Did you know… How to use the toolbox to get the most out of your presentations

This tip is for both Everett and Whidbey.  I’ve seen a lot of presentations, and I’ve given a lot of presentations that involved writing code.  It’s distracting from the presentation to watch the presenter type 10-15 lines of code, make a typo, compile, fix the typo… you get the idea.  And it’s pretty frustrating for the presenter too.

While preparing for your presentation, drag whatever code snippets you will be using onto the Toolbox.  They will appear under the General tab.  When it comes time to add the code snippets to the presentation, just drag and drop for the Toolbox.  And, you’ll get major brownie points from your audience.

For keyboard access, place the cursor in the editor where you want to code to go, navigate to the toolbox (ctrl+alt+x), and press enter on the code snippet.

Happy Visual Studio’ing!

Comments (5)

  1. Travis Owens says:

    I totally agree here,

    It’s amazing that some people don’t prepare properly for a presentation. Ironically I just posted on the subject last night to my blog. I was watching a presentation by the president of the Phantom gaming console (a linux based gaming console, last I heard) and it was so bad I had to comment on the whole thing in my blog.

    The president was totally unable to deal with questions like "How will your console compete with the amazingly high end specs of the PS3 or Xbox 360" and the fact that it’s based on a game download scenario but yet he didn’t pre-download anygames for demostration but later on he found a game he did pre-download but never executed it because he was busy trying to defend himself/his console from standard questions.

    And yet again, if you’re going to do a public display at least commit or hint at dates, when asked when the device will ship he said "we’ll announce that in a few weeks" but yet the console is infamous for being vaporware and they can’t even commit to a date where they will even announce dates!

  2. oshah says:

    I’m not so much of a fan of this…

    I subscribe to the school that commands "thy teacher must allow enough time for thine students to write notes". The idea being that if the teacher goes so fast that even she can’t write down what she’s saying, then neither will the students. By forcing her to write/type her code, she guarantees that the students will have ample time to write their own notes, or absorb the material.

    Back in my uni days, I remember having a professor who preferred to teach by using OHP slides. Those slides would have up to 600 words on them, he would briefly describe what’s on those slides for about 5 minutes and then move to the next topic. I frantically tried to write notes in those 5 minutes but to no avail, and ended up with substandard, incomplete notes for the entire course. The entire class had some poor results for that exam.

    When you code a mistake, your students will also make a mistake. When you come across a quirky API, your students will also come across it. When you write the fix for that API, those students will fix their own code.

    This feature is quite nice to have, but where you award brownie points, I put black marks.

    YMMV, JMTC, etc.

    "Tell me, I forget. Show me, I understand".

  3. saraford says:

    The teacher / presenter could always share out the solution, so the students can get the exact code snippets later. Why type out a 30 line code segment, when you can just drag and drop, and move on? The students should investigate the 30 lines later. Unless you’re demo’ing features like intellisense, it’s better to make the most of your time in front of the auidence. Just my two cents, but then again, i like drinking from the firehose. =)

    Or one could argue why use powerpoint slides when the teacher could just write their notes on the blackboard / whiteboard. It just comes down to what is most effective for your auidence.

  4. Bo says:

    I think it’s a great feature. I am a professional software developer and I found out this feature is very useful. I have several blocks I need to reuse over and over (most of them are asp blocks). Using this feature I just need to drag and drop and I don’t have to remember everything.

    Now my question is how to share the code snippets among multiple machines. Sara could you please help on this? Thanks a lot.