Delivery Event

Tips for Presentations of a (Second)Lifetime

nancy-avatar1Presenting via a webinar is tough to do.  Presenting in a virtual world as an avatar will surely have nuances that are new for me.

Tuesday, January 27, I’ll be on an island getaway. I’m not talking about Hawaii. I’ll be giving a lecture on Microsoft Users Group Island in Second Life. I had to have someone else make my avatar because I was too tempted to dramatically alter my less flattering features.

It’ll be easy to incorporate most of the tips needed for a remote presenter, but I’ve added a few that are specific to Second Life just in case you find your avatar presenting an island any time soon. These tips are brought to you by Gary Barber.

Tips for Second Life Presentations:

  1. Don’t assume people will get the slides downloading on to the presentation screen as fast as you are.
  2. Don’t assume that they have their configuration such that the pictures render with the same amount of detail.
  3. Don’t present with a standard Real Life MS-PowerPoint presentation layout. The screen can be small and fuzzy at best. Avoid text altogether if you can.
  4. Don’t assume everyone has audio in Second Life. Or that if they do they know how to configure it. If audio is essential for the presentation then make that clear in any invite you issue.
  5. Don’t have computers with separate microphones and speakers setup in the same room as you will get double, triple or even four times the echo of the talk. Even headsets can’t overcome this problem.
  6. Test the speaker’s audio setup before the presentation.
  7. Make sure the seating is very close together in almost a tiered traditional speaking pit of amphitheater arrangement, or even like a large cube with the speaker at one end. You will be surprised the number of avatars you can get in small space.
  8. Be prepared to have a lot of avatars present (40-50) and remind people of techniques in decrease any lag time in Second Like.
  9. Position your avatar or camera so you can see the screen and the audience.

Upcoming Events:

January 20: NAWBO–San Jose | Capital Club | 6:30 PST
January 27: SecondLife–Virtual World | 12 PST
March 11: FWE&E–Menlo Park | Location TBD
March 17, 18 or 19th: presentation//reboot | Santa Clara | Tech Mart | 8:30 to 5pm
March 31: Web 2.0 Conference–San Francisco | Moscone West | 9 a.m. “Pimp my Slide”
Ongoing: January 21 through April 29: slide:ology Workshop | 9 to 4:30pm Duarte Design
Nancy Duarte

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  • re: #1 there are presentation displays that can help with this by pre-caching images, so they appear to appear quickly

    re 2 and 3: Definitely have a very big presentation screen, but if you let avatars get reasonably close, everyone should be fine – even the folks who don’t know how to zoom in SL, given the small amount of text (and clear font size) recommended for slides

    re: 4, don’t give a presentation to a large group over the VOIP system, rather stream it in over the audio/music channel. Or stream in video. The benefit of using this method is you can stream to multiple venues and scale the audience.

    Have a helper(s) in the audience so that you, as presenter, don’t have to deal with confused people wonder how to turn on the sound.

    5. definitely use headsets if you are using VOIP for a conversation after the presentation

    6. yes, test!

    7. yes, a common mistake in SL is making giant structures and amphitheaters that might look grand, but end up being depressingly empty since they can only fit 50 in one place. You are better off in a smaller, more intimate space.

    8. yes, ask people to remove unnecessary attachments and turn off scripts.

    Plus:
    – reiterate that your life will be easier if you have a helper to work with audience, letting you focus on presentation

    – you can prevent griefing occurances by changing the land settings, so that visitors cannot “rez” objects, or run scripts. You might also want to make sure that someone is there who can boot an unwanted visitor from the land plot.

    – remember that you aren’t limited to a 2D screen – you can bring 3D objects and interactivity to your presentation if fitting

    – come right out and welcome a “back channel” to take place in the text chat while you are speaking. It is one of the best things about attending a presentation in SL — participants can talk with the audience (comments, questions, etc) while the speaker is talking without interrupting. On that note, your helper can try to pull out and flag relevant things being said in the back channel.

    There’s a lot more, but there’s a few notes for you riffing off of your list.

  • re: #1 there are presentation displays that can help with this by pre-caching images, so they appear to appear quickly

    re 2 and 3: Definitely have a very big presentation screen, but if you let avatars get reasonably close, everyone should be fine – even the folks who don’t know how to zoom in SL, given the small amount of text (and clear font size) recommended for slides

    re: 4, don’t give a presentation to a large group over the VOIP system, rather stream it in over the audio/music channel. Or stream in video. The benefit of using this method is you can stream to multiple venues and scale the audience.

    Have a helper(s) in the audience so that you, as presenter, don’t have to deal with confused people wonder how to turn on the sound.

    5. definitely use headsets if you are using VOIP for a conversation after the presentation

    6. yes, test!

    7. yes, a common mistake in SL is making giant structures and amphitheaters that might look grand, but end up being depressingly empty since they can only fit 50 in one place. You are better off in a smaller, more intimate space.

    8. yes, ask people to remove unnecessary attachments and turn off scripts.

    Plus:
    – reiterate that your life will be easier if you have a helper to work with audience, letting you focus on presentation

    – you can prevent griefing occurances by changing the land settings, so that visitors cannot “rez” objects, or run scripts. You might also want to make sure that someone is there who can boot an unwanted visitor from the land plot.

    – remember that you aren’t limited to a 2D screen – you can bring 3D objects and interactivity to your presentation if fitting

    – come right out and welcome a “back channel” to take place in the text chat while you are speaking. It is one of the best things about attending a presentation in SL — participants can talk with the audience (comments, questions, etc) while the speaker is talking without interrupting. On that note, your helper can try to pull out and flag relevant things being said in the back channel.

    There’s a lot more, but there’s a few notes for you riffing off of your list.

  • I’ve gotta go to this!

  • I’ve gotta go to this!

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