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Monat: Mai, 2011

How to write a story a.k.a. how to plan a presentation


Image: Polly Dunbar, Ideas Everywhere © 2011

Ideas Everywhere by Polly Dunbar as featured on Bookstart is a great lesson in Story Telling 101: Where do ideas come from, how to create suspense, and more.

A good presentation is a good story. This is lovely stuff. (Which is why my teacher/editor me only very quietly mumbles: It should be whose, not who’s in the image above. How did this get past the editor? But then editing/correcting is a whole different story from writing.)

You may feel this particular story is not age appropriate for you. You are mature, grown up, a professional. Picture books are kids’ stuff.

Well, you’re in for a surprise. Age is a marketing thing. Great stories are beyond that.

You may want to read the author’s notes to find out more about what it takes to tell a story/give a presentation.

  • Ideas
  • Characters
  • Emotion
  • Location
  • Dilemma
  • Conflict
  • The MIDDLE
  • Resolution
  • The END

And let’s not forget about imagination

There is also a three-part interview with the author. Below is part three in which she talks us through illustrating tips, how to flesh out ideas and what to expect from the process of making a picture book.

Linklove: via Twitter/@storytellin

Pitch and run

This is just a quick link dump, I will come back to this later. Today, Tech Crunch is featuring a round of high school Nasa pitches, videos and all. Lovely stuff and well worth checking out, from tools to give astronauts more private space to hitching safe rides. I will try and find the time to comment on some of the vids. Until then, see for yourself: NASA pitches

To compete in the Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Awards, each team of high schoolers had to create a business plan, technical report, graphical representation and elevator pitch for their product, presenting their invention to a panel of judges for 10 minutes. All in all 27 finalists competed in the Aerospace, Clean energy and Cyber security categories to win $5,000 and the community support and mentorship to develop their product commercially.

Also in the post: Link to a Quora thread of Start ups destined to fail. I personally can’t stand Quora’s noise and clatter, but there are some good bad ideas there: as we certainly do not need another T-shirt site or Q&A-portal.

Main Link in this post:  NASA pitches

Peg Light

This week, a lovely industrial design thesis by Steffi Min was posted on Vimeo and deservedly made it round the web in 24 hs. I wanted to show it yesterday at the Summer School 2011, my college’s yearly young entrepreneurs workshop weekend.

Unfortunately there were downloading probs with the clip the night before and I knew we would have no internet access at our otherwise lovely location and did not want to rely on my surfstick either, so I made a few screenshots, turned them into a quick-and-dirty-pan-and-zoom movie file in Picasa and would simply present the slideshow.


Image: screenshots from Peg Light video.

As a back up, I created a story board like collage image file as well, and a good thing it was, as it turned out I had forgotten my MacBook DVI-to-VGA adapter, needed to present from PDF instead of Keynote, then there was no Quicktime or VLC on the organizer’s Windows notebook to show my .mp4 files, and as I said, no internet to quickly install it… Life doesn’t get much realler than this.

As I keep saying: Always have a plan B. Or two. It was a great lesson in how to adapt adhoc, think on your feet, change plans, and survive. I left away half of my slides, decided to work with what I had seen from the group presentations and took it from there. A room full of people beats five videos. It is all there: the small insecurities, the nervous feet, the strong claims.

It was a great working atmosphere. Thanks to everyone involved in setting it up. And good luck with your projects.

And yes, I bought a second adapter for my handbag this morning.

Peg Light Video:

Simple. Plain. Minimalist. Love at first sight.

I have only two issues with the project.

  • Will it come only in red?
  • Can you please change the soundtrack?

It is such a nerve wrecking loop, I need to mute it every time I watch the video. And I watch it often, as I find it a marvelous design.

So for class I went for the first 37 seconds of In the darkest place by Elvis Costello. Perfect fit. Just as the light bulb begins to glow, he sings: In the darkest place, I know that is where you’ll find me.

Better. Much better.

Even if I never got a chance to play/show it. See above. 


Summer School 2011


Image credit: HAWK Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen

Off to the Summer School 2011, one of the very best services my small college, more precisely the IIW, the Institut für interdisziplinäre Wissenschaften, my academic home, has on offer.

From business plan to pitch presentation slides: We help you find your voice and get on your feet.

Talk to us.

Great stuff. Great atmosphere. Great ideas. Great colleagues.