[Techtalk] Linux for Presentations HOWTO

Terri Oda terri at zone12.com
Mon Feb 17 14:07:13 EST 2003

> Here's the first release:
>   http://www.shallowsky.com/LinuxPresentations.html
> I'd love corrections and additions, particularly from those
> of you who actually give presentations regularly, and especially
> from folks who give presentations in PDF, since I know a lot of people
> use PDF but I don't know enough about it to write those sections.

Well, I've used PDF recently, since I was giving a presentation on a paper
with a lot of equations, and figured it was easier if I could cut and paste
than if I had to remake some of the equations.

The thing I think people need MOST for a howto with PDF are some *simple*
example slides, preferably with a little description of how they'll look, if
not small screenshots.  I used Prosper, which is quite nice, but the most of
the useful help I got was from another website:
http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/%7Egeorg/prosper/ and from reading the
example files that came with prosper.  Quick examples speak volumes,
including letting people get a feel for how easy or hard it'll be for them. 
I wouldn't recommend LaTeX as a presentation tool to anyone who wasn't
already familiar with it or was benefitting a fair bit from being able to
reuse latex-encoded stuff.

The biggest problem I had with the PDF presentation was actually that
acrobat's reader is a bit slow in rendering. Given the choice, I would have
had bullet points coming up as I talked about them (because I know if I see
a slide full of text, I often catch myself reading rather than listening to
the presenter -- it's an automatic reflex!), but because I was using acrobat
I had to change my presentation style slightly and have much larger blocks
of text come up at a time.  Thankfully, I learned this before I gave the
presentation.  It would have looked pretty bad if I had to keep pausing
because my slides were taking too long to load, but instead I knew when I
hit the slide and keep talking about the current one while it loaded.


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