View Full Version : What can I use instead of a "live" web presentation?
08-18-2004, 09:50 PM
Okay, so I feel extremely stupid for asking this, but I guess it just never came up in library school! I've got a short (5 minute) presentation to give at a job interview on Monday, on the topic of my choice - I'm going to do it on MeSH subject searching in PubMed. Now, I know what I'm doing, know how to do it all live - but obviously I ought to have a backup, right?
I'm going to have to do a bunch of navigating and searching and such in my presentation. I know how to save web pages, of course, but isn't there a better way to do my presentation "canned" in case of technical issues than to open a bunch of web page files off a CD? I have no idea what the setup is going to be like, either, so I don't think I can break out a special program for it. Can PowerPoint do something like that? I've avoided PowerPoint like the plague because library school is just chock full of bad, evil PowerPoint, but I can use it if I have to. I tried inserting a saved web page as an "object" just now into PowerPoint, but it didn't work. Am I doing it wrong? I know I've seen PowerPointed web presentations in the past, but maybe they had a plugin? Or should I have saved it to pdf or something first?
I guess this is just one of those things I always thought I knew how to do until I realized that hey, maybe I, um, don't. :) I couldn't find the right search term to google, either - I don't need tips on how to make eye contact, I need tips on what to do if PubMed is down! (Besides, er, making transparencies.) I'm hesitant to make handouts because there might be any number of people at my presentation, too.
And please, nobody here be on my search committee. :)
08-18-2004, 11:17 PM
I'm not sure I understand your question, but it seems to me that your backup doesn't need to be even close to the real thing. You could easily fake any kind of search by simply taking a screen shot of the real search engine with your search keywords already filled in. Then take that screen shot into a graphics editor like Paint Shop Pro and crop out the unnecessary parts and then use that graphic as a link to the "results" page.
If you are talking about the page at http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/ then I would make a graphic out of the whole light blue background part and then replace the code in the cell in the copied html with the graphic, make it a link and Voila! Your cursor will turn to a hand as soon as you move into the graphic, but so what. Your audience will know you are only doing this as a demo because the real site is down. I've done this sort of thing as a goof many times. Making fake Google pages is a snap because of their design.
Snagit is a screen capture utility that will capture a "screen movie" also.
Camtasia is from the same company, does a better job of making a software demo. You can get a free trial of Camtasia, you may be able to use it to make your backup in case you can't do a live demo.
Camtasia is pricey @ 299. Snag-it is much cheaper but more limited in its "video"
08-19-2004, 07:24 AM
And please, nobody here be on my search committee. :)
That's about what I thought before my interview a couple of weeks ago. By the way: 5 minutes?! I had to do a 20-30 minute instructional session.
Anyway, PowerPoint, for as overdone as it may have been in library school might be your best bet if you have access to it. You can set your links up within it, but also take screen shots and insert them into slides - that way all you need is there if Pubmed were down or if the place that you're interviewing has connectivity problems the day that you're there.
Once you actually have the job, you may never use PP again - I didn't use it as much as some other people while I was in library school - but I think it might be the best way to go here.
08-19-2004, 11:24 AM
5 minutes! What can they learn about me in five minutes?! (Or about MeSH, either?!) They're also taking me to lunch at the school cafiteria instead of a local restaurant. Mmm, tuna surprise.
Er, now I have an even stupider question, because this is something I definately used to know how to do and have now definately forgotten - er, how do I take a screen shot as an image file? I can save it as html, sure, but at least in Safari I don't see any options to save it as an image.
This so sooo embarassing. I'm perfectly comfortable with all sorts of technical applications in libraries, I just seem to have this little presentation-sized hole in my knowledge! Before, I've always just done it live, I guess, but this is a really important chance for me and I cannot screw it up. It might be my last chance for a local job, and I bet you sex to donuts most of the other applicants have a lot more field experience than I, so I gotta be more charming and have less obnoxious Power Point. :)
08-19-2004, 01:54 PM
I use Alt+PrintScreen to take a screen shot, then paste it into whatever document I'm using it in.
One note: watch your time really carefully with the presentation. Anything too involved will go over, and in 5 minutes, I'd bet (but I'm not on the committee - go with whatever they told you before what I tell you!) that they're just looking for basic information & your personality over detailed knowledge of MeSH.
08-19-2004, 02:40 PM
Aha, that would be why I feel so stupid - I don't have a Print Screen button on my laptop. Thanks.
Yeah, having been the third person in a timed group speech before, I'm a real time Nazi. :) I just wanted to do something different from the Infotrac crap I'm sure other candidates will be doing. And plus I think MeSH is really, really sexy.
08-19-2004, 04:41 PM
Are you asking whether you can put a working link into a powerpoint presentation? Absolutely yes, under the "insert" options.
08-20-2004, 01:43 AM
Thanks everybody who responded - I found that there's a little "Grab" application hiding in my Mac that makes screen caps cool and easy, BTW. I've "canned" what I need in a PowerPoint presentation that can hopefully stay in my briefcase where it belongs - I think I'm ready. :) Wish me luck!
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