Any system administrator will have to make a presentation at one time or another – or should at least know how to. There are some very good sources for ideas on how to make slide presentations (sometimes called PowerPoint presentations).

First off, you don’t have to use PowerPoint – this should be obvious but isn’t to a lot of people. Macintosh users of recent vintage can use Keynote; also available for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux is OpenOffice (or its Macintosh-specific spinoff, NeoOffice). Note, too, that you don’t need to use slides at all. Use them only if they add something to your presentation.

Secondly, when creating a slide presentation, remember this rule: don’t read the slides. While this is a rule of presentation, it is important because this can be found directly in how the slides are created. Think of it this way: there should be things you say that are not in the slide.

Thirdly, be creative. This can be hard – and overdone. As a very interesting and dynamic presentation, consider this presentation given by Dick Hardt from the O’Reilly OSCON 2005.

Here are some excellent resources about presentations:

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