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Guide on the Side - Links to the Wonderful World of Presentations

By Marie Wallace, Published on December 3, 2001
Previous Articles by Marie Wallace

Marie Wallace has enjoyed a fulfilling career as a librarian, beginning in 1951 in academia with the University of California and transitioning in 1971 into the private law library world until her 1995 retirement from O'Melveny & Myers. She is the 1997 recipient of the American Association of Law Libraries' highest honor, the Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award. Throughout her professional life, Marie has been a guiding force in the Southern California Association of Law Libraries, Practising Law Institute's programs for law librarians and Teaching Legal Research in Private Law Libraries (TRIPLL).

Today, Marie has commenced on a new path she terms "Life in Progress," which enables her to pursue a diversity of interests as a master swimmer, law librarian, trainer, storyboarder and designer of wearable art.  She continues to be a dynamic speaker and prolific writer on such topics as private law library management, presentations and training. She is a member of Toastmasters International and is active with the American Society for Training Development (ASTD) and in continuing education for private law librarians. She devotes her "free" time to various non-profit and civic activities.

When I started this column (see Tips on Delivering Plain Vanilla Presentations) five years ago, Presentations magazine was already in its eleventh year and important enough for me to reference. Later in May 2000, I profiled the magazine (Presentations Magazine: Don't Go to the Podium Without It) because it was such an endless mine of information. Presentations has many articles that are universal, bring a different spin on a topic than I would and relate experiences I am in no position to encounter.

To share some of these nuggets with readers, I am devoting this column to a smorgasbord of links to Presentation articles. They are in no particular order but you will want to know that a subscription to Presentations both online and hardcopy is free.

"Want to improve your presentation skills? Take a class, Jack" by Scott Heimes

Ever considered investing in a crash course because you have an important presentation on your agenda. Here is detailed comparative information on three courses:

Communispond's Executive Presentation Skills Program
Decker Communications' Effective Communicating
Dale Carnegie's High Impact Presentation Workshop.

"Learning how to present" by Rob Fullerton

Similar to the above link, another author attended a program to report the experience to Presentations readers. It is an hour-by-hour report of Decker Communications' two-day seminar in Chicago on Effective Communicating.

"High-tech graphics give juries new vantage points"

Case study from January 2001 issue of Presentations reporting how DecisionQuest, a legal graphics firm in Torrance, CA, helps law firms to demonstrate, explain and summarize information during litigation.

"Must the show go on?" by Julie Hill

A wonderful tale of "battling for the dwindling attention span" of audiences.

"Small text enhancements can make a big difference" by Julie Terberg

Inexperienced presenters often put too much text in their slides. From the vantage point of the audience, less text means easy to read and understand.Includes good examples.

"A flashy way to escape from PowerPoint purgatory" by Jennifer Rotondo

Although Flash was created for Web work, it can be used successfully in conjunction with PowerPoint, offering effects and better control of sound, motion and interactivity. Step by step directions on how to do it.

"No more nightmares: How to defy Murphy's Law (almost) every time" by Mark Merritt

If it is the night before a presentation, you probably want to wait to read this article. As the author says "Hey, stuff happens"

"Establishing the proper tone ensures speaking success" by Tony Jeary

Revealing discussion of an elusive aspect of presentations and personal interactions.

"Going global" Your audience may understand English, but do you understand your audience?" by Dave Zielinski

What you should consider to be "culturally correct" and understood when speaking to international audiences

"Best Presentation Room Awards 2001: Honoring the best facilities of the year 2000"

Sometimes presenters ignore the importance of the setting where the presentation takes place--whether it is a classroom or training room, the setting is vital communication component. Here are the best room designs from a wide range of professional disciplines. Essential for people designing new facilities.

"Mastering the art of metaphor" by Tad Simons

Metaphors are the mind's way of making sense of new information and good presenters understand how to use them to help audiences grasp ideas.

"Before and After" a regular feature by Claudyne Wilder and Jennifer Rotondo compiled at http://www.wilderpresentations.com.

Ordinary looking slides are sent in by readers to be "made over." You be the judge of the improvement.

"Compelling Presentation Checklist" A book review of the book by Ray Anthony, 2000.

The reviewer, Dianne Porter concludes this books is basic but "if you are a novice presenter, this is a good place to start."

"Speaking Tips: Lecturing" by Pam Aigner

Some easy to apply ideas to liven up lectures and lighten the lecturer's burden of talking the entire time.

Presentations covers all aspects of creating, delivering and using and selecting technology. There are reviews of software packages, lighting, projectors and printersbut I selected a few of the peopleware articles as a smorgasbord to select from.