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What tools do you use to prepare talks and presentations.

Born into being.
・1 min read

Andrew made a post about starting talks.

I would like to know more about the tools that help you prepare talks and presentations.

1) What have you used?
2) What are the small details of these tools I have to pay attention to?
3) What do you want to try in the future?

Discussion (10)

tamouse profile image
Tamara Temple • Edited

I'm going to assume you mean the tools used to prepare slide decks, and not the up-front work of researching, gathering, and organizing the content of the talk?

I began public speaking back in the days before Powerpoint existed, and saw the rise of the traveling briefcase with hundreds of foils / slides / transparencies. :)

I will say, back in those times, I made my presentations by hand on flip-charts with marker pens. :)

But here we are, so far removed from those days, with ubiquitous and indispensable computers.

I have a penchant for creating slide decks that are easily created and maintained using text editors and using software version management.

I'm particularly fond of using ruby, and so I turn to tools like jekyll, to put together a deck of slides, slide components, and assets. "What?" you ask, "Jekyll is for blogs!" -- well, that is it's "on label" use, but it's actually about assembling pieces of content into a whole something -- and that something can be anything.

I wrote a starter kit, which I admit to letting fall into disarray by not keeping it up to date, that lets me put together a talk writing individual slides as markdown files, and assemble them into a reveal.js - driven slide deck. It also works to put them together, along with notes and annotations, into a companion web page / site, suitable for printing.

Nowadays, I'm as apt to write a presentation using org-mode in emacs to produce a beamer slide deck.

And the last talk I gave I did in keynote.

I'm up for finding a new way to do this that doesn't require too much effort, is easy to share, easy to update, and fits my thought- and work-flow. It'll probably end up being something using Yeoman and Gatsby :)

jwollner5 profile image
John 'BBQ' Wollner

I remember doing transparencies with markers, and using opaque projectors too lol. Nothing intimidates me more than having to do a deck these days. I have no issues w/ speaking in public - I've been doing it for years including court appearances as an expert witness. But ask me to "create" a deck and I get sweaty and reach a near panic state. One of the few joys when I was in management was having an admin to put the decks together lol.

These days I try to go w/ words as much as possible, and use the deck just to keep peoples attention w/ diagrams and humor.

antonrich profile image
Anton Author

You assumption is correct.

Wow, you go way back with your experience. You are old school kick ass!
That's wonderful.

What is a penchant?

Knowing that Jekyll is for blogs, how did you turn into a tool for presentation? Did you read some learning material about this or you come up with everything on your own?

WWOOOOWWW, org mode. I recently started with emacs. I'm not going full in on it at the moment. I practice writing stuff in it every day though and learn small bits here and there. Haven't touch org mode yet. It's so exciting to know that I can do presentations with org mode.

If you will share your experience with emacs and presentations in general and define your further goals that'd be a terrific read.

tamouse profile image
Tamara Temple

A penchant is a posh word for "something I like using or doing".

With Jekyll, I just saw an opportunity to turn a screwdriver into a can opener... no, I mean I was working on a reveal presentation for a class I was teaching that someone else had put together and thought "This is so tedious! How can I make this not so awfully painful?". I'd been playing around with Jekyll for some time, and thought about the idea that it's an assembler of sorts; the output of what's assembled is up to the developer. It was recently after Jekyll came out with their Collections concept and seemed ripe for use in some unconventional way.

dotnetcoreblog profile image

It's all about It allows you to use markdown to create your slide decks, and is simple enough to easily expand.

I've used it for most of the talks that I've given in the past year or so.

antonrich profile image
Anton Author

Revealjs it looks interesting enough that I will investigate further.

juanfrank77 profile image
Juan F Gonzalez

I use for the last lightning talk I gave and that slides deck that resulted was pretty solid much better than other 'experts'

tamouse profile image
Tamara Temple uses reveal.js under the hood. It's pretty great.

antonrich profile image
Anton Author

That's good to know!

juancarlospaco profile image
Juan Carlos

Microraptor Python package.