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Event Date: March 2, 2019 7:30 am - 5:45 pm

Presentation Suggestions

Thank you for your participation in speaking at South Florida Code Camp. The following is a list of suggestions from observations of previous code camp presentations.

The following guidelines are intended to help you improve your presentation and make it more beneficial to your audience.

  1. The font is probably not big enough! Be prepared to make the font as big as possible. The people in the back probably can't read it.

  2. Be prepared for a hardware failure. Laptops fail, projectors fail, outlets fail, cables fail, screens sometimes will not deploy, etc. Have a backup plan in mind. Know who to call to fix. Be prepared to move the class to another room. Be prepared to use someone else's equipment. Be prepared to do your presentation without your laptop. Make sure that you carry the correct video adapters (VGA, HDMI, etc) and know the correct key sequences to display your screen on a projector. You can test your the project connection in the Speaker Lounge before your presentation.

    If you need to reboot your computer, beware of Windows Update.

  3. Your first slide should contain the title of the presentation and contact information and should be on display before the presentation begins. This way a person can easily tell if they are in the correct classroom.

  4. Sometimes network access is poor or unavailable. You should should be able to present your material with or without network access.

  5. Slow down. Too many times I see presenters go through source code that they understand, but only give the audience a second or two to digest the material. This often leaves the audience bewildered.

  6. Control your audience's questions. Quite often I've seen a single person ask question after question and consequently the presenter cannot finish their material. Be prepared to ask this person to take these questions offline or after the presentation.

  7. Define your terms and acronyms, especially new terms. Not everybody in the audience will know what Azure, AWS, Cloud, AJAX, JSON, MongoDB, Angular, Node.js, NoSQL etc means. Do not introduce additional new terms until you define these.

  8. Be interactive with your audience. Ask them questions. Get their feedback. There is no bigger snoozer than a presenter that doesn't engage their audience.

  9. Stand up and walk around. Give your audience some breathing time to grasp your slide content or source code.

  10. Plan the appropriate amount of material. Quite often a presenter will feel they need to cover a lot of material when they are running out of time. Most listeners will NOT get any value from material that is presented in sprint mode.

  11. End your presentation on time or before and not one second later. Your audience will love that you end 5 minutes early, but hate that you end 1 minute late.

  12. Watch your "ums" and "ahs" and other nervous habits.

  13. Do not present from the back of the classroom. It can be very uncomfortable for the audience members to turn around for an extended period of time. Get up in front and make eye contact with everyone.

  14. If you are using a microphone, make sure that the mic is close to your mouth. I've seen many presenters hold the mic away from their mouth and the audience couldn't hear them. Also make sure that when you turn your head, you are not moving away from the mic. The audience will unwittingly hear you go louder and softer.