and now we see it matched to the Mac Pro. One can reason with some predictability that the same  iterative process will happen with Keynote given how well it had been selling on both desktop and iOS devices, and especially for the latter, the generation of schoolchildren with iPads who will never touch Powerpoint.

For now, I am following my own advice:

1. Install KN 6 (and Pages 5) on the Mavericks partition on my Macbook Air (Haswell). Do not install on the Mountain Lion/Keynote 5 partition. KN6 does not work under ML. (I have a developer license for Mavericks). Make sure your Time Machine has been put to good use.

2. Duplicate mission critical keynote files and transfer them to the Mavericks partition, and convert them to KN6 and see the tragedy that unfolds…. dissolve, dissolve, dissolve…

2a. IMPORTANT:  If you have installed Mavericks on a single partition  and now have KN6 and KN5 on the same hard drive as your KN5 files, don’t double click these files to work on them. They will open in KN6, which will try to convert them. If you want to work on them in KN5, rather than play in KN6, first open KN5 then either use the “Open…” menu item or drag the files you wish to use onto the KN5 icon in the dock.

Mavericks sees KN6 as the default for ALL Keynote files. You’ve been warned.

3. See if some of my proudest achievements in Keynote can be fixed in KN 6 (e.g. shaking book) or at least repaired or even improved; hey, you never know. (Have Kleenex tissue at the ready). Update: there are improvements to be made, and even less clicking in some cases. I will post later how I fixed and improved the Shaking book effect. I do believe Apple was inspired by it via the inclusion of a new “jiggle” effect, as well as a new “pulse” build.

4. Explore which of my third party KN stuff, from developers like Jumsoft, etc., remain compatible, including motion background themes (QT looping) movies. Monitor their websites for signs of life.

UPDATE: Sadly for now, Quicktime movies with transparent backgrounds which I like to use a lot are currently broken. Much unhappiness in the 3rd party add-on industry over this. For many,  this will mean staying with Keynote 5 not just to keep doing what they’ve been doing, but even for creating new presentations from scratch. If you open these same files with their transparent QT movies in KN5 in Mavericks, they work. Below, an example of a beating heart from Jumsoft, and what happens in KN6.

5. Check out how my helper apps may have been affected, e.g. Doceri for annotating slides, and whiteboarding in Keynote. UPDATE: Doceri is fine – phew! OTOH, Animationist with its beautiful titling effects, will suffer for the same reasons as listed in 4., above: transparency loss.

6. Keep reading blogs and Apple discussion lists for hidden gems (yeah, right! Much gnashing of teeth currently. Most major websites such as Ars Technica, iMore, CNet currently all carry mainly strongly negative “what were they thinking/smoking” jibes at Apple’s iWork engineering team.

7. Watch for KN 6.0.1 to address some of the shortcomings, bugs, etc. This has got to be a long term process and will surely test many long term users resolve. Prezi will welcome them, some will return to the bosom of Powerpoint (“The herd may stink, but at least it’s warm”) while some like me will divvy the work between KN5 and KN6 in the short term.

8. Stick with my day job as a clinical psychologist, and presentation skills trainer where even current KN on the iPad is better than how most use Powerpoint on the desktop – seriously. That’s not to say Powerpoint on Windows doesn’t have a hugely impressive feature set – it does. But 95% of presentation only ever use 5% of its capabilities – in other words, dull, or replete with the most awful “art text”.

9. My guidance to you: If you’re doing mission critical presenting right now, stay with KN 5 even on Mavericks. Only if you’re starting a new project from scratch, or have the time and energy to update your older files to KN6 (and learn what repairs you’ll need to do), do you employ KN6.

10. There are some immediate disappointments. I am unhappy to lose the Fall transition; the lack of a timeline for precision build timings appalls; while item grouping has improved (more on this in a later blog article), multiple grouped items are all still named “Group”, making it difficult to navigate busy files with numerous groups needing to be layered. Smart builds, like those rotating turntables and object swapping has been dropped. The Keynote engineering team were always disappointed in their take-up, even though they had a huge splash when Steve Jobs first showed us the iPhone. Remember the spinning elements: “It’s an iPod; it’s a phone; it’s an internet communicator – are you getting it yet?”,  created with Smart Builds.

UPDATE: The loss of hyperlinking within a KN file, and between KN files is for me, a serious one. It will change some of my conceptualisation of knowledge transfer, and my attempts to be more immediate and less linear in my teaching.

One must remember that KN1 initially did not have hyperlinking, and it made its first appearance many years later. It’s not the most used of its features to judge from Keynote workshops I have conducted; of course, after I showed what it could do in terms of audience engagement, I’m sure many explored it further. I do expect it to return in a KN6 update.

FURTHER UPDATE: It’s there in KN6. But buried. I am working on a new blog article about it.

11. Slide editing of Quicktime movies remains the same: Imprecise, and only one “In” and “Out” point for each movie. I would have hoped how movies can be edited on the iPhone might have made its way into Keynote, but it will surely come later.

So, in summary, it’s not the gee whiz, pull out all the stops, show us what you can really do Apple upgrade starved Keynote artists had been hoping for after five years. Our imaginations filled the void, ignoring where Apple is making its money, with iOS devices.

But now that we see a road ahead, powered by A7 chips in iOS devices which will no longer be referred to as toys, or media consumption devices (go back and rewatch the Apple video showing the diversity of iPad uses which starts with the wind energy generators), these content creation devices will drive Keynote further.

There may be a surprise awaiting us with a Keynote Pro with a look and feel of Apple’s Pro software like Final Cut X and Aperture (we can dream), but for now there is a workflow for power users, and that is to keep doing what you’re doing with Keynote 5, and find the time to play with Keynote 6 and become curious and explorative. There are some hidden surprises I will blog about soon.

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With the passing of Steve Jobs, its primary beta tester, has Apple now orphaned its presentation software, Keynote, which hasn’t received a major update for almost three years. Will dissatisfied users abandon it for Powerpoint (which Jobs despised)?

I’ve just finished reading on my iPad and iPhone Walter Isaacson’s superb biography of Steve Jobs. I knew much of the story he told from the various unauthorised biographies as well as individual blogs written about him, as well as movies such as “Triumph of the Nerds” and “Pirates of Silicon Valley”.

I saw Steve a few times up close when I visited the Apple campus in the last few years, but never had a chance to speak with him. I can certainly fantasise that he many have read some of my blog articles about Apple products such as the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone and of course his presentation software of choice, Keynote.

In more recent years, he spoke of hoping to keep Apple’s DNA alive after he was gone by dint of the new Apple building he has commissioned to be built on some previous Hewlett-Packard land. Perhaps he had read of the “Apple DNA” concept on my blog article in December, 2004, a screenshot of which is below. It is on this website that I first suggested Apple ought to make a tablet (I nicknamed it the iScribe) which would be brilliant for Keynote users to remote use:

(If you can find a description of Apple’s DNA earlier than 2004, please let me know!)

I’m sure many readers have fantasised what they would have said to Steve Jobs if they happened to meet him, and perhaps some of you have! My other fantasy includes him walking into my first Presentation Magic  presentation at Macworld 2008, saying  “This sucks!”, then taking over the show to share his presentation ideas. How I and attendees would have had special memories to take with us had that happened!

But before you think it merely fantasy, others in the health professions have indeed been on the receiving end of Jobs’ “advice” with regard to their presentations, especially when they used Powerpoint.

Walter Isaacson’s Jobs’ biography mentions his distaste for Powerpoint, and slideshow-based presentations in general (save for his own keynote presentations) on six occasions. You won’t find Powerpoint or Keynote listed in the book’s index, but in the iBooks’ version I have, you can of course do a global search for keywords. So, here you have them:

Global search of Powerpoint references in "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson

We’ll work our way through some of them because it’s quite illuminating to hear what someone who presentation bloggers and authors rate as one of the world’s best presenters (and the world’s best CEO presenter) has to say about Powerpoint, and presentations in general.

Let’s start with the final reference where Jobs is very ill, and his wife Laurene and others have organised various medical and genetics research staff to investigate where next in his treatment:

One could just imagine Jobs focussing on the expectedly lousy Powerpoint slides of medical researchers while they’re focussing on his genome sequence for which he’s paid $100,000!

But earlier on the book, when Jobs has returned to Apple and is setting about constructing his “A” team to resurrect Apple, we see how he eschews presentations with slideware when he believes it takes from, rather than adds to, the creative process:

“People who know what they’re talking about don’t need Powerpoint”

This might sound strange coming from someone who was the original beta tester for Apple’s Keynote, and who continued to employ it to show Apple’s wares right up to the release of the iPad 2.

But as I have written elsewhere, a Jobs’ keynote does not engage the audience in a dialogue. The audience is engaged with the story he tells of Apple’s products and services, where he employs Keynote like a storyboard, outlining a roadmap. It’s not used as a lecture technology, as an adult training tool, or as a brainstorming of ideas technology. Jobs never hid behind his slides as so many people do, preferring their slides to sell the story. No, Steve emulated for us how the slides were adjuncts to our spoken stories, never getting in the way of what the presenter was saying or doing, but ready to illustrate ideas when words were not enough.

With Steve’s passing who at Apple can carry the torch for Keynote? The obvious answer is Phil Schiller who, after Steve, is most associated with demonstrating iWork in action at Apple keynotes, and showing us updates.

But is Phil invested sufficiently in Keynote to see it continue to be updated with features for a contemporary presentation population, both givers and receivers who have become steadily sophisticated in their expectations.

I say that with some sense of caution however. I was sent a link to YouTube video of several start-ups competing for venture capital, each giving a recent 3 minute presentation.

You can watch it below. But let me remind you that since the release of Lion 10.7 and a point update for Keynote, many in various discussion groups have complained of considerable unhappiness regarding the auto-update feature, which for some means minutes of spinning beach balls for even the slightest of changes to a slide. It has meant on Apple discussion support boards that some have either reverted to Snow Leopard or an earlier edition of Keynote so as to bypass the auto-save feature, or have returned (shudder) to Powerpoint.

So when you watch the video below, bear in mind two things:

1. There is still plenty of room for presentation skills training to judge by the young group of entrepreneurs missing the central point of their presentations, viz.: their failure to appreciate the most important obstacle to overcome as soon as possible is the audience’s fundamental cognition: “Why should I give a $%# about your product?”

2. Feel some empathy for the first presenter, who uses the organiser’s Powerpoint (Mac-based) when it falls over (at 2min56sec):

Notice too what happens when you don’t provide speakers with a vanity monitor, which I have been discussing lately. You’ll see how often the presenters need to look over their shoulder to see what’s happening and lose contact with their audience. Not good when you’ve only got three minutes to persuade people.

You’ll also see many presentation errors with the slides (perhaps I’ll use this as an exercise at my Macworld presentation), which shows I hope that even young, hip entrepreneurs whose presentations really count can so easily be sucked into the Powerpoint vortex of lousy knowledge transfer.

So the mission Steve started in 2003 with Keynote 1.0 is way from over, I believe. Yet the last significant update to Keynote was in 2009 when it moved to version 5, as part of iWork 09, giving us MagicMove (which has become a default Apple transition for their keynotes), some new chart animations, and some remote apps for iDevices.

In two months, it will be three years while its users have patiently waited for Keynote’s multitude of shortcomings to be dealt with in the form of a brand new version, making a significant form and function leap as did Final Cut Pro X.

Yet without Steve there to champion it, as he did in the final period of his life, who within Apple will take it to Tim Cook, hardly renowned so far as a presenter par excellence, and the senior executive team, and offer up an improvement?

Apple keynotes themselves have settled into a very predictable pattern, with incredibly overused build styles, such as the “anvil” whenever amazing financial figures are displayed. In the last few keynotes we have not seen any hints of new effects or styles, although  of course there could be events happening outside of visual awareness, such as the much sought after timeline for more precise animation and build timings.

What’s worse, Apple’s own internal briefings using Keynote which I get to see when my MUG has an official presentation from an Apple rep., are merely Powerpoint converted to Keynote, and I recall conversations with my iWork contact who lamented the generally low level of presentation skills using Keynote performed within Apple’s various divisions. It’s probably why people like me and Larry Lessig were invited to present to the Keynote team, not just to discuss what we wanted in future Keynotes, but for the team to witness how to Present Different.

Prior to the current version 5, the longest time in Keynote’s history  when its users had to patiently wait for a new version was twenty four months, between versions 1 (released January 2003) and 2 (released January 2005).

There were some minor point updates in that time, more for stability than features. Version 2 was a huge improvement, almost like going from OS X 10.1 to its first really useable, put away System 9, version 10.2, Jaguar.

Three years is a very long time, although if one lives in the Windows Powerpoint world, where in the last decade you go from PPT 2003 to 2007 to 2011, it’s not so remarkable. And in the face of continuing updates of significance to the iPad version of Keynote, perhaps not all hope is lost.

But unless we see something new soon, and the current Lion auto-save issue is resolved, I fear issues of abandonment will continue in the face of Apple’s seeming orphaning of what appeared to be one of Steve Job’s favourite applications he loved using himself; one where we watched its use in amazement not just of the products he showed as emblems of Apple’s DNA, at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, but of the “how” he showed them, the likes if which in a CEO we won’t see for a long time.

Vale Steve.

Vale Keynote?

A Keynote 5 wishlist – because 2009 will be the year presenting well comes of age, and Apple will lead the charge with Keynote.

Season’s Greetings!

I’m preparing to head to the US where I’ll enjoy some R and R in Miami/Fort Lauderdale then head across to San Francisco to Macworld.

My two day Powertools conference is coming together, but folks, I have a dilemma…

You see, I’m strongly of the belief that Apple’s Keynote, which I’ll be using to discuss my Presentation Magic ideas – actually, more than discuss, I’ll be exploring Keynote’s capacities to render great persuasive presentations – is due for an update very soon.

We’ve seen over the past twelve months or so various Steve Jobs keynotes (remember them?) where he has shown new transitions and builds (animations for those of you switching from Powerpoint), which have eventually found their way into the next update to Keynote.

Would it not be ironic that at the 2009 Macworld keynote, to be delivered by Phil Schiller, that Keynote and iWork get a makeover, updated for 09?

There have been a number of point updates in the time Keynote has been in version 4, as the Wikipedia entry shows here. Going from version 3 in iWork 06 to version 4 in iWork 08 (does that mean perhaps that we have to wait for iWork 10 which sounds awful?) produced a massive overhaul including alpha masking, new transitions and “smart” builds, and most importantly motion effects, Keynote’s most glaring deficiency compared to Powerpoint.

My conference preparation has been centred on the current iWork 08 version of Keynote, as I’m not party to any beta testing of the next version. But my dilemma centres around what I might have to do in the two days I have to work with other Keynote afficionados: stay with what I have prepared or spend time exploring some of the new features of any new Keynote that might be released in a few weeks.

As it is, I’ve probably overprepared the syllabus for the two days. Including any coverage of a new version means leaving something out… looks like it could be a late night on Day 1 (Wednesday) if the crowd asks me to go over additional features in a potential update. Actually, to do so removes some pressure to be spot on with my choice of materials and ideas the attendees could be exposed to… I’m quite happy to “wing it” should it come to that, and I’m guessing an excited Keynote-oriented crowd would be quite forgiving if I slip off the prepared syllabus which they’ll receive in a workbook I’ve prepared.

Let’s imagine for a moment that Keynote 5 will be released at Macworld 09… spend a few moments with me fantasising how to improve upon a great presentation tool. It’s important to visualise this every so often, by the way, lest you settle for what Keynote allows you to do rather than stretch beyond it. To do this would be to create a “Cognitive Style of Keynote” and see it vilified in much the same way as Powerpoint.

No, we have to think outside the rather creative box Keynote has constructed for us, and push the limits as we currently understand the workings of message delivery systems to broad audiences.

But first, an aside.

Some people have suggested to me that I ought to focus more attention in these blog entries on presenting in general and not be so Keynote-specific. Their suggestions are warmly received and where possible I try to balance my general ideas and views on presentations with entries on Keynote alone, albeit tied in with better presenting skills.

I could I suppose write more positively about the elephant in the presentation room (Powerpoint) and possibly generate more work for myself from corporations and industries who see no alternative to it. But guess what? There are thousands of people writing, discussing, blogging and authoring about and with Powerpoint. Why would I want to, minnow-like, jump into a Pacific-ocean sized pond and try and get my message out there?

At some point, we each have to make decisions and follow them through as far as we can, and for me it’s advocating Keynote as the better knowledge-sharing tool, because of the means by which it seems to generate greater creativity and workflow styles than Powerpoint. It seems “truer” to the cause of memorable presenting, despite its shortcomings and fewer features than Powerpoint. If that means losing out on workshop and training opportunities because I won’t toe the corporate line, so be it. Been there, done that, no thanks ma’am. I much prefer to work with those who can see beyond the Marketing Department’s demand that each slide has the corporate logo taking up valuable real estate.

Was 2008 the year we changed how we thought about presenting?

That said, I want to share with you my belief that 2008 was a turning point for Keynote and presentations in general. Seriously. It came about through the massive increase of Mac sales, each with a full working demo of iWork installed. It came about through the publication and wonderful take-up of books like Presentation Zen and Slide:ology, and the creation and exposure of sites like Slideshare. It also came about because of the massive public awareness of YouTube and the expectation of higher quality multimedia now that the technology to do so is inexpensive and easy to use. Web 2.0, or social media seemed to reach a certain developmental stage where old-fashioned textual information exchange was inadequate to the task. It came about when Macworld allowed me to have some time with attendees and present about presentation skills, and then left the video of the session (or the slides with narration) up on the Web.

And like so many things, all technologies have a limited time span to make their mark before something new comes along. Last year (2007) marked 20 years of Powerpoint, and on that anniversary we had time to pause and ask if our communication skills are any better, despite the clear demand that abundant information from a huge reservoir of sources deserves better means of knowledge transfer.

And probably that hoary old chestnut that so often saw education-based IT department heads condemn Macs to the graphics department – “kids need to learn on the hardware and software they’ll use when they leave school” – was also finished off once and for all.

2009 – a presentation revolution on its way

So 2009 will be the year of a presentation revolution, in my humble opinion. It’s time has come. There have been many attempts to topple the cognitive style of Powerpoint (You don’t know what it is? OK – just come up with any esoteric subject, put it into Google search, add “ppt” to search for Powerpoint on the topic and sit back and be appalled 99% of the time. Increase it to 99.5% by only choosing those presentations from sites that have .gov or .mil in their domain name. Why? The greater the levels of bureaucracy, the more the levels of text on slides, with sub- and sub-sub-headers. And less degrees of imagination in case you don’t conform.)

If Keynote is to lead the charge to better presentations in 2009, I am fantasising it will include the following features. A number of these have been floating about the web and Keynote discussion groups for some time, but these are my personal preferences to suit my style:

1. Highest on my list of priorities will be some kind of timeline addition to the Inspector. This will allow for much more precise timings of builds, and much better matching between sounds, the delivery of text and images, as well as movies.

Apple introduced many users to the concept with the original iMovie, with its video and twin audio channel timelines for precise editing. This continued into the video Pro apps, and then returned in slightly different form when the iLife suite was introduced, including Garageband. It too allowed for precise matching of multiple tracks including in an updated version, graphics for podcasts.

It’s clear that Apple engineers understand the importance of precision editing. At the moment in Keynote, it feels pretty much hit and miss, requiring much manual tweaking.

I want to go one step further though, as so far the timeline pertains to a slide. I’d like to see a Master timeline so that audio can be faded in and out across slides, not just within. At the moment, in order to do that, you need to export the sequence of slides as a Quicktime movie into iMovie (for instance, or it could be Final Cut), add the desired sounds including any “ducking” using the provided timeline, then import into Keynote. I’ve found this produces less than sharp images and text. Better to do it within Keynote.

2. Greater control over the choice of slides to allow less linear operations.
At the moment if you hit the command key in Keynote it will bring up the current slide and one each side of it (i.e., before and after) when in Presenter Mode (current and next slide is visible to the speaker). But there are times when that choice is limiting. Currently, the work-around is to printout the slides (including all builds on the one slide) and clearly number them so you hit, say Command-42 to take you to that slide.

My preference would be a means to view all slides using a hot key selector then point and click on it to go straight there, leaving the audience unaware of this occurring. Perhaps some integration with the iPhone or iPod Touch in wi-fi mode will allow some measure of this to occur, with the handheld unit acting as both remote and Preview device.

While in Presenter mode I’d like to be able to see all the linked hot-spots I might have created on a slide, where clicking in the area would take me to that slide in the Keynote deck. At the moment, it’s doable, but requires fiddling and guesswork.

3. Free form line drawing. This is a real oversight, where I now have to use a third party drawing application to draw precise curved lines, then import it into Keynote. My preference would be to allow Keynote to do this, as long as we don’t end up with a top-heavy inspector, which starts to look like the Powerpoint ribbon. Once the free form line is drawn, I’d like to be able to make an object traverse it accurately and smoothly. It’s still fiddly in the current version of Keynote.

4. Better image manipulation tools including masking. Let me be able to distort, skew and change perspective, rather than having to open Photoshop and then import into Keynote. Powerpoint has moved a great distance down this path, allowing for a great deal of image manipulation which at a pinch can be an aid to Keynote. In my experience this is not a perfect solution producing artifacts, but it’s easier than using Photoshop for novices.

5. An improvement in motion builds. There are a variety of effects I’d like to achieve, but the four motion builds (scale, move, rotate, opaque) are too limiting for some of my ideas.

6. One of the the things I like to do when creating a slide is gather all the materials I’ll be using onto the slide, or more accurately around the slide, which I’ve placed in 25% size. This gives you a great deal of surrounding white space to “store” your slide components, and plan some motion builds. But Keynote puts the slide in the top left hand corner of the work space. This is OK if you are bringing elements onto the slide from the right or below, but requires imprecise guesswork for the other two sides. Better to be able to place the slide in the centre and thus use all four sides for any motion builds.

7. Some build refinements, such that I can make an object glow or pulse to draw attention to it. I can do it now, and will show how at Macworld, but it’s a lot of clicking and pasting and effort. Drawing attention to slide objects, such as cells in a data table, or parts of an object, is now a very important element of presenting, and will hopefully do away with silly laser pointers. There are third party tools for this currently on the market, like Mousepose, but as usual. I’d prefer to see it within Keynote.

To that extent, once I have constructed some builds, give me better preview options, rather than the miniscule Inspector to see how an effect will look.

Now this is not an exhaustive list, and late night tiredness prevents me from adding some illustrations (which I might add in an update once I’m settled in Florida with a high speed connection). And others will no doubt have their own wishlists, which you can see if you head to the comments section of a blog entry I wrote some time back here. That blog entry was written pre-Keynote 4, just as I am writing this one, but almost two years later! And while one or two of my requests have been fulfilled, the main ones are still outstanding.

It would be a pity of Keynote users spend another year or so feeling abandoned as happened between Keynote 1 and Keynote 2. Hopefully, at Macworld they’ll be an opportunity to chat with Keynote users and engineers (fingers crossed) and let them know how much Keynote is enjoyed for its ease of use and creativity-generating properties, and it shouldn’t be abandoned as Apple continues to build itself as a digital media powerhouse.

To that extent, while I’ll miss Steve Jobs give his keynote in two weeks, I’m hoping that he’ll give others during product launches in 2009, and the high level of presentation standards are maintained when Apple VPs stand and deliver. Fingers crossed on that one.

Apple’s Keynote as an enabling technology for Generation We

There are times when I don’t give workshops on Presentation Magic, but use the magic to distill complex and confusing ideas in workshops on Technology. Note I use a capital T here, to speak of the concept underlying what a technology is.

I’m often invited to speak to groups who by dint of their age, or life experiences, didn’t jump on board the Internet Train but instead have been thrown on board by their employers, children or friends and expected to enjoy the ride. But it’s not fun when you’re just being jostled about in rattling carriages with windows half-open and you can’t enjoy much of a view. Oh, and those same “benefactors” give you their hand-me-down Windows 98 boxes, or conversely Windows Vista! But that is the subject of another blog!

So I see my task for this group is to be a travel advisor and commentator, a kind of Lonely Planet guide, helping them plan their itineraries, pack the necessary gear for the trip, and make the journey more comfortable. Believe it or not, in my other work where as a Clinical Psychologist working with fearful flyers, I actually do take on that role, but that is also the subject of another blog, here.

In workshops like these, my primary aim using Apple’s Keynote is to illustrate the journey we humans have taken to get to 2008 technologies, by noting that all the Ages of Man have been denoted by the tools humans used, or the outcome of using those tools.

Think about it: We have the Iron Age, not just because ferrous material was discovered but the use to which it was put; and thus we also have a Copper Age and a Bronze Age. Later, after the Middle Ages and the Dark Ages where the Church’s edicts ruled how knowledge about nature was to be understood, an Age of Enlightenment dawned, led by the likes of Sir Isaac Newton.

In living memory, following another technology-based age, the Industrial Revolution, we’ve had the Information Age, the Age of the Knowledge Worker, and now with Web 2.0 and beyond, the Age of Connectivity, following the advent of the Internet which some have suggested has caused a more profound global shift than the Age of Moveable Type, i.e., Gutenberg’s development of print technologies.

By heavily illustrating these concepts in Keynote, I’m allowed to convey to my workshop audience the concept I hold to: that while technologies about us mught shift very quickly (e.g, the adoption rate of the cellphone, with the major exemplar being the iPhone) we humans don’t change too quickly at all – we use technologies for the same purposes as our ancestors did thousands of years ago. And sometimes we must acknowledge how technologies live double lives: that for which its creator intended it to be used, to solve some identifiable problem better than the previous “mousetrap” (for better, read cheaper, faster, more reliably, etc); and a second purpose, when others seeking to solve other problems, co-opt the technology to serve them.

So while the Internet’s fathers in the US, particularly around Stanford and MIT, wanted a means to have academic departments communicate and share files, would they ever have conceived of Google or YouTube or the iPhone for that matter?

We’re talking here of the late 1960s… a time of major social change following Kennedy’s pledge to put a man on the moon, the spread of the integrated circuit, and the effects of the introduction of the contraceptive pill.

There were movies and books discussing the “generation gap”, where a motto sprang forward in the late 1960s: “Don’t trust anyone over 30.”

But in recent times, analysts and social commentators have argued that this simple dichotomy based on year of birth is insufficient to explain the social changes currently being experienced. So we have descriptions of “Baby Boomers”, Gen X and Gen Y, and some say Gen M, where the M stands for Media or Me, reflecting a certain self-centredness perceived by Baby Boomers in their offspring.

But in a video below, made prior to the US elections urging young people to get out and vote for the first time, the young people portrayed describe themselves as Generation We.

The “We” is a collective noun, and reflects I think on new social media’s enabling one of technology’s main purposes: connectivity.

This is a generation of can-do’s, opting not to wait for their parents’ generation to fix the problems they created in their pursuit of happiness bought by consumerism. This is a generation who knows that technology must be harnessed if their future is not to be stricken with the excesses and ignorance of the previous generations.

And this is the generation who can decipher complex messages as long as they are delivered in an appropriate and appealing way. This generation, who have grown up with the expectation that information is available to them at the touch of a button, will not tolerate dumbed down, bullet-point driven message delivery methods (you knew I was getting there eventually, didn’t you?).

This is a group who will see thousands of messages in their lifetime, each competing for limited attention span. This group demands a much higher level of involvement in their own learning, who will not tolerate being lectured, and who will be far more self-sufficient than the current crop of recent college graduates.

If you are going to work with this group, either at college or by employing them, be aware that you will have to explore new ways of reaching out and holding their attention.

You will really have to understand learning styles, and accommodate the variations which hitherto have been ignored under a welter of poorly designed conventional slides or boring uninvolving presentations.

It’s presenting for the times we live in, with the available research on how knowledge is shared and shaped demanding technologies which can truly be called “enablers”.

When presenting I choose to use Apple’s Keynote as my enabling technology because it’s a better match to my cognitive style of conveying my ideas. It’s a personal thing, but I find Powerpoint even on the Mac, stifling and constraining. Mind you, when I speak to general audiences about styles of learning I’m platform-agnostic, and I rarely talk people out of using Powerpoint unless they expressly ask me what I used in my talks. That tells me they saw a difference and might be a little open to shifting their allegiances if they feel confident they can reproduce the kind of effects the have just witnessed.

Now take a little time to view the Generation We video, bearing in mind the pre-election period it was created in, and I thank my colleague Shawn Callahan of Anecdote.com for the heads-up.

Why Apple’s Keynote keeps raising the bar when it comes to presentations – it’s all to do with why it was created in the first place.

Is the Powerpoint style of presenting on the way down?

Is the style of Powerpoint on its way down?

There’s a long running comparison between Microsoft and Apple that suggests that while Apple can turn on a dime (or sixpence if you prefer) when it comes to dealing with the changing technology landscape, Microsoft is like the Titanic, unable to chart its way through troubled waters, and make the necessary rapid diversions to avoid obstacles, foreseeable or otherwise.

It had a chance to do so with mobile phone technologies, but CEO Steve Ballmer who saw the iPhone coming laughed it out of contention and continued on his predictable path. We’ll see where the SS Microsoft navigates to in a year or two with respect to cellphone software and market share.

It’s its sister ship, SS Powerpoint (above) that I’m considering in this post. Some time back, I wrote a blog entry entitled, “Just what is it about Keynote that is changing the way people present? where I trawled through the blogosphere looking for who was using Keynote and why. I was searching for others’ notions of Keynote’s ability to elicit creativity, non-conformity and and persuasiveness in its users so as to deliver impactful messages.

Since that time, I’ve noticed (because I look for such things) an increasing number of high profile presenters overtly using Keynote. I’ll update that blog entry soon, transferring over onto this Presentation Magic blog. Just this morning, on a discussion list I subscribe to, I saw the following message:

“My employer wants me to look into taking an advanced Apple Keynote course…. Our company is looking to migrate from PowerPoint to Keynote and I am the person who will be performing all of these tasks… I’m pretty versed in Keynote, but I think I’m just at the tip of the iceberg with the program. I know it can do more.

Well yes; it can.

In my travels where I’m just speaking about presentations, much like my friend Garr Reynolds with his Presentation Zen approach, I take a platform-agnostic stance. Audiences have not come to learn about software choices. But no matter whether the audience are teachers or CEOs, they know they haven’t seen Powerpoint in action.

They see razor sharp text (usually just a big word or two per slide), megasharp pictures (no pixelation), unfamiliar themes and backgrounds which don’t compete with what’s in the foreground (the message!), movies which play flawlessly within the slide without revealing the controls, spoiling the sense of a seamless presence, and they see intriguing, enhance-the-story transitions and builds (otherwise known as animations).

It’s not that Powerpoint, the application, can’t do these effects adequately – it can. Indeed, it goes one or two better than Keynote when it comes to picture manipulation abilities, for which one needs to leave Keynote 4 and seek third party assistance, such as Photoshop. And it has better timing controls, for sound and image “ins and outs”, something sorely lacking in Keynote 4, but which I expect to be addressed in an update, utilising the timing features we’ve seen in iLife apps. such as Garageband, iMovie and iDVD.

For me, in 2008, the historical differences in the products’ DNA is becoming glaringly obvious. Powerpoint, the app., can’t seem to shake off its corporate lineage, its graduation from being an ersatz overhead transparency producer for the Mac Plus and an adjunct for sales and marketing professionals, complete with bullet point templates for outlining a widget’s selling points.

Keynote’s origins, as a medium for Steve Jobs’ keynotes, where he would display his company’s wares, came as a cinematic, narrative device. Few will disagree that a Jobs’ keynote is a keenly anticipated event, often as not letting the non-techie world know where the techie world is heading. That’s not to say Jobs usually introduces unheard-of products. But he and Apple have displayed an uncanny knack since 1997 to reinvent the familiar, and turn it into something emotionally satisfying rather than a sterile object to be endured due to an impenetrable user interface or lack of reliability.

To help persuade us of Apple’s foresight and ability to provide emotionally satisfying products and future offerings, thus building up anticipation and desirability, as we witnessed with the iPhone introduction in 2007, Jobs uses Keynote to tell stories. Even when on rare occasions it fails, he tells stories such as when he and Woz would play pranks in their dorm using Woz’s gadgets, all the while no doubt hoping that the tech. gnomes in the support area are getting things working again. Pronto!

Keynote was designed from the ground up as a story telling device in the tradition of movie making, hardly surprising given Jobs’ involvement in Hollywood. It elicits in the user, scene construction, editing facilties, and high quality graphics and sound reproduction. A great deal of thought has been put into matching its themes with default fonts and photo cutouts. The reflection and shadowing effects, which Powerpoint has now added and in some ways exceeded, allows for lifting images and text off the page, playing into the audience’s depth perception capacities it takes for granted.

The capacity of Keynote to allow for exceptional vividness and presence is one of its secret herbs and spices, all too easy to neglect when all you’re doing is preparing the next bullet point series (must remember to keep to the 7 x 7 rule – as if!), and locating brain-wearying clip art. At least Powerpoint 2008 for the Mac has eschewed clip art for high quality photo objects.

One shouldn’t underestimate the story-telling, narrative-building capacities of Keynote. More than ever, the power to weave a story arc, with its beginning – middle – end, is essential for conveying complex ideas and concepts to naive audiences. By “naive” I don’t mean willfully ignorant, but an audience who is attending in order to learn and assimilate unfamiliar concepts into their own knowledge base. In order to do so, presenters would do well to make essential assumptions of the audiences prior knowledge, and build a story, using metaphors and similes and even biographical tales.

This is where Keynote’s advanced transitions and builds help the presenter weave his or her story, sometimes applying cinema quality dissolves Powerpoint is incapable of achieving, or advanced masking controls, much like matte artists at Industrial Light and Magic.

Indeed, it’s my guess that we will see in the next Keynote update even more acknowledgement of its cinematic heritage by the inclusion of the sort of effects we have come to see in such Apple products as Final Cut and Motion.

For the past five years since its introduction, Keynote has gently added new features, starting from a fairly low base compared to the bells and whistles Powerpoint users have come to expect. Long time users had to become quite innovative and clever in their use, making up for Keynote’s feature deficits, yet capitalising on its superior visual and text qualities. In Keynote 4, Apple unleashed some of the most desired and necessary features such as motion, alpha masking and scaling.

Keynote still lacks the diversity and multiplicity of features Powerpoint boasts. But if the feedback I receive is to be relied upon, audiences certainly don’t notice the disparity. Indeed, because they so often see the same unimaginative themes and unnecessary animations in Powerpoint, the simplicity of Keynote shines through.

It does mean that Keynote users work harder to achieve these effects, using the application’s precision features. This may come as a shock to those who expect Apple products to make life easier, but this is to misunderstand the desired effect: to make the audience’s task easier in understanding the presenter’s essential points.

I was once told that an expert makes a difficult task look so easy a beginner could contemplate undertaking the task, only to discover the task’s inherent difficulty.

Helping audiences understand difficult concepts, including ones they may intially resist, requires tools which help the presenter make the difficult seem possible. Keynote’s cinematic qualities taps into the dominant medium by which we learn and are entertained simultaneously.

Powerpoint will get there too, once its users shift from its cognitive style incorporating an overabundance of the written word, and it improves its graphics abilities. We are already seeing this shift with a number of books recently published acknowledging its deficits, and helping its users achieve more, focussing on essential presentation skills. Google the names “Cliff Atkinson“; “Stephen Kosslyn” and “Rick Altman“.

But by then, Keynote will have leapt ahead, improving its audio handling abilities, and incorporating sophisticated timeline features to assist presenters’ ability to have even more precise control over the slide and its elements. As Keynote’s strengths attract more third party developers, expect some thrilling breakthroughs in presentation capabilities.

That’s what I’m looking forward to including in my Powertools workshop – I won’t be surprised to receive news of such developments in the lead up to Macworld. Plus more rumours of a Keynote 5 on the way.

Powerpoint users may console themselves that it is still the dominant knowledge transfer tool on the planet. But today more than ever given financial circumstances, it’s time to stand out from the crowd and differentiate oneself. And with Macintosh market share growing, more and more switchers will peer inside their new Macs’ Application folder and wonder what this trial iWork bundle can achieve. Some will “get it” straight away, revelling in Keynote’s comparatively simple interface, while others will wonder how they will get by with such a “minimal” set of tools. But if they persevere, use facilities like Apple’s online seminars featuring Keynote or sign up for Lynda.com self-paced tutuorials, they will ultimately come to understand why Keynote generates so much enthusiasm by its long-term users, despite its shortcomings.

Please use the comments section to share your Keynote stories, especially if you’re a switcher. You can be assured Apple’s Keynote team will be listening!

While Wall Street went “meh” over the Let’s Rock keynote, Steve Jobs stealthily showed us the next version of his presentation software, Keynote

Whilst Wall Street sighed with feigned non-interest at the outcome of Apple’s “Let’s Rock” presentation on Tuesday, and others wondered if Apple had lost its sparkle with no surprises – the rumour sites put paid to that – another group of Apple observers were watching keenly.

This is a group that has come to learn that there is one Apple product that Steve Jobs does not keep wrapped up tightly and hidden under a bushell, lest the rumour sites steal his thunder. Indeed, I think what I’m talking about is the only product that Apple regularly lets the public see ahead of its release, with nary a mention. Those who have visited my blogs from time to time know of which product I speak: Keynote, Apple’s presentation software first released at Macworld 2003.

Nowadays, during each of Steve Jobs presentations, Keynote observers watch for tell-tale signs that an update is imminent. We saw a little hint at this year’s Macworld keynote, when the Macbook Air was released: a few new transitions.

But at Tuesday’s “Let’s Rock” iPodfest, we got the message loud and clear that a significant Keynote update, perhaps a version update, not just a point-update (ie Version 5 rather than version 4.0.4) was on its way.

Evidence

Since my teachings with Keynote so emphasise the visual (“the visual system is to broadband what the audio system is to dial-up”), how better to demonstrate the likely forthcoming update by sharing with you screenshots of Let’s Rock presentation, in the order I spotted them. Perhaps there are others I missed, so please let me know: les-at-lesposen.com

Let’s Start:

The first hint comes very early in the keynote, just a few minutes in:

This is actually the placing of the word “Music” onto the screen, in a starburst kind of way, much like the old Screen Gems logo used in TV shows of long ago. Let’s see what happens a moment later:

Now we can see the word “Music” appearing. The effect is hardly subtle, but one that really draws your attention. Let’s see what happens next:

The starburst finshes its “orbit” and the full word is revealed. This is a full-on animation which these screenshots can barely illustrate in an adequate fashion. But even so, I see them as evidence of new effects. Together with what else we see as the keynote progress, it can be taken as evidence of continued improvement in the Keynote app.

Nextnew image manipulation abilities or just an imported Photoshopped image?

Take a look at what comes next in the Jobs’ slideshow: an image of iTunes 7, below:

I want you to notice an effect I use frequently in my own Keynotes, especially when I’m showing book covers, newspaper articles, or journal papers. This is a skewed image where the left edge angles down to a shorter right edge, as if the image was rotated slightly. This has the effect of drawing the eye along the image from left to right, and in my own slides there is a large amount of black (or white space) where your eye moves to and you just “know” something will appear there. This is me taking control of the message delivery by directing your gaze where I want it to go – let’s call this “direction” as compared to the magician’s “misdirection” where he sets you up for a “gosh, how did he do that?” moment.

Currently, to do this effect in Keynote means using another software, such as Photoshop or GraphicConverter. Indeed, even Powerpoint for Mac 2008 has rudimentary image manipulation tools which I have used to distort and image then import it into Keynote. My guess is, judging by this image, Keynote is about to match Powerpoint’s ability, if not leapfrog past it. Look further at the image above, and note how the reflection leaves no gap at the bottom, which is what would happen if you just dropped in a Photoshopped image. This gives further support to the notion that Keynote has received upgraded photo tools.

Next: New text animations

Keynote has far fewer animation effects than Powerpoint, but what it does have screams at you that you are seeing a Keynote rather than more of the same Powerpoint. In the next series of slides we see a new text animation effect. We start with a number displayed, “8,500,000″ and underneath it, “songs” in smaller print.

In actual fact, the animation has just begun, if you notice how the “5″ and the third “0″ are a tad brighter than the other digits.

In the next slide, a moment later, we see this:

There is the same “5″ and “0″ and the comma, but also notice that in the word “songs” some letters have gove missing. Transpositions are taking place, as we see in the next slide:

In fact, we now see a new text image: 125,000 Podcasts. But notice how the “5″ and the “0″ in 125,000, and the “o” and “s” in Podcasts are brighter, having remained from the previous text (8,500,000 songs). What an interesting transition, and I’m going to be curious to see when to use it in my own slide creations when I get my hands on this version of Keynote. And what the development team have called this effect!

Moving along… a “flip and hang” transition

In the next new transition, we start at the point where Steve is discussing the pricing of Standard Definition (SD) television shows (priced at $1.99) and how iTunes 8 will also now support High Definition (HD) at $2.99.

Here’s how we move from one price point to the other. We start with SD:

Notice in the next image a moment later how the price starts to flip upwards:

… and in the next slide, as it flips right over, it and the letters “SD” are being replaced by the $2.99, and the HD letters:

But in the next slide, below, we see the fun element. The “HD” has now appeared but the price $2.99 is still flipping around on a different time basis. Again, another transition that captures the gaze.

And in the next slide both HD and $2.99 rock on their horizontal axes – quite an unusual yet strangely familiar effect.

Next: Follow the bouncing hoola-hoop

One of the things I teach in my Presentation Magic classes is how to draw the eye to specific locations on the slide. There are any number of reasons for doing this, and any number of ways. Most presenters are utterly lazy and use those awful laser pointers to circle or point to something on the slide. Most times, it looks as if they have early onset Parkinson’s Disease because it’s very difficult to hold the pointer steady, and drawing circles around specific areas is usually of little help.

My preferred solution is to know ahead of time, when you prepare your slides, just what on the slide you want your audience to look for. You can state it: “Now, of you notice this column in the spreadsheet” or “Let’s take a closer look at this aeroplane’s engine exhaust”. Or, you can either circle these areas with a shape outline, or grey out the areas around the target location, leaving the target the only object in full colour or you can cut out the target, enlarge it, and bring it forward over a fuzzy background image. These are but two ways of drawing the audience’s eye where you want it to go.

In the slide sequence below, we see that Keynote’s developers have attended to this and we get a new way, probably one of several, to highlight a specific area of a slide. We start with the iTunes interface once more:

In the next moment, at the bottom left corner, we see a purple circle emerge – it actually bounces onto the slide from the left:

… and like a demented and distorting hula hoop keeps bouncing over to the right:

…bouncing and rolling…

… almost there…

… until fully formed as a circle, it highlights the new “Genius” icon in iTunes 8:

I’m guessing this is just one of a few new ways Keynote will allow you to highlight various aspects of a slide, and I am guessing its developers have been looking closely at how some of us have been using Keynote’s abilities and both making it easier for us (less clicks) as well adding features from their own imaginations.

Such as this graph below, which shows the “rock solid” growth of iPod sales. So why not use a slab of rock to drive home the point?

Jobs reaches the end of the new Nano announcements with a replication of the “screen gems” effect but its orientation is vertical, whereas at the beginning of the keynote it was horizontal. Let’s see. We start with the new Nano:

And with the curviness of the new screen, it’s a no brainer to “highlight” it:

… drawing attention to its new appearance, now added to by movement of the “screen gems”:

… which really gets the eye’s attention:

Were there other new effects I missed?

Well, I kind of got the feeling that one of my wishes for Keynote came true: A Ken Burns’ effect where one could enlarge and pan across the slide, dropping down onto a section to highlight. But perhaps I was only seeing things, and it was the camera videoing the keynote that was performing this effect.

Yet perhaps….

In any case, out of all this rather obsessional Keynote watching, comes the renewed belief that we are in for a Keynote upgrade, hopefully way before Macworld, so I can incorporate its new effects in my two-day workshop, shortly to be announced by IDG/Macworld.

I’ll write more about this in the next few weeks as the Conference starts to shape up, and perhaps the Keynote community can share with me some of their desires for Keynote. I have a strong suspicion the Keynote team at Apple will be listening closely to our ideas for how to further improve Keynote, and help it to help us elicit more creativity and less boredom in our audiences.

It’s time for a change! Welcome to Presentation Magic…

After several years using Blogwavestudio as my blogging software, and housing my presentation thoughts on my Cyberpsych blog, it’s time for a change.

Actually the change was foistered on me, after my seemingly indestructible Powerbook G4 (c.2004) got a cracked screen courtesy of your’s truly, and Blogwavestudio couldn’t make the transition from a PPC to an Intel-based Mac. It didn’t help either that the software developers, from Korea, were nowhere to be found.

Blogwavestudio was hardware-bound: I had to have my Mac with me to blog and publish. Sure, I could write an entry then wait to get to the Powerbook and transfer it. But that was tedious, and with the iPhone due for launch in Australia sometime this year, the invitation to blog at will is likely to prove too strong. I can’t tell you how many blog entries I’ve developed on train trips, or while waiting for someone, and not had the opportunity to publish it almost immediately… in which case, it vanishes.

With WordPress, I’m hoping to blog more often, and enable a better comments system to run, as well as Web 2.0 features like tags, categories, and other social networking possibilities.

Why the title “Presentation Magic”?

Well, this was the name given to my presentation on using Apple’s Keynote at Macworld 2008 by Paul Kent, Macworld’s Director. This was my first time at Macworld at it came at Paul’s invitation, as he was a reader of my Cyberpsych blog which covered things Apple as well as presentations.

The actual presentation I gave went over well, and I’m hoping to return to the US this year to offer more presentations and training for those ready to change the way they present.

The “magic” in the title doesn’t refer to doing extraordinary things with Keynote or Powerpoint. It more refers to how magic is an important part of human life, something that both entertains, intrigues, confuses, and persuades us. All things that presentations are capable of performing.

As a psychologist, I have always been interested in illusions and how humans can be fooled. In my clinical work, patients are often “fooled” by the messages their bodies send them, and perceive danger where it doesn’t exist, thus narrowing their opportunities.

Good presentations are effective by understanding how the human mind works, and strive to use current knowledge of the cognitive sciences to help audiences understand complex messages.

More than ever, audiences are being bombarded with presentations which are presenter-focussed. Magicians are always audience-focussed, knowing how audiences function and surprising them when their misdirection leads to an “aha!” moment.

The audience doesn’t really care how you pulled off your magic, they just want to be entertained. Professional audiences who have come along to be educated, and wish to leave knowing more than what they knew beforehand, aren’t interested in how you performed your magic (ie., animations, transitions, etc). That might interest those in the audience who too are presenters. But the special effects are there as augmenters of the presenter’s knowledge base, to help him or her transfer knowledge in the simplest and easiest manner. Easy for the audience that is, often hard for the presenter, as they need to be creative, well-rehearsed, and of course, knowledgeable of the subject at hand.

That’s why good presenters are paid well, get invited back, and are sought for training: their talents are in short supply!

In the next few months, I’ll be elaborating on my presentation ideas, keeping this blog updated frequently as new ideas come to mind, and I give presentations and use the blog as a journal to debrief myself. I expect you’ll learn heaps as you read the articles.

But be aware that many of the ideas you’ll read are quite subversive, and you may not be able to present in your usual fashion once the ideas penetrate possibly years of traditional presentation giving. Certainly, that’s the feedback I get after people have seen me present about presenting: Doing the walk and the talk at the same time is profoundly interfering to how most people present currently.