More, Better, Faster!

More presentations by Matt Balara.

Now that the audio’s available, here are the slides from my UX Australia presentation.

Any stack of paper can be printed with words which, when read, convey insightful, interesting & exciting thoughts to the reader. The same words can be posted on a web site and have the same effect. But when we present our ideas, it’s a completely different kind of communication, far closer to theater than it is to writing. Presenters who subject their audience to slide after slide of text are where the term “death by powerpoint” comes from, and the most ground-breaking ideas can induce catatonia when delivered by a monotone speaker who sounds anything but passionate about his subject. The best presentations I’ve ever seen were dominated by images, contained no more than a few (if any) words on each slide, and were presented by a speaker who knew his material backwards and delivered it with confidence, passion and humour. When I present, I try to be that guy.

This style always causes the same dilemma: should I share slides which make no sense at all without me talking & waving my arms in front of them? Luckily, Donna Spencer organised excellent recording for all of the presentations at UX Australia, and Slideshare makes it possible to sync audio to slides.

But most presentations on Slideshare don’t have any audio. I’m curious: when you put together a slide deck, do you keep Slideshare in mind and try and make your slides readable, or do you concentrate on the event, and try and put on a great show?


  1. Veit Lehmann says:

    Great presentation, Matt! I’m really thankful for having worked with you. And your footsteps are still clearly visible here in Hamburg. We’ve almost finished a project where we did exactly that iterative design/development process you’re talking about – and it worked really well! Drop me a note if you’re interested in details. Cheers!

  2. I definitely keep slideshare in mind (or wherever my slides end up). If I’m using an image-heavy deck I create hidden slides with notes. And my decks usually have some slides with bullet points, for use afterwards… I think this is very important. What’s the point of doing all that thinking, then only sharing it with a handful of people 😉

  3. Ben Kraal says:

    I prepared my slides to be as interesting as possible while stepping through what I was talking about in a logical way, taking the view that while everyone in the audience could more than keep up I might be presenting things outside of their direct experience.

    And at the same time I put my slides together to, more or less, require that I am there waving my hands in front of them.

    So when I put my slides up on slideshare (NB: not a typical practice if I am presenting at a research conference) I output them to have the notes fields included and that’s what I upload. Like Donna said, above, I was aware that people would be looking at my slides afterwards and I wanted them to be accessible.

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