Do you know which language your presentation is going to be in?

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This may sound like a silly question. How can you not know which language your presentation is going to be in?

English is the language that's spoken the most at conferences (not limited to tech conferences) these days. But what about a conference in a country which does not have English as its main language? Which language would you use? Especially if you're a native of that country?

If you're only doing presentations in English in English-speaking countries then you can probably stop reading now.

Lessons from a Pecha Kucha night

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Imposing restrictions can often make things more interesting. When it comes to presentations, one such example is Pecha Kucha. The idea behind this format is that a speaker only gets to show 20 slides - and that the slides are moving forward automatically after 20 seconds. So all in all, you have 6:40 minutes for your entire presentation.

I've read about Pecha Kucha but hadn't seen it live until a few weeks ago, when I attended a Pecha Kucha night in Stuttgart. It was very interesting to see how the 10 speakers dealt with the restrictions.

Slides without Words

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It seems to be a bit of a trend right now and I also catch myself doing it on occasion: Having a slide with only a photo on it - but no words.

When you talk to people about embracing a more visual slide design, some get it - and some only embrace it half-heartedly. The latter group often ends up producing slides that have a somewhat relevant photo on the right - and a list of bullet points on the left side. People in the other group sometimes tend to go to the other extreme and start using slides that only consist of photos - with no text at all.

Neither of these approaches is ideal.

Mini Book Review: Gamestorming

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Gamestorming by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo

As the title suggests, the book describes games that can be used for brainstorming and related activities. Included are games to evaluate the results of a traditional brainstorming session, how to decide on the next actions, but also a lot of more complex games for very specific tasks.