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5. Creating your Presentation

There are a number of programs for creating presentations. What you use should really be a personal preference. However, there are a few choices for you to use.

Table 1. Presentation applications

Application Name URL Notes
MagicPoint http://www.Mew.org/mgp/ Presentation-only. Reads text files for creating presentation. Exports to PS and HTML
StarOffice http://www.staroffice.com Good conversion to and from Microsoft PowerPoint. Not really good for laptops, as it consumes a lot of memory and CPU cycles.
Applixware Office http://www.vistasource.com Commercial application, but smaller requirements than Star Office.

So how do you create the your content? First, you'll want to have some introductory information. Your first slide should contain the title of the presentation, your name, and who you're representing (if anyone). Remember that it's good form to include the name of the organization that is paying for your trip, even if they're not who you're representing.

Your second slide should contain the agenda for the remainder of the presentation. This serves two purposes - it not only tells the audience what to expect, but serves as an outline for you as you create the slides.

Your third (or forth, depending on how big the agenda is) should contain some information about you. This sets your credibility with the audience as to your expertise with the subject matter.

After that, it is up to you to start creating your slides. However, here's a few hints to keep in mind as you go along:

  1. Make the text of the slides big, and the amount of text small. You want everyone to be able to read what is on the slide.

  2. There is no real need to write in full sentences. You will want to make short points, since your talking will fill in the details.

  3. If you use backgrounds in your slides, make them of light colors. Dark colors will contrast the text when they are printed out as handouts for attendees.

  4. Stick to one topic per slide. You can have multiple slides per topic, just title them "Topic", "Topic (cont'd)", or number them.