Photo above from Flickr
Have you ever tried to use the wrong tool to accomplish a task? It’s usually not a fun experience and can be very frustrating. The next time you need to tighten a nut – try using a hammer instead of a wrench (extra credit: use a flat head screwdriver). Tools cannot do the work for you but the right one can absolutely save you time and headaches.
Likewise, software tools will not make your presentation for you – if you find one that will, please shoot me an email. They can however save you time (and you will use that new found time to practice and clarify your message).
So here are a list of my favorites – when I build or migrate to a new Mac system they are the first things I install:
- Viewfinder – simple + intuitive interface that searches Flickr for photos, very easy to locate and download. I find the filters handy for sorting thru various picture sizes and finding photos that you are free to use under the creative commons license. Great little shortcut buttons to send pics to Keynote, iPhoto, or your local file system.
- Voila – excellent screen capture tool with easy to use photo filters and enhancement tools. It is down and dirty, if you love PhotoShop for all of its power then this tool is NOT for you. Voila makes taking a screen shot of your entire screen or only certain parts of it straightforward.
- Miro - this tool does a few different things but I use it for only one: pull videos off of YouTube and create a local copy. Why? The biggest reason is so you don’t have to count on having an Internet connection to show a video in your presentation. Secondly, often times it’s really only 35 seconds of the 8 minute video that you want to show. Do your audience a huge favor, take a little time to trim it for them. Once you have the downloaded video file, cutting up is is a snap using iMovie.
- ScreenFlow – excellent tool for recording your screen, capture it into a video file and then play it back in your presentation. A great example is if you want to show a walk thru of a new application that you have built – rather than driving it from the keyboard you can remain standing and talk your audience thru certain features as the video is playing. I prefer this most times because you never know what time of Internet connection you will have during a presentation – with a video of it, it doesn’t matter. Even with your handy 3G/4G broadband card – ball rooms can be black “connectivity” holes for some reason – probably because they want you to utilize their wireless connection for $199/day.
Let me know some of your favorites (Windows or Mac versions).