- Currently Listening to:
- Neil Young — Cowgirl in the Sand
“TED” (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a conference run each year which brings together a mix of scientists, entrepreneurs, performers and thinkers of all types who trade in the fundamental currency of ideas. They get some terrific speakers in to wax lyrical for twenty minutes or so about what’s on their mind, and for the last few years the best talks have been put online. It’s hard to choose which ones to watch, but some of the ones I found worthwhile are:
- Jeff Bezos: After the gold rush, there’s innovation ahead
- Bezos is the founder of Amazon and someone who knows a thing or two about fluctuations in the fortunes of the web. He begins by connecting the dramatic boom and bust of the web to the rise and fall of the American gold rush. Switching analogies, he goes on to liken the enabling effects of the introduction of the web to the introduction of electricity into people’s homes.
- Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy?
- Fascinating talk on the nature of human happiness, our “psychological immune system” and how parts of our brains have evolved to be able to simulate experience and fake happiness when required. Also discusses the pyschology of choice: how having less options will generally result in happier people.
- Jeff Han: Unveiling the genius of multi-touch interface design
- Before all the hoopla about the iPhone‘s touch-sensitive screen, there was Jeff Han, and one of the best technology demos I’ve ever seen.
- Seth Godin: Sliced bread and other marketing delights
- Marketing master Seth Godin on the requirement that a product or service be not just “very good”, but remarkable to succeed, and why early adopters are the most important group to market to.
- Malcolm Gladwell: What we can learn from spaghetti sauce
- Writer and master of the cross-disciplinary insight, Malcolm Gladwell (of The Tipping Point fame) illustrates the fallacy of designing anything for the “average user”.
(via Aaron & Mike.)
Hello ruby in the dust
Has your band begun to rust?
Wednesday 3 May 2006
Posted by Ross at 3:12 PM under Blog
- Currently Listening to:
- Kate Bush — Cloudbusting
As part of the new structured PhD program in operation in CSI, we all have to give a talk on something relevant to our research.
I chose/it was suggested to me to present “fisheye” visualizations, a technique described by George Furnas in his seminal paper “Generalised Fisheye Views”, and the 20 years on review paper, “A Fisheye Follow-up: Further Reflections on Focus + Context”. This is a really interesting data filtering approach (and not a visual technique as the name might imply).
The talk seems to have gone down well, which is nice, as I have some workshop talks coming up later this month. Creating this presentation, the first I’ve given since I left IBM last September, has proven to be very good practise for preparing a talk, and then — erk! — fielding questions. My slides are linked below.
Talk: Information Visualization
Using View & Data Distortion
And here are some of the things I learned from my presentation:
- Never, ever try and say “specificity” out loud in front of other people. That is all.
- Why Presentations Matter & How we can improve them: Bizcamp Dub 2010
- Don't bore me | GroupLens Research
However, in reflecting on my experience, many of the talks began to seem, hmmmm..., monotonous. The speakers didn't look animated. They didn't use much of a dynamic range in their speaking: they weren't loud sometimes and quiet others, fast sometimes and slow others. There weren't too many jokes (shout out to Cliff and Reid, two speakers who did joke a bit). The slides too were pretty homogeneous: none that shouted "I'm important - notice me!".
- BBC - h2g2 - The Columbia Disaster - Death By PowerPoint [Peer Review version]
So how could NASA have made such a terrible decision? The accident investigation report spells it out. The engineers' doubts and concerns were not adequately communicated to NASA management, and one link in that communication chain was the reporting tool.
- Make Yourself Presentable | Jason Santa Maria
I often think of a slide as the little graphics superimposed next to a news anchor’s head on TV. There is just enough space to convey a starting point to a thought, not always the thought itself. It’s your job as the presenter to deliver the story. I often employ short titles and phrases of one or two words and talk around that thought. This not only has the advantage of forcing you to turn your attention to the audience instead of worrying about what your slide says, but it also makes the presentation more special. You, the speaker, not the slides, are conveying the information. This isn’t something that can just be read and your presence inconsequential.
- The secrets of Malcolm Gladwell | Gideon Rachman's Blog | FT.com
So how does Gladwell do it? Afterwards, I broke through the autograph-hunters surrounding him and asked him how he managed to time his talk so beautifully - so that it ended bang on 45 minutes, without ever looking at his watch. He answered - “I know it may not look like this. But it’s all scripted. I write down every word and then I learn it off by heart. I do that with all my talks and I’ve got lots of them”
- BEEDOCS Movie: Introducing Bee Docs Timeline 3D
One of the biggest challenges with presenting timeline charts is that you want to be able to display both the full context of your timeline, that’s the whole story and how the events relate to each other. But, you also want to be able to display the detail in your timeline, that’s what happened at a particular event in your timeline.
- FORTIFY YOUR OASIS: TEDx Dublin Overview and Pics
- FORTIFY YOUR OASIS: Good presentation / Bad presentation
His presentation is utterly compelling.
His subject matter is huge and visionary, his thinking is all-encompassing, and his total conviction reverberates out of every word he utters. Plus he's funny as hell. Treat yourself.
- FORTIFY YOUR OASIS: Really Bad PowerPoint - a Seth Godin idea that didn't spread
I have decided to bow to the inevitable and take a leadership stance on behalf of dreadful, lazy; self-indulgent presenters everywhere. May I humbly present my Appalling Presenter's Manifesto. This way, when abysmal presentation sweeps over the planet like a plague from the old testament, I can take due credit - or blame - for it. [This is kind of like when Uri Geller rang in to a television station that had just announced that Big Ben has stopped and said, "Hey! That was me! I made that happen!"]