My First Podcast is Complete

Posted by Barry Flanagan on Jul 24th, 2008
2008
Jul 24

After many, many hours of editing, the first ever Citrix Delivery Center Podcast is done (Citrix Systems is my employer).

Citrix Delivery Center Podcast Episode One

 


I had no idea how much work producing, hosting, and EDITING a podcast would be. I also had no idea how much money you could spend on audio equipment and software. There are more toys, gadgets and software tools available for audio production and editing than I could have ever imagined. The one pleasant surprise was how affordable it was to pay for a professionally produced opening, closing and bumper (complete with royalty free custom music and professional voice over talent). Audiobag.com provides a custom opener for only $67. If you have a podcast and are looking to add in a professionally produced opener or professional editing, AudioBag does an excellent job.


Despite this inordinate investment in time and money to get it done, I have enjoyed the experience. Thanksfully, my friend Doug Brown was willing to share his experience and knowledge gained from over 50 podcasts. I made many, many mistakes, but I have learned from them for the next one. I am very pleased with the final product.

I am looking for a public speaking podcaster who would like a co-host and editor. I do not have the time to produce and host an entire podcast in my free time for this blog, but I would love to help out with another one. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.






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2008
Jul 14

I have created my second entry into the SlideShare.net "World’s Best Presentation Contest‘.

 

 

This entry is a high level overview of why virtualization is the hottest market in IT today. Of course, such a presentation could easily be 200 slides to cover all the relevant reasons to why virtualization gets so much buzz. I chose to focus on the primary points, and keep the overall presentation very high level. I kept my focus on my ultimate result and the audience (which is a very wide range of people, many of whom are not in the tech industry).

 

 

 


 

 


 (Viewed best in full screen mode. You can download a complete version of the presentation in pdf format here. Licensed under Creative Commons Non-Commercial -Share Alike 3.0.)

 

 

 

Here are a  few notes on the creation of this deck and the choices I made in creating the slides. I have found that a review of my thought process in any type of communication helps me improve a great deal in the future.

 

 

 

 First, the choice of the title "The Buzz on Virtualization". My opening to a presentation is typically based on a relevant story or metaphor.  A metaphor or story gives your audience a way to relate to the information in a personal manner, and is much more accessible to a diverse audience.

 

In this presentation I decided to use the "Buzz" metaphor for all the interest in virtualization. I like this metaphor because it evokes the sound of "buzz" and the picture of a bee. If I were presenting this in person, I would add in a sound effect of bees buzzing to the title slide. Whenever possible I try to appeal to multiple senses throughout a presentation, both in the metaphors I choose and the visuals used inside the slides. The widens the appeal to a broader range of people by capturing the interest of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners.

 

On each section title slide I added in a picture of a single isolated bee to tie back to the theme of the buzz around virtualization. I also used the opening question again the conclusion. This is a very common structure for a speech or presentation. I have found success in tying in the opening at key points during the presentation and closing the loop at the end.

 

I used graphics extensively (with stock photos from iStockPhoto.com and Sxc.hu among others)  through out the deck. I minimized the amount of text per slide and used the "rule of thirds" (from Garr Reynolds "Presentation Zen" ) whenever possible.  Garr’s book is an essential resource to anyone who regularly builds slide presentations.

 

The primary font used is Arial black, a san serif based font. San serif fonts are much more readable on a presentation than serif fonts. Green is the primary font color. There are two reason I selected green. First, "going green" is a popular idea inside IT today. "Going green" is about reducing carbon emmisions and energy use, and aligns well with the idea of reducing energy costs with virtualization. Another image evoked by "green" is money. Since ultimately the biggest initial driver of virtualization in any company is saving money, I decided green was very appropriate for the font color.

 

The back ground I chose for this deck is black. All of the early drafts of this deck had a white background. That is the corporate standard at my company and one with which I am most familar. Most of the stock photos I used for the deck are isolated on a white background, so that was a natural choice. Garr and many others recommend a black background with a light colored font. I resisted this initially due to my familiarity with the white background and the stock photos. I have used black before but I was reluctant to in this case because of the difficult in editing th white background of the images.

 

I changed my mind after a trip to the grocery store this weekend. I saw a woman wearing a "Coke" t-shirt. The shirt was black the "enjoy Coke" on the front. "Coke" was in bright white letters and each letter of "enjoy" in a different light color (orange, light red, pink, etc…).  As soon as I saw the shirt I began to pay more attention to advertisements and other shirts I saw while I walked in the store. I found that the most compelling ads and shirts all had dark backgrounds and lightly colored text. By the time I got home I decided to change to the background.

 

 

I think this slide presentation communicates the message very well. I also feel that the content is much more memorable in this format than the typically text and bullet heavy format of most presentations in the software industry. It will be interesting to see what response (if any) this slide presentation receives from the extremely diverse audience at slideshare.net.

 

 

Please post feedback in the comments.

 

 

 

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World’s Best Presentation Contest – Part II

Posted by Barry Flanagan on Jul 13th, 2008
2008
Jul 13

 

The response to my first entry into the SlideShare.net "World’s Best Presentation Contest‘ has been very good. There are a lot of great presentations in this contest (and quite a few bad ones as well).

 

I found several great presentations on presentation design. Here is an excellent presentation on "Presenting with Text".

 

 

This presentation does a fantastic job of demonstrating how you can use text and the many font choices within PowerPoint and Keynote to deliver a much more dramatic presentation.

 

 

 

 

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World’s Best Presentation Contest

Posted by Barry Flanagan on Jul 10th, 2008
2008
Jul 10

Slideshare.net is running another "World’s Best Presentation Contest".

 

 

I am going through several of the entries and will post  reviews here on my blog. I was inspired to create my own entry to the contest. I love this story, so it was a natural choice for this contest. It was an interesting experiment to apply the Lessig method and use of visuals to this old zen tale. I am surprised I could not find any other visual examples of the ancient story.

 

 


 

 


 

The story is based on a Zen koan I read many years ago. It goes by many names, and there or many versions. If you like the presentation and the story, I appreciate a vote! :)

 

 

 

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Build a Memory Palace to Lose the Crutch – Part VI

Posted by Barry Flanagan on Jun 25th, 2008
2008
Jun 25

(Read the earlier posts in this series here, here, here , here and here.)

 

 

The next video on the memory palace technique comes from MemoryConsulting.com . In this short video, James Jorasch and Chris Harwood go through an example of using the memory palace technique to memorizing the key point of a speech on global warming. Chris and James use the name "Roman Room" instead of memory palace, an alternate name based on the popularity of this technique with ancient Roman orators.

 

 


[flashvideo filename=http://memoryconsulting.com/flv/RomanRoom.flv /]


 

 

In the second video,James  and Chris review the link method. This is also good review of creating vivid, outrageous multi-sensory action scenes. I use this technique for memory points of a presentation as well, and sometimes combine the memory palace and link method together.

 

 


[flashvideo filename=http://memoryconsulting.com/flv/LinkSystem.flv /]


 

 

 

 

 

 

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