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Don't Hesitate To Try
Midwest Region, March 9, 2011
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Revolutionary presentation software is pushing the white-board and powerpoint deeper and deeper into the Black Hole of obsolete technology and old-world learning tools.

 

Today during the weekly R8 PIO (Public Information Officer) conference call, I shared a draft presentation developed by our R3 EA team on "How to Work with the News Media" - a very "back to the basics" tutorial using an interactive presentation software. Although the content was nothing new to the PIOs on the call - proactive vs. reactive outreach, broadcast vs. print, on-screen interviewing, etc.- the way in which it was presented was entirely outside of the box, thanks to the fun and dynamic presentation style that can be generated. Google search "online presentations" and you are sure to come up plenty to check out.

There is always an element of hesitation in our eyes to these kinds of new products and tools, especially when we feel more comfortable using something we know works. What's the saying? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I completely agree. However, if there is a paradigm shift out in the communications world, like oh say, generated by a one-sentence "tweet," and you realize that one tweet starts to work better at telling your story than a traditional news release (which also probably takes 10 times longer to write) then why not give it a shot? In order to continue to be an active part of the dinner table conversation, you have to reach people where they are... whether that be on Facebook while simultaneously texting on on their Iphone while they are supposed to be listening to their teacher, or, reading John Stewart's Daily Show blog online while they are taking a lunch break at their desk. There are so many tools that communicators, educators and presenters just shouldn't miss out on.

Many of these presentation products allow the user to be a part of "on demand" classrooms that incorporate video, animation, audio and interactivity into the learning envronment. I was introduced one software by a professor specializing in distance learning in Houston, Texas (also my sister). She spent several hours talking to me about how this type of education - online, on-demand, interactive - is growing exponentially, especially in the current economic climate. Reduced dollars mean reduced ability to travel to do presentations, take trainings, attend meetings. It affects everyone.

These new technologies may just be the ticket to keeping people interested in the messages we want to share to the American public about endangered species, avian health and disease, invasive species, water issues, National Wildlife Refuges, outdoor recreation opportunities, and so many other relevant natural resource issues.


 

Contact Info: Ashley Spratt, 805-644-1766 ext. 369, ashley_spratt@fws.gov



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