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You can embed a video in your presentation, but remember to check with the A/V teamto be sure it’s definitely working before you go on stage.TRANSITIONSThis is the dreaded quicksand of many a presenter. Rule of thumb: Avoid nearly all ofthem. Shimmer, sparkle, confetti, twirl, clothesline, swirl, cube, scale, swap, swoosh, fireexplosions, and dropping and bouncing are all real Keynote transitions. And I never useany of them, except for humor and irony. They are gimmicky and serve to drop you out ofyour ideas and into the mechanics of your software. There are two transitions I do like:none (an instant cut, like in film editing) and dissolve. None (or cut) is great when youwant an instant response to your clicker, and dissolve looks natural if it’s set to a timeinterval of less than half a second. Cut and dissolve even have two subconsciousmeanings: With cut you’re shifting to a new idea, and with dissolve the two slides arerelated in some way. That’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s valid. You can use cuts anddissolves in the same presentation. If there is no reason for a transition, don’t use one. Insummary, your transition should never call attention to itself.TRANSPORTING FILESSend your presentation to your hosts, and bring a USB stick with your completepresentation andyour video, separate from your presentation. Also include the fonts usedin the presentation. Even if I have sent a presentation in advance to the venue where I’llbe speaking, I always bring it with me too. Important: Before sending over the Internet orcopying to USB, put all these files into a folder and compress the folder into a .zip file.That will make sure that Keynote or PowerPoint will gather all the pieces of yourpresentation in one place. Do label each video clearly, including its location. Forexample, SIOBHAN STEPHENS SLIDE 12: VIDEO: MOTH EMERGES FROM COCOON.RIGHTSMake sure you have a legal license to use the photos, videos, music, and any specialfonts, or that they are in the Creative Commons or outright free to use. It’s always easiestand best to use your own work. If you use a Whitney Houston song, for example, it couldcost thousands of dollars to clear it for use in your live talk and especially online.TESTINGThere are two kinds of testing: human and technical. First, for human testing, I recommendthat you test your presentation—especially your slides—on family or friends who are notin your field. Ask them afterwards what they understood, what they didn’t, and whatfurther questions they have. Testing is extremely important, especially on very technicalor abstruse subjects.
Equally important is technical testing. I bought a Kensington remote for $35 that plugsinto my computer’s USB so I can click through the talk as I would on stage. Are the slidescrisp and bright? Are the transitions quick enough? Are the fonts correct? Do the videosplay OK? Are there any technical glitches of any kind? Running through your talk a lotwill help you know if it is reliable.