Tips for Tech Talks and Demos

One of the things I have been doing for years in the classroom and the lecture hall and conference rooms is giving technical talks and demos of creating code. As a teacher it was a daily occurrence. Honestly I thought I knew some tricks to make life easier. But one can always learn new ones. Chris Bowen gives a huge number of technical presentations, often to very critical – under several definitions of that word – audiences, and he shares some of his tips on his blog. A couple I knew about. Changing font sizes and having a good backup plan for example. But I didn’t know all of these.

One that looks particularly interesting is ZoomIt. Chris has a separate earlier blog post just about ZoomIt. But as a teaser I’ll quote the intro from the site were you can download ZoomIt for your own use:

ZoomIt is screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and activates with customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, move around while zoomed, and draw on the zoomed image. I wrote ZoomIt to fit my specific needs and use it in all my presentations.

ZoomIt works on all versions of Windows and you can use pen input for ZoomIt drawing on tablet PCs.

Check out Chris’s suggestions and feel free to add your own on his blog or mine. Also I wrote a collection of my own hints around using Visual Studio in the classroom sometime ago that may be useful for many people. Check it out!

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