Let's Tech Communicate

March 2019

LTCIn this month's Let's Tech Communicate, we bring you tips for your hour-long presentation (hint hint hint), turn your preconceived notions on their heads again and check out why old-fashioned doesn’t always mean out-of-date.

It’s conference year – how about it?

We’re calling for presenters for our Conference 2019 in Tauranga, and as always, we’re also on the hunt for fantastic branch presenters and webinars. With that in mind, I thought now was the perfect time to check out The ideal number of slides for an hour-long presentation, and other thoughts on preparing slides. Tom Johnson says about 15 slides is ideal when giving an hour-long presentation. Although having fewer slides might make you panic about possibly forgetting what you want to say, in reality fewer slides gives you more flexibility to narrate your idea journey in a dynamic way. If you have too many slides, it locks you into a fixed, rigid structure that can actually make presenting harder.

Let’s get visual

We’ve got a pretty good idea of how to support our documentation with tables and videos, right? Turns out there’s still more to learn.

Zebra striping is the shading of alternate rows in a table or form. It’s something we’re so used to seeing in documents both in print and online, we don’t even question if it’s actually helping us. Don’t let personal preference, habit, or the (untested) status quo drive your design decisions – go out there and get More Data for the Case.

And speaking of personal preference…

A video substitutes for a real person or face-to-face training session. For example, this study from 2017 showed that patients learned to use asthma inhalers better from videos than from written instructions. They learned as well as if they’d received an in-person training session from a nurse. But writing supports an independent user and long-term learning. Written instructions have a greater range of benefits, especially for resource-challenged creators. So, what is best for instructions – words or videos?

Old-fashioned doesn’t always mean out-of-date

With our Conference this year focusing on sustainability, you might be interested to see the other side: Handwriting notes and to-do lists is still a good idea. Dr Marina Hurley makes a compelling case for paper, as relying on software might cause a lack of spontaneity when doing research and in capturing ideas when working on other tasks. Well-designed paper lists and organised note-taking can still play an important role in project management and be used in conjunction with software.