Generics Presentation - Lessons Learned

Dominic did a great presentation on generics at the local users group last night. There were a number of things that I thought he did very well:

  • Simple slide layout - I love those flashy slide backgrounds, but Dominic went for a simple white background and a few subtle font colours, and I think it worked well.
  • Ditching VS.NET - Instead of using VS.NET he wrote all his demos from scratch in EMACS (with no syntax hilighting), and complied with the command line tools. I have seen this done once before by another presenter (using notepad) and writing all the demo code on the fly. It worked well last time, and it worked well again for Dominic. It seems illogical, but for some reason (for me at least) seeing code in VS.NET doesn’t have the same impact as seeing it un-adorned.
  • Simple examples - doing demos hundreds of line is not an option when you’re going to write all the code on the fly. The simple, focused demos worked well.
  • Focusing on benefits - “Presenting To Win“ style “what’s in it for you“ points helped make a somewhat esoteric topic (generics) fairly applicable and accesable to morts like me.

Although I might be biased I think his talk was great, and the style and delivery has given me a lot to think about the next time I have to do a technical presentation (which will hopefully be soon).