A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint

I am trying to evangelize the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. While I’m in the venture capital business, this rule is applicable for any presentation to reach agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming a partnership, etc.

Kawasaki, Guy. How to Change the World (2005). Articles>Presentations>Information Design>Typography


Absolute PowerPoint

Before there were presentations, there were conversations, which were a little like presentations but used fewer bullet points, and no one had to dim the lights. A woman we can call Sarah Wyndham, a defense-industry consultant living in Alexandria, Virginia, recently began to feel that her two daughters weren't listening when she asked them to clean their bedrooms and do their chores. So, one morning, she sat down at her computer, opened Microsoft's PowerPoint program, and used it.

Parker, Ian. Ohio State University, The. Articles>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Academic Scientists at Work: The Job Talk

If you want to win the race, you need to present what the search committee, department chair, and all the department faculty need to see and hear to motivate them to offer you a position. Chances are the position will be in a department with faculty members who have varied research interests, all of whom have some stake in the hire. Hence, your audience will be a complex mix of scientists with distinct and diverse standards. While this sounds challenging, good organization and a clear idea of what is expected will help you in your quest for the dream position. This article will discuss what you need to present in your job talk, how to organize it, and how to prepare your slides.

Boss, Jeremy M. and Susan H. Eckert. Science (2004). Careers>Presentations>Research


Academic Training for Independent Contractors and Consultants   (PDF)

We need academic, along with, professional training, defining 'academic training' as conceptual and theoretical, future-oriented and speculative.

Farkas, David K. STC Orange County (1998). Presentations>Education>Consulting


The Academy/Industry Binary: The Effect of Distance Education on the Debate   (PDF)

The academy/industry debate usually centers on whether instruction should be education-based or experience-based, and on whether instructors should have more academic or industrial experience. Distance education can change both of these debates, lessening the difference between the workplace and the academy. The academy can be relocated within the workplace through dedicated classrooms and online courses performed on workplace computers, and by making classes asynchronous so that practitioners can fit them into their structured schedules. The debate over instructor training is changed because of the additional industry-based expertise needed to produce a distance education class and because distance education technology facilitates participation of practitioners.

Eaton, Angela. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Education>Industry and Academy


Achieve It All!  (link broken)   (PowerPoint)

When the opportunity arose in 1990, I purchased a franchise from the Success Motivation Institute and presented literally hundreds of workshops on goal setting. I was overjoyed at the opportunity to finally achieve all my dreams through a business such as this. I learned about goal setting and Paul Meyer's Million Dollar Personal Success Plan. I loved the idea of teaching people how to help themselves become self-motivated and achieve their goals. But, there was a problem in my dream world. In order to run a business you must sell your products or services, and I simply hated being in sales! I just wouldn't get out and ask people to buy the goal setting plan. It wasn't that I didn't believe in it, because I do! When I finally started listening to myself as I taught others how to achieve happiness, I actually used goal setting to make the decision to give up that business and go back to technical writing.

Laurent, J. Suzanna. Prodigy (2002). Presentations>Slideshows>Technical Writing>Business Communication


ACT NOW: A Six-Step Crisis Communication Strategy  (link broken)   (PDF)

Because a crisis by nature catches people unprepared, every organization must have a crisis communication strategy firmly in place to guide those involved through the rough, uncharted waters. An effective strategy is a what I call A-C-T N-O-W: (1) Anticipate disaster before a crisis, using risk management techniques. (2) Care about people affected. (3) Tell what you know immediately. (4) Note your next steps. (5) Offer help to reinforcements. (5) Write press kits and other pieces of public information. Since crisis mismanagement can lead to the end of the company, effective preparation for a crisis may well save your company’s life.

Reimold, Cheryl. STC Proceedings (1995). Presentations>Management>Risk Communication>Crisis Communication


Adapting Traditional Editing Practices for Online Documentation  (link broken)

Developing a process and using guidelines for editing online documents, both rooted in traditional editing practices.

Fink, Bonnie L., Carol E. Gasser, Jennifer L. Giordano and Beth A. Williams. STC Orange County (1998). Presentations>Documentation>Editing


Adding Style To Your Microsoft Wpf And Silverlight Applications  (link broken)

Windows Presentation Foundation is a cross-browser cross-platform cross-device implementation of .NET for building and delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web.

Koenig, Chris. SlideShare (2007). Presentations>Multimedia>Interaction Design>Silverlight


The Adobe Captivate Blog

Adobe's blog about their screen-capture and presentation software, Captivate.

Adobe Captivate Blog. Resources>Presentations>Blogs>Adobe Captivate


Advanced Issues in Usability: A Progression   (PDF)

In this progression, respected usability specialists will moderate tables on subjects of interest to colleagues who have been working in the usability field for some time. These topics will focus on usability test design, data analysis and presentation, and marketing of data. Attendees should plan to contribute their own experiences. This progression addresses the frequently expressed request by Usability PIC members for more sessions on advanced topics in usability.

Wilson, Chauncey E. and Stephanie L. Rosenbaum. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>Usability


Advanced Issues in Usability: Balancing User Preference and Performance Data Collection   (PDF)

The purpose of this paper is to provide a little background on my position for the progression on usability issues. I’ll present what measures I typically collect, and the differences between performance and preference data. Having this as a starting place may help us to have a useful progression discussion.

Rauch, Thyra L. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>Usability>Methods


Afraid of Freezing During a Presentation? Some Thoughts on Why We   (link broken)

In a memorable scene from the movie “8 Mile” the character played by rapper Eminem enters a competition and gets on stage to prove his prowess in front of a rowdy crowd. Using rhyme and rap, he must show his skill at cleverly putting down the reigning champion. Winning the contest could mean fame, fortune and a way out of his grimy, dead-end life. We know he’s up to it. In the preceding scenes he’s brilliant in front of his friends and the bathroom mirror. But when he faces the jeering crowd on the big night he freezes and is unable to speak. As the crowd chants “Choke! Choke!” he leaves the stage in shame. Freezing in front of an audience is every speaker’s worst nightmare. Eminem was clearly facing a hostile crowd. But why do some speakers freeze even when they are in front of an audience that is friendly and receptive?

Berkley, Susan. Presenters University (2003). Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric


Agile Project Management - Reliable Innovation  (link broken)

This webinar discusses how Agile Project Management (APM) excels on projects in which new, risky technologies are incorporated; requirements are volatile and evolve; time-to-market is critical; and high quality must be maintained.

Highsmith, Jim. Rally Software Development (2005). Presentations>Project Management>Agile


The Agile/Waterfall Cooperative   (members only)

In this tutorial, attendees will learn to factor their company's business needs into their existing Agile procedures, and management will learn how to begin the investigative work of determining how to streamline these requirements and activities so that they don't hamper the project.

Sliger, Michele. Rally Software Development (2006). Presentations>Project Management>Agile


AJAX Usability Metrics

A look at how to quantify or measure the benefits of a better user interface built with Ajax.

Charland, Andre. SlideShare (2006). Presentations>Web Design>Usability>Ajax


Alfresco As SharePoint Alternative: An Architecture Overview

Provides an overview of Alfresco, an open-source alternative to Microsoft's SharePoint content management system.

Barmash, Jean. SlideShare (2009). Presentations>Content Management>Microsoft SharePoint>Alfresco


Alfresco Share for Streamlining Project Management And Collaboration

Alfresco integrates easily with existing behaviors, is nimble enough to be adapted to fluid processes, facilitates project communication, and proactively provides the right information to the right people.

Toub, Joshua and Josh McJilton. SlideShare (2009). Presentations>Content Management>Project Management>Alfresco


Analyzing Computer-Mediated Communication in Professional Environments: An Activity Theory Approach

CMC is not an end in itself, but a way to accomplish cyclical work objectives. CMC genres are part of an ecology of genres, providing additional ways to communicate, ways that interact with other genres. To understand how these ecologies of genres work in professional environments, we must understand the activities they mediate. To investigate, I (and many others in professional communication) have turned to field studies.

Spinuzzi, Clay. SlideShare (2012). Presentations>Research>Workplace>Activity Theory


Analyzing Your Deliverables: Developing the Optimal Documentation Library

Web 2.0 includes: wikis, podcasts, blogs, widgets/gadgets, social networks … and combinations of all the above. Not everyone contributes equally – Creators (18%), Critics (25%), Spectators (48%). But all are important.

Bleiel, Nicky. SlideShare (2007). Presentations>Content Management>Documentation>Help


Animate to Explain - PowerPoint Motion Path and Keynote Actions

Animations are rarely used in presentations, possibly because using motion path effects on Microsoft PowerPoint or action builds on Apple Keynote is intimidating. Learn the basics of animations through an illustration of the BLK method.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. Scivee (2009). Presentations>Software>Podcasting>Microsoft PowerPoint


Animation as Documentation: A Replication with Reinterpretation   (PDF)

Animated demonstrations are replacing text as the vehicle for documentation, help, and training on new software systems. An animated demonstration is a demonstration of a particular feature or features by a ghost user. The demonstration executes the procedure for performing a task, on-screen, as the user passively watches. Whereas research into the effectiveness of animated demonstrations has produced mixed results, certain patterns of behavior are emerging. The current study replicates the learning advantage offered by animated demonstration and shows that retention is equal to that of a group instructed by text after a one week retention interval. Implications for development of on-line training materials are discussed.

Lipps, Audrey W., J. Gregory Trafton and Wayne D. Gray. STC Proceedings (1997). Presentations>Documentation>Interactive


Animations Combination: Exploding Effect

In this presentation, you will learn how to create an explode effect on pictures.

Tohlz, Shawn. PowerPoint Heaven (2005). Resources>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Animations Combination: Leaf Motion Effect

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make the motion of a leaf moving in the wind. It can be easily done with the combinations of Motion Path, Spin and Swivel Effects.

Tohlz, Shawn. PowerPoint Heaven (2005). Resources>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Anxiety and Public Speaking: What You Ought to Know

You think that you sound terrible but people who don’t know you don’t know that that’s not your normal voice. People who know you well may be able to perceive a slight difference. This is not to say that an audience doesn’t perceive anxiety at all – just that what they perceive is at a much lesser scale than you. The best way to convince yourself of this is to video yourself and then watch yourself.

Mitchell, Olivia. Speaking About Presenting (2010). Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric



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