23 Things, Thing 11

Thing 11 is exploring the nifty website called Slideshare and how it can be useful and appropriate to libraries.

I have browsed Slideshare before. Just as fellow UL’er Rachel Marsh mentions in her blog post on the topic, I first knew about Slideshare after Tony Hirst was unable to make the libraries@cambridge 2010 conference due to the atrocious weather. I do believe he was stranded on the Isle of Wight or somewhere similar. Anyway, as he was due to give a rather large presentation, which was taken over by John Naughton (Arcadia Project) and he used the huge amount of Youtube and Slideshare presentations that Mr Hirst had put online to complement the general talk. It was all very interesting.

I first started using slideshow-esque tech when I was in school and my group of friends would always get together and make silly animated presentations using the “fly in from right” settings with some cobbled together images from clipart. It kept us amused anyway! I then didn’t use any form of presentation device until university as I had to give many a presentation for my languages classes.  It was this use of Microsoft’s PowerPoint that truely allowed me to appreciate a more professional use of a slideshow presentation technique, especially when communicating complex or dull information to an audience. The use of colour, images and animation (when not overused) can transform even the stodgiest of topics into something that is engaging and fun.

Browsing Slideshare has certainly been an experience. It has made me discover how many subjects can be effectively covered using the Slideshare site and how many can be lost in jargon and too much text. I remember one of the key thing about putting together an excellent presentation is not to put too much text in. Your audience won’t be able to read it all and if you’re just reading out what is up on the screen, you may as well have given them a handout! A few presentations that I came across had whole essays just copy and pasted onto a slideshow. That isn’t the way to do it!

The presentation I’ve embedded below makes a real impact. It has excellent legibility (apart from some of the quotes but then you can always pause to read them better), it uses colour and images amazingly and of course, its funny. Well at least I think it is!

Enjoy my findings and enjoy Slideshare! It totally has an excellent functionality for the library environment, whether you use it to communicate a new strategy programme or just a walk-through on how to use a catalogue or find a book. Its sharable, quick to put together as you can upload PowerPoint et al files, and visually brilliant to navigate through. I heartily approve of this Thing.

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