10 Tips to Do Presentations Like Me: Use Screenshots

Tip #5: Use screenshots, not the live web.

I’ve seen this (and experienced it, too) – someone wants to show off their new website or a new web tool during a presentation. So they go to the site, and then discover the either the conference center’s web access is down, or it’s not fast enough to handle the demonstration.

Then the presenter is stuck – that part of the presentation depended on the web actually working! Darn it.

Here’s the solution – use screenshots. The live web isn’t predictable … especially when you’re standing in front of a room full of people … and will most definitely slow you down during a presentation. Even if web access is working great, using it during a presentation will still most likely slow the presentation down as you wait for the next page to load.

So if you can, use screenshots to get your point across. Screenshots often work fine during a presentation, and can speed things along. They also give you the option to be a bit creative. For example, int he screenshot accompanying this post, I took a screenshot of a website, and then layered some text and soem arrows to help get my point across.

Obviously, sometimes you will need to go to the live web – training sessions or in-depth “how does this work” sessions pretty much require the real thing. But in most other cases screenshots probably work just as well, if not better.

Something to think about!

  • Molly

    I am enjoying all your tips!

  • Mickey Schafer

    Yay! Affirmation from the blogosphere! I use screen shots all the time — not only b/c it guarantees what I want is there, but also to prevent students from clicking on links when they aren’t quite ready yet. I teach undergrads to search academic databases and deal with electronic journals, and screen shots ahve really helped streamline this process. They are also much more effective at helping someone navigate a 6 step process than a list of the 14 moves required to perform the action.