This past Tuesday afternoon I got to do something I always enjoy: making a presentation about TSTC Publishing to new instructors at TSTC Waco. Thanks to the efforts of Greta Bane Hecker, Human Resources Staff Development Officer, new faculty receive a semester-long introduction to the school’s policies, procedures, personnel, and various support departments through the Instructional Training Academy she has developed.
Last semester’s group I addressed was pretty big—there were 15-20 people because the new academic year was starting—but this semester there were just a couple of folks: Lynne Maxwell from Computer Networking & Systems Administration and Mack Curry from Drafting & Design. As is common when talking to people for the first time, you discover what a small world it is. Lynne had lived just down the road in Austin, Texas, so we commiserated about traffic issues and, as it happens, Mack’s wife Diane, one of the nicest people in the world, is the secretary for Food Service/Culinary Arts, which is in the same building as the publishing operation.
As you can see from this TSTC Publishing Instructional Training Academy PowerPoint Presentation, I provide an overview of TSTC Publishing’s formation, our basic business and production models, and our strategic initiatives. I have kind of a love-hate relationship with a lot of PowerPoint presentations; that is, it is a very powerful program that, unfortunately, is not effectively used much of the time. As is, I would suspect, a common experience with many people, I have seen plenty of presentations where:
• Too much text was on each slide;
• Slide text was accompanied by that annoying typewriter sound effect;
• Transitions from one slide to slide were very distracting; and
• The presenter would turn his/her back to the audience to read directly off of a slide.
So, on my part, I try to keep my PowerPoint presentations as simple and clean as possible. Use mainly text, not too many—if any—graphics, and stick to presenting my main points on the slides that I then elaborate upon while making continuous eye contact with my audience.
And, finally, while there is plenty to be said about New Media marketing—encompassing issues such as search engine optimization (SEO), blogs, click rates, site referrals, and so on—in the final anlysis I have to reiterate the fact that being in the same room with the folks you’re talking to, looking them in the eye, and shaking their hands carries a power and connection that software applications just can’t replicate.