Shawn Weisfeld

I find when I talk to myself nobody listens. - Shawn Weisfeld
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The views expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone, not that of my employer, Microsoft, or anyone else’s. No warrantee is given for the quality of any material on this site.

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Speakers Notes: The tools

Outside of my day job, I am a frequent speaker at community events. I always get asked about the process I use to prepare. Today I would like to talk a bit about the tools I use.


Source Control

As a software developer I use source control for all my code. Additionally since many of my presentations are code heavy it wasn’t a huge leap for me to use source control for my presentations. I even put my PowerPoint deck in source control. This has a few advantages. First if I make a mistake and want to "go back in time" I can do that. Secondly it allows me a bit of a backup. While it hasn’t happened in years if I have technical difficulties on my device and need to present from someone else’s computer, I have a full backup of everything online. Third it makes it easier to share my content with the attendees as I can just point them at the repository, they also have the opportunity to see how the talk has evolved over time. I have even see some presenters replay commits or jump between branches to "Julia Child" there presentations.

There are many source control tools available, and while I am a huge fan of using http://www.VisualStudio.com for most of my development projects, I have selected http://www.GitHub.org for this task. I do this mainly because I keep all my private work on VS and the unlimited free public repo pricing model of GitHub.org makes it quite attractive for this purpose.


Talk Feedback

While IMHO it is important to give attendees the ability to download the code. It is important for me to get feedback about each of my presentations. I use this to better myself over time. I have been logging my presentations at http://www.speakerrate.com since the end of 2010. This free service has allowed me to collect valuable feedback every time I present. It has also provided me a log of every talk I have done, in a single list. This has a huge amount of value as it is like an online resume of speaking engagements.


Use whatever tools work best for you, the biggest advice I would have is to get a process and stick to it. This will allow you to focus on building great content for your presentations and create on online history of the great talks you have done.

Print | posted on Sunday, April 5, 2015 1:19 AM |

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