Delivering Effective Presentations with OpenOffice.org's Impress
There are two pre-presentation tasks that you must do to ensure a great presentation. You are going to be in front of people because you are the subject-matter expert, but relax and have fun as an entertainer—make it enjoyable. Second, end your presentation with a call for action, something like “Now go try Impress”, instead of simply saying “thank you” and smiling at all that thunderous applause.
Unless you are an extremely experienced speaker, do a full rehearsal at least twice before doing your live talk. By rehearsal, I mean set up a room, your laptop, the projector and go through the whole presentation in real time. Don't be afraid to use a stopwatch, as you need to be absolutely sure you can fit your presentation into the allotted time. You probably will have some editing to do. The best idea is to start putting your show together as soon as you get the assignment. Nothing messes up a show as much as going overtime or not covering all your material. Plan for contingencies; for example, if the previous speaker went long, what will you do?
Also, arrive early at your venue to set up the equipment and room the way you want them, and ask the event staff to help you. Test your laptop with the projector at the venue before the presentation. Finally, pack everything you think you might need, including transparencies and extension cords, just in case.
Technical presentations can be fun and profitable. Use Impress on your Linux laptop and enjoy being in the spotlight. Plan ahead, make sure you rehearse enough and stay on time. Good luck!
Rob Reilly (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a technology writer and speaker whose articles appear in LinuxToday.com and PC Update magazine. His “Impress-ive Presentations” seminar covers OpenOffice.org Impress and technical speaking in greater detail. Visit his Web site at home.earthlink.net/~robreilly.