7.1 Collaborative Video Production
This is perhaps the busiest week in CST 300 since we have two major projects to worry about–the final draft of our ethics paper and two videos on a selected topic for two different audiences. Our group met on Google Hangouts after Monday’s meeting with the professors to discuss our plan of action. Each group member is supposed to research our topic–quantum computing–and to compile a list of resources and ideas for both videos. We have been sharing some resources over Slack since our next meeting will not be until Sunday. We are also investigating an online collaborative tool like theplot.io to storyboard our videos before we start production. We also discussed how we would approach production and editing. For voice overs and other content, we plan on uploading content to a shared folder on Google Drive. Since Cody has access to great video editing software, he will likely be in charge of editing content together.
7.2 LECTURE REFLECTION
This week focused on presentations since we will soon be submitting two video presentations on a topic of our choice.
In this comical video, “corporate comedian” Don MacMillan gives a whimsical account of some of the top mistakes people make when putting together a PowerPoint presentation. It is important to make your slides visually appealing–the font size and color should be legible and too many distracting animations should be avoided. When it comes to text on a slide, less in more. A presenter should not put everything he or she plans to say–the slides should support the speech with visual aids and important key terms, avoiding jargon that may be unfamiliar to the audience.
Toastmasters provides tips for a variety of public speaking contexts and purposes. Many of their tips are similar to those shared by MacMillan. Of using visual aids, Toastmasters implores the presenter to keep text to a minimum and to rely on supportive visual aids that are relevant to what is being said. PowerPoint slides should never be read verbatim and the presenter should always face the audience. Successful speeches arise from preparation, and preparation comes with practice and patience. Even if a presenter makes a mistake in speech during the actual presentation, he or she should not pause to apologize, but should simply move on. It is also important to speak clearly and with passion to engage the audience.
Carly Stec, Senior Content Strategist on HubSpot’s Content Acquisition team, stresses that although we are presented with a lot of choices when it comes to putting together a PowerPoint presentation, we need to be mindful of our choices so that we do not wind up with a presentation that is illegible, distracting, and ineffective. Stec provides 20 examples of PowerPoint presentations that employ a consistent color scheme, legible text that does not dominate each slide, and supportive use of visual aids. Some unique features that some presentations used were tables of content to manage an information-heavy presentation and subdued graphic backgrounds that still allowed for visible text. Stec reinforces the idea that there are definitely wrong ways to design a presentation, there is no one right way–you can still be creative as long as you make mindful decisions.
This video is an example of a whiteboard animation video, which is typically used to illustrate complex information. The presenter draws out visual aids that support the presenter’s speech. The video speed is adjusted to match the pacing of the recorded speech. In this case, not only great speaking skills are needed, but artistic ability as well.
7.3 TED Talk Presentation Evaluations
Reshma Saujani is the author of the upcoming title, Brave, Not Perfect : Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder (2019), and the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization which aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science. In her February 2016 TED talk, Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection, explains how she took a chance and ran for Congress, despite being told how likely she was to fail. She uses this story to introduce the stark difference in how boys and girls are traditionally raised. Boys, she claims, are raised to be risk-takers while girls are raised to be perfect. This difference, she claims, leads girls to avoid challenges, which contributes to the underrepresentation of females in STEM. This is supported by the fact that most females will only apply for STEM positions if they meet 100% of the qualifications, while males will apply even if they only meet 60% of the qualifications. Saujani uses a passionate tone to convey to her audience how important it is to teach girls it is okay to fail in order to develop perseverance and courage. She implores each audience member to tell every young woman they know that they should be comfortable with imperfection and to help them use that imperfection to drive their passions.
Massimo Banzi co-founded Arduino, an open-source programmable microcomputer that has enabled makers to create their own inventions. In his 2012 TED talk, How Arduino is Open-Sourcing Imagination, explains how 3D printers have led to a third industrial revolution. More importantly, he argues, there is another revolution being driven by open-source technologies. He reveals that the 3D printer he was speaking about is actually open-source and powered by an Arduino microprocessor. Because of this, virtually anyone could build this 3D printer or any other innovation a person might dream up. Because Arduino is open-source, this has led to others creating their own boards based on its architecture. Banzi supports his presentation with videos of a diverse array of projects developed by people all over the world, demonstrating how the Arduino has enabled people to find novel solutions to their problems. Banzi injects intermittent humor and humorous project examples into his presentation to keep his audience engaged.