Scott Hanselman

PDC - Tips for Giving a Great Presentation - actually used!

October 31, '03 Comments [2] Posted in PDC | Speaking | Tools
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Final Post and I'm off to bed.  I appreciate the CLEAR effort put into PDC by, I assume, the organizers, to ensure large fonts.  I've mentioned before this in the Tips on Giving a Great Microsoft Presentation.

Here's my PDC Presentation Scorecard:

  • +1 for using Lucida Console 14pt or higher for Code.
  • -1 for not using it with Command Prompts.  (Hint: Use the SAME Font and SAME size in all apps when presenting.  It's less jarring.  That includes Notepad, VS.NET and CMD.EXE)
  • -1 for not running DevEnv /fs 18.  It's great the the code was easy to see, but everything else wasn't.
  • -1 for not seeing ANYONE use ZoomIn.  Get to know how to use this tool.  Never a Presentation goes by where someone doesn't thank me for using it. Of course, practice it first, or you'll make your audience car-sick. Seriously.
  • +1 for intonation.  Everyone has clearly gone through speaker training with Richard Klees.  Awesome.
  • +1 for personality.  There were some Koolaid Drones, but folks like Doug Purdy expressed such obvious passion and fun for their jobs that I can honestly say the majority of the sessions were great.
  • -2 for food.  As Rory said to me, “the food here is ass.“  Walking by the “screw you diabetic“ buffets at Universal was even worse than the “Hey blood sugar boy“ free Haagen Days. Fortunately my kidneys didn't shut down this conference.  Of course, this has nothing to do with Presentations, I just wanted to get it in there.
  • +1 for effort.  You could see the excitement as folks got to talk about stuff they'd kept secret for three years.
  • +1 for preparedness.  I didn't see any many demo gaffs, and watching Don Box and Chris Anderson together with Jim Alchin made it obvious that these presentations were practiced dozens of times all over campus to different groups.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Saturday, November 01, 2003 8:43:30 AM UTC
+1 for the food score. Even the Starbucks pastries sucked. I tried three scones, just to be sure, and all were rock hard, tasteless lumps of sawdust.
Tuesday, November 04, 2003 2:15:34 AM UTC
Two comments:

1. I'm also a firm believer in Lucida Console 14 for both editor and CMD shells. This is in fact the setting we used for the JimAll keynote. As you know, however, that wasn't sufficient, so we needed to spontaneously bump to 18pt during the first coding adventure. Alas, 14 pt only works for rooms of less than 5000 people :-)

2. Chris and I had never done the entire lap end-to-end before the PDC with Jim. Chris and I did do ~66% of it in front of the indigo team on the thursday as well as a one-take pass for Erica's MSDN TV taping. We also had a one-hour informal get-together with Jim on the friday before PDC to go over the app we had planned to build. Yes, we were prepared, but we didn't get there by practicing the lap over and over...

DB
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.