How to make interactive, annotated slides live on stage

At Salesforce Connections, I tried something new out that the audience liked: turning my slides into 21st century overheads. I prepared a workbook (which you can download here), but instead of just talking through slides, I was able to draw on them on screen. Here’s a quick demo:

Now imagine this on the big screen, the ability to not only show content, but interact with it. How do you do this?

The secret, at least for me, is built into the software and hardware I use. Most modern Macs (made after 2013) and modern iPhones/iPads (ones which connect with a Lightning cable) can connect to each other to share the mobile device’s screen.

On a Mac, be sure your iPad or iPhone is plugged in via the Lightning cable.

Then open Quicktime Player. Hit New Movie Recording:

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Then when the standard movie window appears (probably with your webcam activated), switch to your iPad as the camera:

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That takes care of the infrastructure setup. You can, of course, buy a separate Lightning to VGA/DVI/HDMI connector and plug your iPad in directly to the system, but the advantage of going through your laptop is that you can also record what you’re showing, which can be handy for events.

Once you’ve got the wiring done, it’s time to share content. Create slides that have lots of whitespace for writing in the slide making software of your choice. Export those slides as JPG images.

Then, in the drawing app of your choice (I use Penultimate, part of the Evernote family), drop your images in:

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Now you’re ready to make live annotations on your slides in front of the crowd.

Try this out for a fun, different way to interact with your audience!


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Find out what’s working via Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on

One of my favorite “secret” measurement tools is the Google Analytics Add-on for Google Sheets. This powerful tool lets you extract up to 10,000 records from your Google Analytics account in spreadsheet format. Your data becomes available to you in many rows and columns which you can slice and dice to find the insights you need.

Downloading the add-on is fast and free as long as you have a Google account (a Gmail address). Once you’ve followed the instructions, you’re presented with a wizard that attempts to set up the first report for you.

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Decide what metrics and dimensions you want the report to pull, and it’ll bring you to a configuration sheet. Below, I’ve selected the number of users by source and medium, to each page on my website:

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When I go to the menu and hit Run Report (which isn’t obvious from the above configuration screen), I get this result:

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This is a great start. Here are 4 tips to make life easier and better. In the configuration screen, you may want to widen the timeframe [a]. I like 30 and 90 day windows of time. You may want higher precision (which makes the report take longer to run) in your data, [b]. You may also want more results. By default, it returns 1,000. You can move this up to 10,000 at [c]. Finally, you may want to start out with a sorted pile of data, so put any metric in the sort field [d].

Untitled_spreadsheet_-_Google_Sheets 4.jpg

Now you’re set to re-run the report:

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What you get is a more granular look at your data. You can then export the data to the analysis tool of your choice to look for additional insights. For example, I looked to see what sources were driving new users to my website in Tableau 9:

Tableau_-_Book1.jpg

This tells me that Twitter, despite being very noisy these days, is still in the driver’s seat for social media for me. That’s where I’ll invest if I need new visitors to my site.

The Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-On makes exporting lots of data very simple. Give it a try, see what data you can pull out of it to make your reporting life easier!


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How I work: my morning social publishing routine

Alan Belniak and Gini Dietrich both asked how I work in the mornings. Here’s a quick video walkthrough of my personal processes. As always, I’ll caution you that what I do isn’t what you should do. Like a BLT, everyone has their own recipe, their own way of doing things. Borrow ideas if you like, but make them your own. Just because I do something doesn’t make it the “right” way or the “best” way.

Tools used:

Buffer
Buffer Pablo
Feedly
Feedly mobile app


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