Delivering Effective Presentations with OpenOffice.org's Impress

Choosing the right presentation software is only the beginning of preparing an effective talk. Here's how an experienced tech speaker uses OpenOffice.org to get the message across to the audience.
Making Slide Handouts and Notes

Handouts are groups of slides in a book form, with four slides per page by default (Figure 2). When printed, they can be stapled together or put in a binder and given to audience members before the show. For technical presentations, the handout allows the audience to take notes on a picture of the slide being discussed.

Figure 2. Previewing Handouts, Four per Page

To create handouts, switch to Handouts Mode by clicking the Handouts View icon along the upper right-hand window slidebar. Print the handouts by clicking File→Print→OK. Your entire presentation is printed with four slides per page.

Presentation notes add information that you or the audience find useful, but they don't show up when you run the slideshow. Print off a copy of the notes on paper if you have a big presentation and need some additional prompting.

To add a note to a slide, switch to Notes mode by clicking the Note View icon along the upper right-hand window slidebar. Select the Click to add notes section at the bottom, and enter any information you like. The slide then is displayed in the top part of the view (Figure 3). Finally, click the Slide View icon (above the Note View icon) to return to your slide, minus the notes.

Figure 3. Adding Speaker Notes in the Notes View Screen

Running the Presentation

Naturally, you'll want to rehearse your masterpiece, once you've finished it. You always should practice your presentation before the main event. Switch to full-screen mode and page through your presentation with the Page Up/Page Down keys or the mouse buttons. Click the Start Slide Show icon on the right side of the windows slidebar (below the Note View icon) to get into Slide Show mode. Press the Esc button to return to the Impress Drawing View mode.

Converting Slides to Web Pages

Creating and delivering your presentation to your audience has been our focus thus far. But, why not provide the slides to your audience on a Web page (for review later) and look like a real professional speaker? By directing your audience to your Web pages, you also are able to show them your company information, your bio, other presentations and whitepapers and Web articles. Nothing makes a speaker more credible than providing valuable information and services to his or her audience, even after they leave the talk. That little extra effort of putting your presentations on your Web site can set you apart from the small-time tech speaker.

OpenOffice.org Impress makes it easy to set up simple Web pages based on your slides. Begin by opening your presentation in Impress, and click File→Export. Select the working directory for the HTML and graphics files. Next, enter the filename of your main HTML page (without the .html extension) and click Export. On the Assign Design screen, select Next. On the Publication Type screen, select Next. On the next screen you can save graphics as JPEGs, so select Resolution medium—600×800. Fill in the author, e-mail, home page and information on the Information On The Title Page screen. Then, select Link to Original Presentation, and click Next. Choose the types of buttons you want for navigation around your pages and click Next. On the Color Selection screen, select Create. Finally, you can save the HTML design you created with a name on the Name HTML design screen. Save it and you're done.

You now have a cool set of basic Web pages that showcase your slides. The title page carries your name, e-mail, Web site URL and additional information (Figure 4). There's also a link to the original Impress presentation.

Figure 4. The main Web title page includes links to other relevant information.

To look at your handiwork, go to the working directory and open the HTML file that you named when you first exported your presentation (Slide 1 example—see Figure 5).

Figure 5. Previewing the Web Version in a Browser

Once you're satisfied with the look of the Web pages, upload the whole directory—don't forget your original presentation or .sxi file—to your main Web site. Add a descriptive link to it from your main page and then give the URL to your audience. Check the presentation pages on your Web site after uploading, of course, to make sure everything is there and correct.

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Komedi

Emir's picture

Thank you komedi

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