Dion's random ramblings

Saturday, November 03, 2007

An example of A GREAT powerpoint presentation!

Here's an example of a GREAT powerpoint presentation (and of course the presenter is using an Apple! Yeah!)

It's a Youtube Video, so simply click it and let it load...

What do you think? Of course this is not the kind of presentation style that one could use for every occasion (or Church service). That would be exhausting, plus it may not suit all genre's and styles of content.

PS. This also happens to be an incredible take on identity (a subject that interests me a great deal! I particularly like what Dick [sic] says about his identity at around 3:22... What others say about us is often truer than what we say about ourselves!) Anyway, watch the movie - it is a great example of a superb presentation!

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The best powerpoint tips I've ever heard! How to get your point across powerfully!

'Rich media' has become such an integral part of most Church services. Most middle class Churches now own (and use, and I employ the 'verb' use with a measure of liberal grace) a computer and a data projector.

I enjoy images, verbal images are more exciting that visuals by my standards... I am of the mind that it takes a lot more skill to carefully and effectively communicate a verbal image than simply slapping a 30 second video clip or pithy image on powerpoint. However, there are those who do the latter very well! So please hear me, I have NOTHING against good presentations, I just think that it can detract from the message rather than aid it.

One of the very best worship experiences I have ever had was at the Hillsong conference in the Sydney Olympic stadium... delirious? were leading a worship session and they displayed incredible skill and artistic insight in how they used their media technology!

In short, I have found that in most Churches (and particularly in sermons) we tend to allow our use of 'rich media' (such as video, pictures, and sound bites) to be a distraction to the message rather than an aid! I have been guilty of this more than once.

One of my favourite sites to check in on from time to time is missinglink - the owner Rich also has a magnificent flickr page, and maintains joblog. missinglink is a media company that helps boring corporate types, presenters, public speakers, and a host of other communicators to get their message across!

I wish I had the money to spend a bit of time learning from these guys! I do believe that we have an incredible message to share (the message of the love and mercy of Christ, and our purpose to encourage one another to develop a community of justice, love, and grace for all people)! It would be great to have the skill to effectively communicate that message and inspire others to be a part of the work of bringing healing and transformation to the world!

As I point out below, I actually came across Rich and the missinglink when I was looking for some tips on putting together, and delivering, effective powerpoint presentations. On their site they have a 1 minute master class on powerpoint presentations!

Here it is:

Welcome to Missing Link's presentation master class, the entire programme lasts about 1-minute.

You will be tested, so pay attention.

Rule 1: Make sure you enjoy your presentation more than your audience does, no matter how detailed or serious the content.
Rule 2: Serious is fine. Boring is not.
Rule 3: Most people prefer to listen to words, and see pictures. Be nice to those people.
Rule 4: You are the presentation. Prepare for every preso under the assumption that your visual aids wont work. If you need slides only to enhance your message, you'll design them more efficiently.
Rule 5: Presentation is storytelling, stories are fun, knock yourself out.

There's more, but if you can get these right, you're well on your way. Of course, if you really do want more info feel free to download and read our Attention Spam tutorial, or simply follow the links on the right hand side, I'll update them often, so check back, or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Class dismissed...!

Please, Please, Please, Please, pay attention to Rules 1, 3 and 5!!!!!!!! It hurts me when I go to Church and encounter 'death by side screen'! I love the "attention spam tutorial" - it is very effective!

Thanks Rich.

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What to do on the internet on a quiet and boring Saturday. A few tips for your browsing pleasure.

The internet is a wonderfully entertaining place to spend a few quiet minutes (hours, whatever the case may be).

I have had quite a busy morning with a meeting, and then a wedding (to Justin and Joy-Anne Lee whose wedding I did at the wonderful Rosebank Union Church in Sandton / Bryanston today - it was truly a lovely event, in a magnificent setting!)

However, I am home now, Courtney is playing outside with some friends, Megie is putting Liam off to sleep. So, I have a few minutes to check my favourite websites. I thought I would put a quick post up to tell you how I do my browsing, and what sites I check out regularly.

How do you get the best out of your precious time on the net?

1. Use an RSS reader. I use the RSS reader built into Mac OS Mail (in Leopard) to check on my favourite websites. With an RSS reader you can do two things. First, the reader will automatically update as soon as someone updates their website. Second, you don't need to visit the actual website in your browser to see the updates (you can simply scan the headings in the reader and only click on the one's that interest you). Most readers will not only load the updated text but also 'rich content', like Videos, MP3's and images.

2. First check the sites you visit most often. I'll tell you what sites I visit most often below. However, if your time is limited it is a good idea to visit the sites you like first. Then, if you still have some time left you can check out other sites that may interest you.

3. Make use of community driven listing sites. There are many sites out there like digg.com where the community votes for (or diggs) blog posts so that you can instantly tell what is popular or interesting.

So, that's how I use the internet when I have just a few minutes (or a lazy hour) and what to find out what's going on out there.

Which sites do I check regularly, or subscribe to via RSS:

1. engadget - technology, gadgets, and other geek news.
2. Mail & Guardian - an independent South African newspaper (I like their honest and courageous approach to tackling tough issues).
3. Sojourners - a Christian site with daily scripture readings, content, and articles related to issues of faith and justice, faith and politics etc. The blog is called "God's politics"
4. jkontherun - ANOTHER gadget site, specifically for those of us who use PDA's, microPC's, palmtops of sorts, and various cell phone driver technologies.
5. Amatomu.com (religion) - I read the Mail & Guardian's listing of 'religion' blogs (that helps me to follow up on Wessel, Pete, Sivin, Stephen, Jenny, Sharky etc. please see links on the right of this blog to go to their blogs)
6. Wired - an alternative look at culture, technology, and society in general.
7. Boingboing - there's no real way to describe this one....
8. digg - a social networking site where you can vote for posts by other people. Check out the 'offbeat' stories section.
9. joblog - these great guys post some interesting things (warning there is often adult content on this site such a explicit language etc.) I do, however, like their design business (I stumbled upon them from advice they gave about the use of powerpoint).
10. BBC News - say no more.
11. New York Times - same here...
12. MacCentral news - Again, nothing needs to be said here...
13. how stuff works - quite an interesting site, often with insights on how things work!

So, I hope that offers some insight and perhaps a bit of help!

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

How to create accurate references in MS Word 2007

So much of my life revolves around text, reading it, thinking about it, writing it, and of course trying to disseminate it to others. Anything that can help to manage and record my use of text more accurately is always welcome!

Just this afternoon I was reminding my students how important it is to provide detailed and accurate references in their work! Of course this not only aids verification, it also helps others who are doing similar research to find sources of use.

Here's a great tutorial from the Microsoft team (yes, Lord, I repent, Steve Job's I'll also be sending you a letter of apology)...

It will teach you how to do easy references in your papers, articles, assignments etc. using Microsoft Word 2007.

I use MS Word for Apple Mac, however, if there is anyone out there us MS Word for the 'dark side' please let me know if it works, and how it works!

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15 tips for getting rid of clutter in your house!

I know there are some hoarders who read this blog!!! I've seen you saving posts!! Ha ha.

I found this great article on how to get rid of clutter in your house. My desk is not too bad... I do tend to hang on to things, but at least I am super neat! So, I tend to collect very neat piles of useless paper!

Here are a few tips to get rid of clutter, let me know what you think, or if you can suggest anything more practical and useful:

As with anything, getting rid of clutter can be made incredibly simple: just go through your stuff, one section, closet, drawer, or shelf at a time, and get rid of everything that isn?t absolutely essential, that you don?t love and use often.

Of course, simplifying a process like that isn?t terribly useful to many people who struggle with clutter. So, with that in mind, I present to you 15 fabulous tip for decluttering. These tips aren?t mine - they?re from you guys, the readers, repackaged into a useful little post.

Recently I asked you guys for your best decluttering tips ? and I pulled some of the best of those (there are many more good ones I wasn't able to use). They're reworded here slightly, and a couple have been modified indiscriminately by me. :)

But they're great tips nonetheless. Enjoy!

1. Declutter for 15 minutes every day. It?s amazing how much you can get through if you just do it in small increments like this.

2. Don?t allow things into the house in the first place. Whether you've begun decluttering the living space, or you?ve just completed it, stop bringing in new stuff NOW. Even if that's ALL you do and don?' start decluttering immediately, if you can only establish one habit at a time, establish the no-more-stuff habit first. This way, when you do get to decluttering the existing stuff, you've already stopped making it worse. Think of bailing out a boat with a hole in it. You can bail and bail, but it won?t do anything for the leak.

3. Donate stuff you're decluttering, so you don?t feel bad about wasting it.

4. Create a 'Goals' chart with decluttering on it - either daily, or 3 times a week. Check off the days when you declutter, and you?ll feel a great sense of accomplishment.

5. Start at the corner by the door and move your way around the room, doing the superficial stuff first - surfaces, empy the bin etc. Repeat, but do more the 2nd time around - ie. open the cupboards.

6. Whenever you're boiling the kettle for tea, tidy up the kitchen. If the kitchen is tidy, tidy up the next room - it's only 3 minutes but it keeps you on top of everything (helps if you have an Englishman's obsession with Tea as well!)

7. Use the 'one in, two out' rule. The rule: whenever you bring in an item, you have to throw away two other items. First you cheat, by throwing out two pieces of paper, but soon you will have to move to big stuff.

8. Make your storage space smaller and more minimal. If you have lots of storage, you'll fill it with stuff.

9. Clothing rule: If you haven?t worn an item in 6 months, sell or donate it.

10. The One-Year Box. Take all your items that you unsure about getting rid of (e.g. "I might need this someday?"), put them in a box, seal it and date it for 1 year in the future. When the date comes, and you still didn?t need to open it to get anything, donate the box WITHOUT OPENING IT. You probably won't even remember what there was in the box.

11. Declutter one room (including any closets, desks, cabinets, etc.) before starting on the next one. Spending time in that room will feel *so* good, and it will be so easy to keep clean, that it will motivate you to do more!

12. Keep a list in your planner labeled "Don?t Need It - Don?t Want It." When you're out shopping and run across some kind of gadget or other item you crave, note it down on the list. This will slow you down long enough to reconsider. Also, seeing the other things on the list that you nearly bought on impulse really helps.

13. Internalize that your value is not in your "stuff". It is just "stuff". And realize that your value grows when you share your "stuff". Hoarding is a selfish act.

14. Have someone else (who you trust!) help you go through things. They don't have the (sometime's irrational) emotional attachment that you might have, but can still recognize if something should be kept.

15. Gift everything. Books you?ve read immediately get recycled among friends, family or local libraries. If you buy a new gaming system, donate your old one ? and all the games.
Taken from: Zenhabbits.net

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