I was recently importing all the old HTML pages from my personal website, www.NicholasPyers.com, into a new WordPress site and whilst working on the Presentations pages I realised that although much of the information would need updating, many of the topics would still form a great basis for other User Groups to develop in to their own presentations.
I know from personal experience just how hard it can be to come up with new an exciting presentation topics, month after month.
When I ran the Macintosh MultiMedia Group [3MG], which was a joint venture between AUSOM Incorporated and iMug, two of my local User Groups, I had to arrange for two presentations a month for that. If I was lucky, or well organised (which also required aforementioned luck) I was able to arrange for two other people to give presentations. Unfortunately that didn’t always happen, so it often fell back on myself to give at least one, if not both, presentations that evening.
I also ran the iWork Special Interest Group for AUSOM at the same period (different date during the month though) and was often asked to be a guest speaker at some of AUSOMs other Special Interest Groups or even give the Main Presentation.
It often became daunting coming up with fresh topics, especially if I was giving multiple presentations each month!
Just remember that some of the presentations listed on my website are now a decade old, so the content will almost certainly require updating, but that said many of the topics themselves are still relevant, even after this all time.
So feel free to have a look at
presentations by nicholas pyers »
Here are some highlighted topics;
Design Application Shoot Out
The premise behind this presentation was really simple — Three different presenters each demonstrated a different application they preferred to do a single task.
Here we used Pages, InDesign and Photoshop to each create a promotional flyer.
The object of the “shoot out” is not to determine which design application is the “superior” one, but rather to allow attendees decide which one best suits their own personal needs.
The idea of comparing different apps to one another opens itself up to so many topics and in fact this presentation was so successful that it led to an entire Special Interest Group called “Why Should I?” been spawned at AUSOM.
Some topics that could be covered include;
- Word Processors — Pages, Word, Nisus Writer
Graphics — Photoshop, Pixelmator, GraphicConverter
Web Browsers — Safari, Chrome, Firefox
Cloud Storage — iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive
Presentations — Keynote, Powerpoint
Mouse Enhancers — Mouseposé, PinPoint
Video Players — VLC, MPlayerX, Plex
Have a Host oversee the presentation. They can introduce the topic and each of the “Guest Presenters” and then do a quick summary at the end of the various demonstrations.
You will need to allow a few minutes in between presenters so that each one can set up their own equipment. Often this can be done as the current speaker spends a couple of minutes just talking with a quick summary of why they choose their application of choice and/or taking one or two quick questions from the audience.
Allocate each person a set amount time and have the host ensure the presenters strictly stick to this time. It all depends on the length of your meeting, AND the complexity of the task at hand but I recommend no more than 15 minutes, maybe 20 minutes, per presenter — remember the idea is to get a basic feel for each application and then members can go home and play with the applications themselves at home.
This is also a great way to get your members involved in giving presentations. After all, you’re not asking them to give a full hour or two worth of presentation complete with slides etc — they are just quickly showing off an application they enjoy using already and feel comfortable with.
And you never know, once they have given a short presentation that was well received by your members, you may find they are more comfortable and willing to give longer presentations in the future — perhaps expanding on what they have just done.
If your members express enough interest in one or more of the applications demonstrated, you then have another presentation idea already to go 🙂 and just perhaps your guest presenter(s) would welcome the opportunity to come back and do a more detailed demonstration.
Fun ‘n’ Games on the Mac
Now, tell me who DOES NOT enjoy a quite (or not so quite) game in their spare time to either relax or let off some steam???
You can easily form a presentation around the general theme of “Games” and you if break it down in to sub categories like “Card Games” “Role Playing Games” “First Person Shooter” “Classic Games — chess, monopoly, mahjong” or even “Kid’s Games” you can come up with even more presentations!
Just select a handful of games, spend a bit of time practicing them at home (but try not to spend too much time) and then demonstrate them to your members.
What could be simpler 🙂
Essential, Useful & Interesting Free Software for Mac OS X
I think you’ll agree that everyone loves getting something for free!
And there are thousands of free Apps available for the Mac, iPhone and iPad out there… and this is part of the problem — finding out which of them are the Essential, the Useful and the Interesting ones!
Like Games, you can cover a broad spectrum of free apps in a single presentation, or break the entire topic up into different categories for even more presentations.
Holiday Gift Ideas
Depending on which part of the month your meetings occur, this is a logical topic for a late-November or early-December meeting.
You could have one person present a number of gift ideas or you could have a couple of people making suggestions.
Whilst products with an Apple Flavour” are logical choices to present to an Apple User Group meeting, have some fun with the gift ideas… the availability of products that can be purchased online since I originally gave this presentation has exploded greatly, so think differently and find something a little unique to suggest as a gift idea.
This presentation was always mulling in the back of mind as a “standby presentation” in case I couldn’t come up with another topic. Well one night it was quickly pulled into existence when a pre-booked presenter pulled out at the last minute and I suddenly needed a topic at very short notice (I think I did actually have a days notice)
Anyway, this presentation was performed without any accompanying slides. From memory Perry and I walked into the session with a tiny scrap of paper each, that listed the names of a couple of Podcasts we both liked to listen too and we used that to talk for an hour between us!
We just launched iTunes. Found the Podcast we want to tell people about, then played a couple of minutes worth of the podcast itself and then explained why we personally liked that actual show, or even that particular episode.
We alternated between the two of us. I’d talk about one podcast, then Perry would select one of his favourites, and then I’d do another one.
I tend to recall we even both selected the same podcast as one of our favourites and made a joke about it.
Anyway, the purpose of highlighting this particular presentation is to point out that “My Favourite XYZ…” is a great premise for a presentation topic… it really opens the field up.
It could be your;
- Favourite Game
- Favourite Podcast
- Favourite Application
- Favourite Website
- Favourite Artist on iTunes
- Favourite Book, or Author, in the iBookstore
The other nice thing about discussing “my favourite xyz” is it easily lends itself to be a short 5-10 minute presentation OR a full featured 1 hour long presentation.
You could have some fun with this idea… have two “hats” handy.
In the first hat place the names of your members.
In the second hat place a number of “favourite” topics.
Draw out a random member’s name from the first hat.
Then have them draw a random topic from the second hat.
Now depending on how cruel you are, you can either give them five minutes to research the topic (or to get over the panic) and then they give a 5-10 minute talk on that topic then and there OR you can give them until the next meeting to prepare something and then they can give a full length presentation.
Often these “ad lib” and short presentations can be very informative for both the audience and the “surprise” presenter!
The various Discs of the Month that AppleUsers.org used to compile for distribution via Apple User Groups can also give you many ideas for presentations.
There are dozens of different Discs, each with a unique topic. And each Disc contains dozens of applications. Each of these can hopefully inspire you with a topic.
Just taking the Festive Celebrations DVD you could produce the following presentations;
- Designing Greeting Cards in Pages: Use the images, templates and fonts on the DVD
- How to create a play list in iTunes: Use the Christmas Carols to create the play list
- Create a Personalised Gift: Use the Colouring Books to create gifts for your grandchildren
and this is just from one Disc.
Just think what you could do with;
- Adobe Alternatives and Alternative Office: Use these as part of a couple of “Shoot Out” presentations
- Toolbox Essentials II: Highlight how deal with Spam OR dealing with Compressed Files
- Apple Design Award Winners Collection: There are always interesting applications that can be show cased
- MacTheater or MacServer: Show off some alternative uses for an older Mac
- HobbyMac Volume One and HobbyMac Volume Two: Demonstrate how your Mac, and now an iPad or iPhone, can assist you in your non-computing hobbies.
And I’ve only touched the bare surface with those suggestions.
With over 30 Discs released there are literally hundreds of topics ideas that could come out of the Disc of the Month contents.