Presentation tips & tools in OSX

I was at the Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit this past weekend as both a participant and presenter. I came away with some new information but some of it was less about Drupal and more about presenting.
Here are some of the tips & tools I’ll be using for future presentations;

Tips & Tools

Make it bigger!

One of the key points is to make everything easy to see, read and follow along. Many applications make this easy by using the ‘CMD +’ keyboard shortcut.

Enable access for assistive devices

Many of these tools are part of Universal Access built-in to OSX.

So the first thing to do is enable it:

You find the option under System Preferences => Universal Access at the bottom of the window.

Show your keystrokes

  • Enable the built-in Keyboard Viewer:
    • This can be a nice way to show (& record) your keystrokes. So participants can follow along.
    • Setup:
      • System Preferences => Keyboard => Check ‘Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar. Right click keyboard icon in menu-bar.
        Screen shot of keyboard viewer menu

        Showing the keyboard viewer

        Screen shot of keyboard viewer

        Displaying the keyboard viewer

  • Another alternative is something like Mousepose (…/mousepose/ $4.99); which can display your keystrokes on-screen while typing.

Zoom in on specific content

  • Zooming in can help focus attention where it’s needed and ensure that text content is readable. There are two options:
    • Zoom in window: Screen capture of the zoom window magnifying text
    • Zoom everything.
    • Both can be enabled on the fly by holding down Ctrl + Scrolling with your mouse.
  • To enable Zoom
    • System Preferences => Universal Access => Seeing
    • Enable / Disable with ‘Option + Cmd + 8’.
    • Optionally check the ‘Zoom in window’ box.

      Screen shot of zoom in window menu

      Enable zoom in window

    • You can re-size the viewing window in the Options.

Make the mouse obvious

If you don’t use something like Mousepose which highlights your mouse and it’s clicks, you can still make your cursor visible.

System Preferences => Universal Access => Mouse => Cursor Size:

Screen Shot of the Cursor Size menu

Make the cursor large

Other thoughts

  • Get there early and test the set up
  • It’s also a good idea to repeat audience questions.
    1. So everyone can hear
    2. In case you’re recording and need some context for your answer
  • Know your audience
    • Conduct a quick poll at the beginning of the presentation to determine what your audience knows and wants to learn.

On a side note, here’s a link to my presentation with theMusician, where consequently I didn’t employ any of the above techniques: Git Super Basics.

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