3. High Tech Presentations The Easy Way

3.1 General Presentations

• Different purposes for presentation

academic lectures

short technical presentations

short non-technical presentations

long workshops

• Main presentation types,

board with chalk/markers

overheads

slides

video

computer with data projector

• The main elements in a computer based presentation are

electronic slides

software demonstration

other media types, including sound

distance connection

• Typical technology presentation problems are,

unfamiliar with the technology

layout is not suited to computer projector

presenter stops presenting, and starts using the computer

the presentation is overwhelming

• Some data on visual presentations1

The Numbers on Why You Need Visuals- 1.Seeing makes the most sense. Studies show that sight is the most used human sense. A whopping 75% of all environmental stimuli is received through visual reception (Doug Malouf). So, the best presenters use visuals to maximize the impact of their presentation!

Environmental Stimuli Reception: 2.Visuals are the best way to teach your audience. According to a recent University of California at Los Angeles study, 55% percent of what an audience learns comes directly from the visual messages seen during a presentation- compared to 38% from audio messages. By combining audio and visual presentation messages, presenters can ensure their objectives are met.

Impact of Communication: 3.Visuals increase the retention of messages. A Wharton Research Center study has shown that the retention rate of verbal only presentations is approximately 10%. However, when you combine visual messages with verbal communication, you increase the retention rate to nearly 50%. A 400% increase! Why not use visual aids to help your audience remember your message?

Message Retention: 4.Visuals help you meet your audience objectives. When presenters use visual aids in their presentations, they are twice as likely (67% vs. 33%) to achieve their audience objectives, than speakers who don't use visual aids. (Decker Communications). By incorporating effective visuals in your presentation, you increase your ability to communicate your message to your audience.

Achieving Objectives: 5.Reduce the length of your meeting. A recent study from the University of Minnesota found that the average length of meetings in which visuals were used were 26.8% shorter (26.7 minutes vs. 18.6 minutes) than meetings in which no visuals were used. With executive salaries at several hundred dollars an hour, visuals can save corporate executives a lot of time and money!

Meeting Length: 6. reduces meeting time 26%??

3.2 Visuals

• The following tips help make visuals more effective

General

keep it simple

Content

test your presentation for size and look: are they easy to read, can they be followed, do they convey the information

Layout

If you plan to refer to an earlier slide, make a second copy of it: don’t flip back
Use titles to make the purpose of visuals obvious
use bullet points: long sentences crowd the screen and are hard to read.
do not use more than 20 words per slide, do not try to write full sentences on slides, use it as a summary

Fonts and Text

use upper/lower case only to draw attention to words, do this sparingly
use a large enough font so that it can be read with ease
use white space to make the screen more readable: if the slide is too full it will overwhelm the reader
avoid multiple fonts: these look sloppy
avoid italics, bold and upper case for emphasis: this makes it too busy
when doing point form punctuation can be distracting

Graphics

do not use too many lines on graphs: more than 3 will be hard to follow
use figures or graphs when possible to reduce the number of words
use graphs or charts for numbers: avoid large table
Use line drawings instead of scanned images or photographs, they are easier to make out
avoid equations when possible
if possible have something to pass around: don’t just talk about it or show a picture

Appearance

avoid excessive colors: use a couple to pull graphics together. Three or more is too much.
don’t use numbered steps unless identifying importance or sequence
3.3 Speaking Tips

• Good elements of any presentation include,

eye contact with all areas of the room for a few seconds on individuals

interaction with audience

do not stand behind the podium

avoid wild motions, use them to keep some life in the presentation

move around the room, but don’t continually walk

look at the audience much more than the screen

Try to act naturally: try not to ‘put on a personality’

don’t read from the visuals

3.4 Presentation Technology

• Some technology tips include

limit the use of sound/video as formats are not supported universally

use hyperlink to files to be used for demonstrations: this can automatically start applications

for photographs use full screen images with good brightness

• Advantages,

visuals can be distributed by the web

the presentation can be changed at the last minute

can make presentations easy to prepare

cut/paste is easier than with other methods

• Disadvantages,

more time is required to deal with the technology

some support is normally required for networks, projectors, etc.

computer support is not yet universal. Computer projectors are expensive, and network connections are uncommon and complex to connect.

hardware and software is not yet common, and each new piece of equipment has a learning curve.

The resolution of computers is well below overheads and slides

more time is required to get familiar with equipment

more equipment is needed

it is hard to write on the screen

3.5 Common Hardware and Software

• The common items needed for presentations

Computer: You are likely to take your own laptop computer, or try to use one that is made available. Using your own normally reduces software problems, but getting it to work in a new place can be troublesome. If you use somebody else's computer you need to get your presentation slides there. It is a good idea to take a separate mouse to plug in to notebooks. The touch pads and other laptop ‘mice’ can be hard to use in presentation settings.

Data Projector: If possible get a high quality data projector that will connect to your computer. If this is not possible, use an LCD panel on an overhead projector, this will appear a bit dark. Worst case use a computer to TV converter, this will be the least expensive, but the graphic quality is very poor. Your slide fonts and images will need to be 50-100% larger.

Presentation Software: Powerpoint is one of the most common packages. It generally tends to be stable, but some of the keystrokes can get lost in a presentation.

• The following software/hardware will be sometimes used for presentations

Word Processor/Publishing Software: You may opt to convert your presentation to HTML or PDF. Most packages support these formats. I use Adobe Framemaker, although Microsoft word is a popular choice, and free alternatives exist such as Star Office (www.stardivision.com). The word processor typically needs to be able to include equations, and figures.

Browser: If presenting in HTML you will need a browser. There are a number of excellent browsers available today, but the two best are available from Netscape and Microsoft. Both can be obtained at no charge. Either will do for the students, and this software can be used as a presentation tool in class.

Application Software: I have used packages such as Working Model, and Mathcad to support lectures. Anybody using the browsers for course notes will need copies of application software to included files. These files will allow the notes to become interactive, visual, experimental, etc. For example, in Statics I have used working model to illustrate the slip-tip problem. There are a large number o packages that offer low cost student editions, or even free demonstration versions that still be used for viewing.

Digital Camera/Scanner: A scanner can be very useful for capturing images on paper. But this should be discouraged. Scanned documents are very large, and can be very slow when downloaded for viewing. Scanned photographs also tend to have a poor quality. A very good option is to buy a digital camera that captures images directly to digital format. These cameras come in a variety of prices, but a good midrange camera can be purchased for $600 that will give good quality photographs. Within a short period of time these costs will drop quickly, and real time video capture will be an option. Other poor options include camcorders with image capture hardware in a PC. This gives grainy pictures or low resolution.

• Computer projectors have many pitfalls,

the most dependable screen resolution is 640 by 480, but this is a very low resolution, most projectors support higher resolutions (800 by 600, 1024 by 768 and 1280 by 1024).

At higher resolutions the projector may cut the sides off your screen image.

cables are almost universal, most are SVGA connectors. This is not always true if you are using an Apple computer.

Television output is a common option on many laptops but it is not commonly used. These outputs will normally connect to an S-video connector on a normal TV projector which might not be available at the podium. A long video cable would often be needed for this option. Television projectors are poor for data projection because the pixels are set at 60 degree diagonals that make an image blurred, even when well projected.

each projector has unique controls. These are sometimes manual adjustments, or buttons on the unit, other times a remote control is needed. These can be annoying to set, and try to get them set ahead of time. The ‘off’ button is often hard to find on projectors, you can’t just kill the power, it needs to cool when done. Ask somebody to show you. (Note: the buttons get harder to find when the lights are low)

Light from these projectors is still quite dim, so a darkened room is almost essential. Find your lighting switches before the presentation. Some rooms may be all or nothing. One trick I have used is to turn off the lights, but use an overhead projector to create ambient light

• Laptop considerations

cables between the computer and data projector can be a nuisance. Try to position these so you don’t trip over them during the presentation. A table large than the laptop, near the projector will allow you to also use a separate mouse and lay out notes on the table.

You can often plug your laptop power supply into the projector power bar. This will help power shutdown and other problems

Power management features in laptops will cause them to quit or go to sleep if idle for a few minutes, especially when unplugged. Turn these off before the presentation. If your computer stops during the presentation it will take a while to get it back. Windows NT is very slow rebooting and may cause your presentation to pause for a few minutes.

Screen savers should also be turned off.

Many laptops don’t output video until you hit a key sequence such as ‘FN’ ‘F8’, look at the manual for more details. You may need to hit this a few times to get the projector and LCD screen on.

• Some items to remember

Presentation

Presentation on disk: in case your laptop loses it
Hard copy of presentation: to look ahead while presenting
Overheads: prepare for the worst

Laptop

Power cord: don’t forget this
Battery: extra batteries can help
User Guide: for those little questions
Mouse: for ease in the dark

Projector (if you have one)

Projector: don’t forget this one
Shipping case
Power cord
SVGA Video cable
S-Video cable
Mac video adapter (if applicable)
Remote control and extra batteries
Flathead/Phillips mini for cables
User Guide
Power adapters (if traveling internationally)
Power strip
Extension cord (25 ft)
3.6 Presenting with Technology

• Some techniques for success are,

Use the computer to present new material, then turn on the lights and do problems on the board.

If the computer screen is in front of a whiteboard, pull up the screen, and add notes using the screen underneath.

Interact with the audience: Ask questions about what was just covered, give a simple problem to solve

Say something ridiculous to get a response.

Tell a joke.

Walk into the seats.

Borrow something for an example.

Know the software and hardware.

Keep a bit of ‘MTV’ style in mind. Videos, sounds and other moving things help.

Do a ‘dress rehearsal’ well before: small details such as fonts can ruin all the other efforts. Ask somebody to sit through a short trial run.

Turn on the lights and solve problems on the board frequently, it will wake up students going to sleep in the dark.

use the spell checker

Watch out for equations

Set up a model for the presentation

Pass-around items

Show up for presentations early to become familiar with equipment

When testing, test beginning to end, small things can halt the presentation

3.7 Examples of Presentations

• [REF XXXXXXX] Top Ten Mistakes Made By Presenters!

No Presentation Objectives: If you don't know what your audience should do at the end of your presentation, there is no need for you to present. Knowing your objectives is the key to developing an effective presentation.

Poor Visual Aids: Visual aids are designed to reinforce to your audience the main points of your presentation. Without effective visuals, you are missing a key opportunity to communicate with your audience.

Ineffective Close: Closing your presentation is extremely important. It is when you tie up your presentation and spell out what you want your audience "to do". A weak close can kill a presentation.

Mediocre First Impression: Audiences evaluate a presenter within the first 120 seconds of your presentation. Presenters who make a bad first impression can lose credibility with their audience and as a result diminish their ability to effectively communicate the information in the presentation.

No Preparation: The best presenters prepare for every presentation. Those who prepare and practice are more successful in presenting their information and anticipating audience reaction. Practice does make perfect!

Lack of Enthusiasm: If you aren't excited about the presentation, why should your audience be? Enthusiastic presenters are the most effective ones around!

Weak Eye Contact: As a presenter, you are trying to effectively communicate with your audience to get your message across. If don't make eye contact with the members in your audience, they will not take you or your message seriously.

No Audience Involvement: The easiest way to turn off your audience is by not getting them involved in your presentation. Use audience involvement to gain their "buy-in".

Lack of Facial Expressions: Don't be a zombie. Effective speakers use facial expressions to help reinforce their messages.

Sticky Floor Syndrome: There is nothing worse than a speaker who is glued to the floor. Be natural and don't stay in one place.

• Examples of presentation problems follow

1. The demonstration: the good, the bad and the ugly: playing with your computer during the presentation

2. All the features, sound, lights, action: too many options

3. The screen saver: something to look at

4. Where’s the on button?: knowing your equipment

5. Microfilm: Making the fonts too big or small

6. Just a bad presenter: no eye contact, mumbling, etc.

7. The cut and paste: format not right for presentation

8. The reader: too much details on overheads, and presenter reads

9. The constant droner: fills all gaps in sound with ‘ah’, ‘um’,

10. The Fiddler: playing with objects and moving too much

11. The Jedi Knight: laser pointer or weapon? (aka caffeine amplifier)

12. The Derivation: one big equation

13. Flipper: spends time jumping backwards in slides

14. Where’s the file?: looking for that lost file on the hard drive

3.8 Networks

3.8.1 Computer Addresses

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• Computers are often given names, because names are easy to remember.

• In truth the computers are given numbers.

 

• When we ask for a computer by name, your computer must find the number. It does this using a DNS (Domain Name Server). On campus we have two ‘148.61.1.10’ and ‘148.61.1.15’.

• The number has four parts. The first two digits ‘148.61’ indicate to all of the internet that the computer is at ‘gvsu.edu’, or on campus here (we actually pay a yearly fee of about $50 to register this internationally). The third number indicates what LAN the computer is located on (Basically each hub has its own number). Finally the last digit is specific to a machine.

3.8.2 Network Types

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• The network connection type has an impact on the effectiveness and cost of the connection.

3.8.2.1 - Permanent Wires

• These networks are fast, but require a permanent connection

• For the campus network the peak data transfer rate is about (4 GB/hour)

• These types of networks include,

Ethernet

ATM

Fast Ethernet

3.8.2.2 - Phone Lines

• The merit dial-up network is a good example. It is an extension of the internet that you can reach by phone.

• The phone based connection is slower (about 5 MB/hour peak)

• There are a few main types,

SLIP: most common

PPP: also common

ISDN: an faster, more expensive connection, geared to permanent connections

• You need a modem in your computer, and you must dial up to another computer that has a modem and is connected to the Internet. The slower of the two modems determines the speed of the connection. Typical modem speeds are,

52.4 kbps: very fast

28.8/33.3 kbps: moderate speed, inexpensive

14.4 kbps: a bit slow for internet access

2.4, 9.6 kpbs: ouch

300 bps: just shoot me

3.8.3 Network Protocols

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• What are protocols: sequences that computers must follow when sending and receiving information. These agreed methods make sure that information is sent and received correctly.

• Why do we need protocols: Without some agreement about what information is arriving over the network, it would just seem like garbage. This would be like somebody suddenly sending stock market numbers by morse code without telling us what it is.

3.8.3.1 - FTP: File Transfer Protocol

• This is a method for retrieving or sending files to remote computers.

Problem 3.1 In Netscape ask for the location ‘ftp://sunsite.unc.edu’ This will connect you via ftp the same way as with the windows and the dos software.

3.8.3.2 - HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol

• This is the protocol used for talking to a web server.

3.8.3.3 - Novell

• Allows us to share files stored on a server.

Problem 3.2 Look at the ‘my computer’ icon. The drives from ‘F’ and up are shared by network, and files are brought to the computer as you request them.

3.8.4 Data Formats

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• The format of the data is important so that other programs may interpret it correctly.

3.8.4.1 - HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language

• This is a format that is invisible to the user on the web. It allows documents to be formatted to fit the local screen.

Problem 3.3 hile looking at a home page in Netscape select ‘View: Page Source’. You will see a window that includes the actual HTML file: This file was interpreted by Netscape to make the page you saw previously. Look through the file to see if you can find any text that was on the original page.

• Editors are available that allow users to update HTML documents the same way they use word processors.

Problem 3.4 Find a home page in Netscape. Use the ‘File: Edit Page’ button to start the editor. Notice the buttons along the top for font sizes, colors, etc. Play with page and add your own name.

Problem 3.5 Type in two new line of text. Name these lines ‘sunsite’ and ‘other’. highlight ‘sunsite’ first, and select the small chain link at the top of the page. type in the link ‘http://sunsite.unc.edu’. Accept this and then highlight the ‘other’ line. Enter a new link again using ‘other.html’. (don’t close the edit window, we will use it again shortly)

3.8.4.2 - Publishing Web Pages

• Once a web page has been modified it is necessary to put it back on the web server.

• When publishing a page with a browser ‘FTP’ will be used.

• The web page called ‘index.html’ is the first one to be returned. If you are publishing a main page your main page should be called ‘index.html’.

Problem 3.6 Using the web page that you modified before, publish the results to your home page. You can do this using the ‘publish’ option. You will have to provide a site name ‘http://www2.gvsu.edu/~YOURNAME’, a user name, and a password, and call the file ‘index.html’. Use Netscape to view your updated home page. Note: You may have to hit reload, as Netscape will keep old copies, and does not automatically reload web pages if it has a recent copy is stored.

Problem 3.7 Edit the file again and add a link to ‘other.html’. You can do this by highlighting text, and then clicking on the ‘link’ icon.

• Keep in mind that the website is just another computer. You have directories and files there too. To create a web site that has multiple files we need to create other files or directory names.

Problem 3.8 Create a new web page, and add something to it. Publish this page as before, except call it ‘other.html’. Call up the browser, and load in the ‘index.html’ page that you created. Click on the links and see what happens.

• Note that some web servers do not observe upper/lower case and cut the ‘html’ extension to ‘htm’. Microsoft based computers are notorious for this, and this will be the most common source of trouble.

Problem 3.9 (Basic): Use the Windows ftp program to access your remote account that your web page is set up in. Look at the files and file names. Transfer the files on the web site back to your local computer.

Problem 3.10 (Advanced): You can open these files in Netscape, edit them, save them back to the disk, and then publish them using the ftp program.

3.8.4.3 - Universal Resource Locators (URL)

• In HTML documents we need to refer to resources. To do this we use a label to identify the type of resource, followed by a location.

• Universal Resource Locators (URLs)

http:WEB_SITE_NAME

ftp:FTP_SITE_NAME

mailto:USER@MAIL_SERVER

news:NEWSGROUP_NAME

Problem 3.11 In Firefox/Chrome/etc. type in ‘mailto:YOUR_NAME@river.it.gvsu.edu’. After you are done try ‘news:gvsu’.

3.8.4.4 - Hints

• Below is a list of hints for publishing web pages

Windows will not allow multiple applications to open the same file at the same time. If you seem to be having trouble opening a file, make sure it is not open in another application.

As you add other files to your homepage, put them in the ‘temp’ directory. This will make all of the procedures simpler.

Try to make your web pages small, and link them together. This will decrease download time and make browsers happier.

Avoid using excessive images. Anything over 10K will make it very slow downloading over modem. Anything over 100K makes modem downloading painfully slow.

When putting images on the web page use ‘jpg’ for photographic images, and ‘gif’ for line images. ‘jpg’ images can be compressed more than ‘gif’, but lines will become blurred.

To link to other files or web pages there will be a ‘link’ command. If you want to add a file that is in your ‘temp’ directory, just put the name of the file in the ‘URL’ field.

Watch upper/lower case. This is a major cause of web page problems.

3.8.4.5 - Specialized Editors

• There are a variety of editors that will allow us to edit single web pages or entire sites.

• These programs include,

Microsoft Word

Powerpoint

WebCT

Frontpage

Problem 3.12 Start Microsoft Word and create a new document. Save this document as HTML on the hard drive. Use notepad to open the file and see how it relates to the original file.

3.8.4.6 - PDF

• A format proposed by Adobe. This is not a ‘standard’, but is very widely accepted.

• When documents are presented in pdf format their original layout is preserved (HTML will actually change the look/layout of a document), but the files become hard/impossible to work with.

• A special plug-in is required to view these files.

Problem 3.13 Point Netscape to ‘http://claymore.engineer.gvsu.edu/~sahlis/214’ and look under handouts for a PDF file.

3.8.4.7 - Compression

• We can make a file smaller by compressing it (unless it is already compressed, then it gets larger)

• File compression can make files harder to use in Web documents, but the smaller size makes them faster to download. A good rule of thumb is that when the file is MB is size, compression will have a large impact.

• Many file formats have compression built in, including,

images: JPG, GIF

video: MPEG, AVI

programs: installation programs are normally compressed

• Typical compression formats include,

zip: zip, medium range compression

gz: g-zip: good compression

Z: unix compression

Stuffit: A Mac compression format

• Some files, such as text, will become 1/10 of their original size.

3.8.4.8 - Java

• This is a programming language that is supported on most Internet based computers.

• These programs will run on any computer: there is no need for a Mac, PC and Unix version.

• Most users don’t need to program in Java, but the results can be used in your web pages

Problem 3.14 Go to ‘www.javasoft.com’ and look at some sample java programs.

3.8.4.9 - Javascript

• Simple programs can be written as part of an HTML file that will add abilities to the HTML page.

3.8.4.10 - ActiveX

• This is a programming method proposed by Microsoft to reduce the success of Java: It has been part of the antitrust suit against Microsoft by the Justice Department.

• It will only work on IBM PC computers running the ‘Internet Explorer’ browser from Microsoft.

• One major advantage of ActiveX is that it allows users to take advantage of programs written for Windows machines.

• Note: Unless there is no choice avoid this technique. If similar capabilities are needed, use Java instead.

3.8.4.11 - Graphics

• Two good formats are,

GIF: well suited to limited color images: no loss in compression. Use these for line images, technical drawings, etc

JPG: well suited to photographs: image can be highly compressed with minimal distortion. Use these for photographs.

• Digital cameras will permit image capture and storage: images in JPG format are best.

• Scanners will capture images, but this is a poor alternative as the image sizes are larger and image quality is poorer

Photographs tend to become grainy when scanned.

Line drawings become blurred.

• Screen captures are also possible, but do these with a lower color resolution on the screen (256 color mode).

3.8.4.12 - Animation

• These are not video, but moving drawings/cartoons.

• Animations are limited, but are best done with animated gif files.

• Other options include,

java programs

special plug-ins such as shockwave

Problem 3.15 Find an animation on a student page at ‘claymore.engineer.gvsu.edu/students.html’.

3.8.4.13 - Video

• Streaming built into Netscape for real-time video.

Problem 3.16 Point Netscape to ‘www.aml.gvsu.edu’. Select and watch the video stream.

• We can also get special plug-ins that will allow us to see video files,

MPEG very popular, good compression, and fault tolerant.

AVI popular on PC platforms, but limited drivers elsewhere.

Apple Quicktime.

• Real-time video conferencing is possible, but not yet practical.

Problem 3.17 Start the Netscape Conference software.

3.8.4.14 - Sounds

• Sound files are poorly supported, and most require special plugins,

real audio

wav audio

etc

Problem 3.18 Go to www.mtv.com and try to play a sound file.

3.8.4.15 - Other Program Files

• We can connect any type of non-standard computer file to our pages, such as a Microsoft Excel file ‘.xls’.

• To do this we need to,

1. Put the file in our web directory

2. Link it to one or more HTML pages

3. Have the system administrator add this as a MIME type to the system.

4. When you click on the link to the file in Netscape it will ask you to choose an application. For an excel file you would want to choose ‘\program files\office97\excel’. This will automatically start when you choose the file next time. If you did not do step 3, or did not choose an application you would be asked to save the file.

• This is an excellent way to extend the capabilities of a web browser.

Problem 3.19 Create a Word or Powerpoint file, and put it in your web directory using FTP. Add a link to it in your home page, and test to see if the link works.

3.9 Pulling Everything Together in a Browser

• As you have already seen, the browser (ie, Netscape) helps pull these resources together.

• When we want to do things that are not part of the standard browser, we can use plug-ins.

• Plug-ins are small programs that can be used by Browsers to deal with different Protocols and Formats.

Problem 3.20 Go to the Netscape home page, and call up the plug-in directory. Look for a plug-in you would be able to use. You may also want to try (www.autodesk.com) to find a DWF viewer plug-in.

3.10 References

3.1 www.presentersonline.com/training

 

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