Although all the other posts I wrote were all about content but being a regular presenter myself I can’t resist commenting on the ‘art’ of presenting.
Day 1 was quite bad from a presentation point of view; loads of slides with PowerPoint bullets. Day 2 was much better showing cool Metro style slides. And here’s the funny thing: the sessions about Metro UI were shot to death by the bullets and the sessions with deeper technical info had the nice design. My guess is that the tech people are aware that they can’t make good slides and hired designers and the UI people thought that bullets were more appropriate for developers.
Another thing that struck me is that most presenters hardly seemed to have a clue about the questions and contexts their audiences were bringing along with them.
Having an international audience at a conference requires you to be very careful about selecting speakers that speak English with a very strong accent. Whether that be a speaker going at a huge speed in an Indian-English accent or a speaker who starts every other line with ‘like’.
I try to be a naked presenter; removing everything that is in between my audience and my message. The stages at BUILD invited speakers to hide behind a desk and monitors. Microsoft also required the speakers to wear a black shirt which blended in with the dark blue backdrop causing us to look at a floating talking head.
Was it all that bad? No but these things are so fundamental they are low hanging fruit; quick wins that should be solved.