I’ve seen this practically everywhere over the last few days, but as someone who actually likes Powerpoint, I couldn’t resist re-posting it.
We have met the enemy, and he is Powerpoint
I fully accept that there are a lot of things wrong with Powerpoint, but it’s also an easy-to-use, decent enough application that does the job. A bigger problem is teaching people how to give good talks. Powerpoint is just a computer programme, it can’t turn your speaker into Barak Obama. I don’t give a lot of talks, and so I don’t have much cause to learn anything other than Powerpoint. In fact, I don’t need to learn how to use Powerpoint, since I find it pretty instinctive. I do get frustrated when people literally read out what’s written on their slides, or use the jaunty animations that look so entertaining while you’re sitting at your desk but are usually such a bad idea when you’re standing in front of an audience. Hopefully somewhere out there are tutorials on how to use Powerpoint to give a good talk, rather than just how to turn your text upside down or explode in fireworks.
Of course, having said all this, you’ll have to judge for yourselves how well we do in using it when it comes to our talk at the New Professionals conference…
You know how you think you have ages to wait for something, then suddenly find that it’s right on top of you? I’m starting to see Tweets and messages about the CILIP New Professionals Conference, which should be great. It’s awesome when people are excited, and CILIP have a competition for a free place (enter here!) and it’s all very buzzy and cool etc etc. For me, there’s just one little drawback. Well. Not a little drawback. More like a great big nerve-inducing drawback. And that would be that I’m speaking at it.
I’m going to pause here to breathe into a paper bag for a while before going on. Talk amongst yourselves.
Seriously, I’m incredibly excited about this, and am looking forward to it more than I can say. Not only do I love Sheffield as a city, but I’m going to get to meet people who are just little squares on Twitter, and whose blogging I really enjoy. If I focus hard enough on that, I can ignore the nerves, hopefully enough to let me get over ‘blank page’ syndrome. Lindsay and I were very clear about what we wanted to say when we wrote our proposal, but trying to recapture that feeling a few months down the road and seeing people say they’re looking forward to coming is something else entirely. It’s a whole new experience, speaking at a conference where beforehand, you can pick up other people talking about it and read the work of other speakers and attendees. There’s a Twitter hashtag already (#npc2010) and I’m starting to track down fellow-speakers, while trying not to be intimidated. Hopefully everyone who’s speaking at a conference for the first time has a “who, me? seriously?” moment, and I’m also very aware that there are questions at the end of the session. The conference is about a conversation, about us standing up and saying “hey, look at this thing we think is interesting” and see what other people make of it. Maybe if I think of it as live-blogging, I’ll be less nervous.
It also helps that we have great support here at the Law Library and from the conference organisers, and we’re really passionate about our topic. Yes, it is possible to passionate about cataloguing. You just watch us!