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Linux 2004
Conference and Tutorials
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Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th August
Leeds, West Yorkshire

Simon Myers - Donhost

Giving Presentations Using Linux: Being User-Friendly - and avoiding 'Powerpoint'

Microsoft Powerpoint is undoubtedly the industry-standard application for giving presentations, but, for reasons so obvious I won't insult you by mentioning them, many Linux users use something else.

Well, not one something else, but a variety of the something elses that are available. Unfortunately they nearly all suffer from major flaws, with the result that many Linux presentations suffer from either poor visual on-screen appeal during the talks, or being hard for people to browse individually afterwards. The former is embarrassing for Linux, and the latter leads to very good content not getting the circulation and readership it deserves.

The purpose of this talk is not to criticize any of the other speakers at this conference - getting this stuff right isn't easy - but to provide pointers for issues to consider and ways of addressing them, in the hope of improving the quality of future Linux-based presentations. It includes a quick overview of software and techniques used, including OpenOffice.org (perhaps the 'obvious' choice for a Powerpoint-replacement), highlighting the merits and flaws of each.

Recognizing that there are two distinct audiences is one of the most critical points, and appreciating that the needs in a lecture theatre (large text, full-screen single slides, ways of going back and forwards) contradict the requirements of a lone reader (who's unlikely to appreciate having to download each slide individually, or install new software, for example).

No attempt will be made to cover the content, delivery, or any other aspects of presentations, but interested parties are directed to Mark Jason Dominus's talk on the subject.

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