May 29, 2009

No magic beans required

May 29, 2009 - Categories: life

Over dinner and gardening plans, Laura (Backyard Harvesting) said, “So I was reading your blog… There’s just so much! Do you even sleep?”

“I’m a big fan of sleep, actually,” I said, “and I have a blog post about that.” I told her that I have a lot of interests (now up to 40!–not concurrent, thank goodness), and that many of those interests build on each other.

W- chimed in and told her that I often find other people who can help me finish things I start, which is great. =) (And I’m looking forward to learning how to scale up even better!)

Whenever people go “Wow!”, I tell them that anyone can do it, and that I want to help people do even better. I emphasize that not because I’m downplaying what I’ve done or what I’m doing (or how much fun I’m having along the way!), but because I don’t want people to give themselves excuses just because they think I’m different.

Go and make something happen.
Here’s what I’ve learned that might help you along the way:

Do things you love, and love the things you do.
Do things that complement each other.
Do things that scale.

No magic beans required. =)

Finally figured out what to do with presentation templates! =)

May 29, 2009 - Categories: presentation, speaking

I give lots of presentations at conferences, and I often receive presentation templates that the organizers would like me to use so that there’s consistent visual branding. The templates specify color schemes, the title page layout, and some of the other text slide layouts as well, including the background and the conference logo.

While I’m glad that the templates can help bullet-ridden presentations be a little more visually attractive, the suggested style almost never goes with the creative presentation styles I use. Whether I’m using full-bleed images, simple text, or hand-drawn stick figures, nothing I use quite fits into the formal confines of a typical conference template.

I finally figured out how to think about the presentation template, though. For the presentation I just finished making, I kept the title slide of the conference. Then I took the color scheme and the gradient from the top part of the title page, and I made the rest of the slides have a similar feel. Tada! Something that will probably get along well with the rest of the presentations, but that I had fun making. =)

The actual presentation will have at least five stories, and will probably end up with even more.

And I did all of that without a Mac or a beret! ;)