12 July 2007

An Englishman abroad?

Just noticed how widespread all you people are - OK Britain still has the biggest blob and USA the highest number but lots of you have been coming from all sorts of other interesting places. Now, I'm on holiday for a month or two . . . so, come on, tell me where you are and why I should or shouldn't head in that direction over the summer. Leave a message on skype|: andrewx.com or e-mail me.

How do you do?

This may not work but it's worth a try. I've created a StudyZone page where you can post your own questions, preferably about things to do with ICT.

You may not get any answers but, there again, you may. Who knows. You won't know until you try.

Here's the link. I've used a pbwiki page as they're pretty cool and do what I want them to, generally.


Look! I've got 43 slides in my presentation . . .

. . . and you wonder why people look bored before you've even started! I keep saying this but still find loads of people who really should know better starting off their presentations by opening PowerPoint and there, laid bare before us all, is this display of n slides (where n is usually a very large number!)

Even if you've got this cool show organised and even if the slides themselves have a nice design and combination of text and images that aren't distorted, your audience will be thinking about the other 42, 41, 40, 39 and doze off for a while.

Don't do this!! Put the show together and then save it as a PowerPoint show. It's dead easy. You then get a .pps file which you can stick on the desktop or wherever. Open that when you're ready and Zapp! The first slide appears, full screen, with no clue to the tedium to follow.

It's been that time of year again when everyone gets staff-developed. Yawn. I was amazed to see so little improvement in presenters' skills after all this time but there again, none of them had turned up to my sessions this year. Probably the worst offender was one PowerPoint slide that had a large but very fuzzy image of something to do with College. It was obviously an image nicked from Google images but looked as though they had just found the image and copied the small version and pasted it in. Next time - get the real, proper size image from the site, save it and add it to the slide. And do check the size. If you have to stretch it afterwards then you need a bigger, better quality image in the first place and, frankly, Google images isn't the place to get them anyway.

If people put a bit more effort into the slide preparation then what they've got to say would usually get listened to a lot more.