Non-Linear Presenation Aids

When I was in the UK a few weeks ago, I spent a bit of time working with Lorna to try and get her toolkit working for slides (it’s LaTeX, we wanted to change the fonts). I started thinking about my own slide decks and how I always found them lacking an ability to engage people. Fancy transitions don’t suddenly help a learner to see the context of how information fits together. Indeed, when I lectured at college ages ago, I avoided using slide decks and focused more on short lecture or demo + hands-on practice.

I’ve seen people use a few alternatives to linear slides (with positive effect). Instead of using a linear sequencing of “pages”, the document base used in the presentation adds context and movement between objects. Here are a few examples:

xmind examples: http://xmind.net/

  • Blog post about the presentation mode - http://www.xmind.net/blog/en/tag/presentation/
  • Video demonstrating presentation mode (it’s very similar to prezi, but less fussy, IMO) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ev3wuoGjzc

Prezi examples: http://prezi.com/

  • LinkedIn as a Business Growth Tool - http://prezi.com/qilhbxt-xry3/how-to-setup-linkedin-as-a-business-user/
  • Typography — this one has immediate inspiration to me for my Drupal theming presentations - http://prezi.com/ufnrer-swszq/typography/

I don’t have enough practice using either of these tools yet to want to completely make the switch away from slide decks, but I’ve definitely started to incorporate them into my planning + development process. In my next blog post I’ll tell you about how I used mind mapping to plan a recent workshop.