Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Advice on Blogging and Slide Design

Career 2.0 reader Chris Wash had several great suggestions for blog entries. They were too late for the first edition of the book, but they were so good, I wanted to at least share them in a blog entry.

Blog Tips

- Cultivate a blogroll and stay up to date on it. Networking in the blogosphere is a good way to promote your blog and stay abreast of "hot topics"

- Respond to other blogs - instead of burying your thoughts deep in a comment thread, start writing a blog entry of your own in response to another one (or article). This will draw upon previous readership and can be a lighthearted way to "throw your hat in the ring" on a certain topic.

- Link to your previous posts where you've already expressed your opinion on a topic, and update previous posts to forward readers who may have found a particular blog entry via search engine to how your opinions or knowledge of a subject have changed. This can go a long way in growing a strong reader base. If people see you're good for more than one good entry, they're much more inclined to RSS your blog and continue reading.

Slide Design

- Humor! If you aren't having a good time, your audience won't either.

- Experiment using animation - it's a good way to keep the audience engaged during a narrative. Just be sure to do it tastefully.

- Less is more - Put constraints on yourself when designing slides. Garr Reynolds talks about this in Presentation Zen and it really blew my mind when I read it. Constraints make you more creative!

- Don't design a presentation in front of a computer. Just like in PP and other places, you need to get your brain in a different, more creative mode of thinking. Use sticky notes, paper, whatever. But don't just sit there and play in Keynote or Powerpoint. Your slides will show.

- There are a few principles of design that can make your slides more aesthetically pleasing:
- The rule of thirds: http://photoinf.com/Golden_Mean/Michael_Fodor/Photo_School_-_Rule_of_Thirds.htm, http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2006/06/the_power_of_th.html
- I can't find the principle for this or any links, but can ask my designer friends (I know there are some good articles on it) but if you use a picture of a person, position them in such a way as to have their eyes looking at the text on the slide. This will naturally guide the readers to your message.

Thanks Chris! That's great advice.

Everyone, keep the great ideas coming! I won't publish your ideas without your permission, but I'll try to pass on great ideas.

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