Today I had the pleasure (and technical glitch frustration) of delivering the first in a new series of webcasts.
I’m trying a number of new things in response to changes I’ve observed in the last few years,
1. I think the days of “here’s how you accomplish this” presentations are drawing to a close.” We’re providing much more of that through our “How Do I” videos and tutorials, and the documentation is getting much better, the community support is getting much better, and there is a huge library of books that come out much earlier in the life-cycle.
2. The Internet has changed presenting just as it has changed many other things, and in this case, mostly for the better. Standards are higher, and both sides of the many to many relationship have grown enormously.
3. The material is more complex and there is a much larger pool of potentially interesting material. The need for “how” is being dwarfed by the need for “why” and “what is most important”
4. People are finally fed up with Death By Powerpoint.
So, I found myself doing webcasts (and to some degree presentations) that were really un-edited How Do I videos and that was not a good thing. Live TV has its amusing moments, but not when you’re the guy who just lost his place in the script when the klieg lights went out.
Sitting on the beach reading PresentationZen I became reinvigorated by the possibilities, and turned my ideas about presenting, inside-out in a rush of euphoria.
The idea would be to start fresh; to marry three ideas at once:
* Better, More Interesting, Presentations that Tell A Story, with a focus on what and why rather than how
- * Present them to a virtual audience through web
- casts and perfect and hone them for live presentation as my understanding evolves alongside Silverlight
* A series of Presentations on Programming Silverlight with Blend and Visual Studio
Well… it is a work in progress.
I spent a few days working on my first presentation, but after all, this is material I know cold. Then yesterday, I really got down to the business of creating the presentation and practicing and timing it.
But, it was worth it. Because I practiced, when it was time to do the presentation, my software failed, the audio failed, PowerPoint failed, I couldn’t log in, one of the videos that I had tried twice successfully wouldn’t run and the images that I carefully crafted looked terrible because I forgot to adjust the color settings.
If you want something good, you just have to put in the time.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
I am not complaining. There are not too many other jobs where one gets a chance to work, learn, contribute, grow, fail, improve, and get paid for it, all while playing with cutting edge technology and talking to some of the smartest people around.
I’m having a blast. I hope you are, and if you’re not, send me email and let me know why (if you are, tell someone!)
What I like best about this is that it may not work. I’m doing this without a net. You know, like life.
Picture of leaping boy: iStockPhoto
Picture of building: stock.xchng
All pictures fully licensed by Jesse Liberty