Presentation Analysis: 27 Ways To Be A Better Developer

There is currently a backlash against “slideuments” which are slide sets that are text-heavy and better suited to read as a document than to be a presentation. What are the alternatives to the slideument format?

The current philosophy for presentations is to reduce the text, to have one idea per slide and for each slide use an image to give the viewers an visual memory tag that will help them remember the ideas that you present.

I recently found a slideset which embraces this new philosophy. It’s called “27 Ways To Be a Better Developer”, it’s by Lorna Mitchell and Ivo Jansch and it’s from the PHP Benelux Conference:

Let’s look at what it does well and where it can be enhanced further:

  1. It has a great attention-grabbing front page. It’s creative and makes you want to know more about the topic.
  2. It followed the 1 idea per slide philosophy
  3. The majority of images used match the idea expressed in the slide. but not all.¬†In a few slides the image doesn’t really match the text. There is a danger that these ideas will not be retained as well as some of the others. Examples of this would be the dart board on “Plan Ahead”, the soldiers on “Keep your Hands Dirty”, the noodles in “Code for Today” and the road-sign on “Inside Out vs Outside In”
  4. The use of a cartoon on the “Use Analogies” page which has very small text, it’s quite possible that the text will be too small for the audience thus losing the whole point of the cartoon and the accompanying photo.
  5. I’m not sure if the Buzzword Bingo chart was wholly necessary, it’s a possible distraction and doesn’t add to the overall message.
  6. It is important that if you share the slidedeck but not the script then the slidedeck needs to convey your message clearly. For me the message of the”learn to fish” slides don’t seem to fit in with ways to be a better developer.
  7. They have a detailed credits section at the end. It’s important that if you use photos in your slides that you give credit to the owners of the images (after all they helped you make your slide-deck great). It’s also vital if you want to share your presentations online.