Labouring under the lack of a microphone, I have attempted to explore these tools. Screencast-o-matic looks very exciting as a means of creating walk-through training products, and it does not require installation. Obviously audio commentary would improve the presentations, and so I will have to look into investing in a microphone. Whether it would be worth it considering that our Trust PCs have their speakers removed before delivery is another matter!
I have seen Prezi presentations before. They are usually very impressive, but sometimes they move around a lot. I registered for Prezi, but I don’t like the fact that for the free version all presentations are freely available to anyone. I view my training materials as the crown jewels. Maybe my attitude needs to change.
The editing process is very different from Microsoft PowerPoint. It will require some learning.
I have seen Slideshare presentations in the past, but the site is currently blocked by my IT department. I have requested that it be unblocked.
For a truly radical approach to presentations, why not drop the slides altogether? It is easier to make eye-contact without a screen to disctract audience and speaker. I wonder whether more information is retained.
I believe advocacy starts with showing that you and your service are having a positive impact on outcomes that are important to your organisation. I am involved in a project to measure the impact of information skills training by NHS Librarians in England. We have to be ready to show value for all that we do. In an attempt to provide value for decision makers in my Trust, I compile a monthly Horizon Scan for NHS Managers.
Higher level advocacy can have an impact too. NHS Libraries are funded by education and training money. It was pleasing to see that the Health and Social Care Act 2012 was amended by the Government in the House of Lords to include an explicit duty on the Secretary of State to secure an effective system of education and training for health professionals. This should be seen as a concession to critics and sceptics over a very controversial bill. It is not specific to libraries, but is better than nothing.
Joanna’s post is very interesting. I agree that the need for activism is a sign that past advocacy has failed. Public libraries are a service to the public provided by elected local councils. The process for NHS Libraries would be different as I doubt that they would generate much public interest. The experience of public libraries is a warning to librarians everywhere.
I have always found conferences very stimulating. Networking opportunities are great, both deepening relationships within my own sector and making new contacts with people from others. The presentations are often good too. The challenge is that there are so many good ideas that one gets overwhelmed. The struggle then is implementing ideas back in the workplace.
As for speaking at conferences, I have done so at HLG twice (2006 & 2010) and at the CDG conference in 2012. The act of preparing the presentation is helpful in itself in focusing and clarifying thoughts. Delivering it makes you and your project better known and can lead to further contacts. If I present again, I will try to follow Ned Potter’s advice of one idea per slide. I think that would make for presentations that are more easy to follow.
Organising conferences is also rewarding. I helped to organise the Clinical Librarian Study Day in 2009, and I am currently working on the annual NHS Midlands Regional Trainers’ Forum. The main challenges are deciding on a suitable programme, finding speakers and arranging the catering. Hopefully enough people book to make the event worthwhile and they all benefit from attending.
I have had Zotero standalone on my PC since the last course. I must admit that I have not used it much. The searches I do for customers on NHS Evidence I use the default output pdf format. For myself I still prefer to use my professional skills to format my own references, especially when journals like CDG Impact use their own unique referencing style. I do recommend Zotero to library users though.