Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Toastmasters International in Blacksburg, VA

This is a plug for Toastmasters International "... with more than 13,000 clubs and more than 270,000 members in 116 countries." It is for anyone who wants to be a more effective speaker or story teller, including:
  • Those who are pretty good speakers
  • Anyone who is scared to death to speak publicly
  • Students, community members, professionals, retirees, locals, internationals
  • Anyone who wants to learn
Even polished sales people and motivational speakers join Toastmasters.

Here in Blacksburg, VA there are 2 groups that meet twice a month for an hour. Come by and check one or both out! And the dues are cheap  - pennies a day for coaching, guidance, workbooks, a magazine, and more free resources. I'll be attending this week and most days there is a meeting - to continue my own learning, be around supportive people, and to practice and improve my own public speaking skills.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Are you a user-friendly presenter? 5 questions

5 questions will help you tell your presentation & interface design story.

  ① What personal story can you weave into your talk, website, & interface?
  ② Start with your conclusion/tagline early so we remember the deal.
  ③ Do you structure your talk or interface using numbers so it is easy to follow and remember?
  ④ Do your slides/interface clarify your message and are they easily visible?
  ⑤ Tie to your story and conclusion/tagline throughout.
Answer these 5 questions to have a user-friendly talk, website, or interface.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

7 Butler U presentation tips

To maximize presentation effectiveness, here are 7 presentations tips.
  1. Effective speakers have a conversational delivery
  2. Support your speech by creating visual aids that are effective
  3. Have an intro, body, & conclusion as elements of a speech
  4. PowerPoint presentations tips include text font size, consistent color/graphics, & strategic blank slides
  5. Before presenting with PowerPoint arrive early, preview, & plan
  6. Use transitions after your intro, between points, & before your conclusion
  7. Use visual aids to support your speech
Based on Student Resources, and posted in honor of the passing of Prof. Paul Sandin, announced 4/11/12 who developed the Butler University Speakers Lab.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TechPad Testimonial

I had the good fortune of hearing Bob Summers give a TechPad presentation both at the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) Tech & Toast on 3/15/12 and at the Lyric as part of Community Voices on 3/27/12. His presentation was excellent! And even Bob was pleased with input to improve his slides for next time.

What Could Have Been - Simulation of slide makeover for Bob's opening slide: Fonts were changed from grey to black and increased to 60, 36, 24 Tahoma font to increase readability and counter the bright stage lighting that washed out text, especially near the bottom of the screen.

 "This is awesome! We had some discussion about the lights during the sound check process. Main problem is the lights are on or off, which washed out the slides. Your suggestions would have made a difference and could have easily been incorporated on the fly. Did not even think to change the slides that way. "
- Bob Summers, TechPad Founder & Director at 460 Angels, March 28, 2012



Last Impression and Contact Info - Example makeover of final slide:
The logo image was increased 30% from 3.08 "(h) x 3.79 "(w) to 4.0" (h) x 4.91" (w).
The font was increased 100% from 18 point font to 36 point font.