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PowerPoint Karaoke

Back in the BarCamp era I loved PowerPoint Karaoke! It was funny and silly, of course, but it was also a live conversation. Since the PowerPoint Karaokeist didn’t know what slide was coming, s/he had to think live and interact with their audience.

I worry about “normal” PowerPoint and Keynote talks. Many are fantastic, of course. But they also tempt a speaker into falling into the yellow-lined pad trap. What’s the yellow-lined pad trap? Before PowerPoint there were slides. But there were also some lecturers who had age-old yellow-lined pads with the same pages of notes they’d been scrawling on blackboards for years. It wasn’t the most engaging way of teaching.

Mind Maps

I often like giving talks from Mind Maps. It’s so cool the way you can be talking about some node on your map, the 16,000-year-old art in the Lascaux Cave in Southern France, for example, and then zip across the map to the late 20th century to make a connection to a cyberpunk work like The Matrix. (yes, the “Broken Man” in the Lascaux Cave, and “Neo” in The Matrix are the same character) Sometimes these connections are planned, but sometimes they just come up because of the flow of the talk and your interaction with an audience. Mind Maps are cool!

The only catch with giving a Mind Map talk is that since it isn’t PowerPoint, since it isn’t just

Next, next, next…

you have to spend a lot of time at your laptop playing with your trackpad or mouse.

WordPress the Presentation Tool?

When I spoke at WCLAX ’15, I thought, well, we’re here to talk about WordPress, why not just give the talk in WordPress? So my talk was a post.

Today I’m doing the same thing, except my talk is a set of “posts” on a WP site.

  • Thank You WP 4.8.2 for being such an awesome presentation tool!
  • Thank You GK Portfolio 1.5.3 for being such a cool WP Theme!

About Glenn

I’m an Artist & Arts Educator based in Los Angeles. I teach at CSU Los Angeles’ sister school, CSU Long Beach.

As just mentioned above, I spoke at WCLAX ’15. My talk was Sustainable WordPress. It’s here:

Earlier this year I spoke at TEDxCSULB. My talk was Burn the University Catalog: lessons from alternative education. It’s here:

Photo of NEA "Reading at Risk" report and images of alternative reading formats like eReaders and Twitter

I also gave a recent talk to my mom’s church. My talk was What are your grandkids doing when they’re glued to their phones instead of the conversation in your living room?

I tried to argue that Millennials aren’t as lame as Boomers sometimes think they are. And that Phones are actually not destroying culture or community. There’s no video of that talk, but you can flip through the slides here:

BTW, for that talk I used Tumblr as my presentation tool. With a cool theme called Fixed by Andrevv.

Billions Served

  • From 2006-2011 I helped/coerced over 2,500 CSULB students to make wikis using Wikispaces
  • From 2011-2017 I helped/coerced over 1,700 CSULB students to make ePortfolios using

Summer ’17

In the summer of 2017 I let students pick their own ePortfolio platforms. I asked 2 dozen students from as many majors across the university campus to try a different platform each week for 3 weeks, and then settle on one. Here are their choices:

Week 1

  • 10 WordPress
  • 6 Tumblr
  • 6 Wix
  • 1 Blogger
  • 1 SquareSpace

Week 2

  • 10 Wix
  • 5 Tumblr
  • 3 WordPress
  • 2 Blogger
  • 2 Weebly
  • 1 Medium

Week 3

  • 10 Weebly
  • 4 Wix
  • 3 Tumblr
  • 2 Blogger
  • 1 Format
  • 1 WordPress
  • 1 Jimdo
  • 1 Medium

Final Choice (wk 4)

  • 7 Wix
  • 6 Tumblr
  • 6 WordPress
  • 2 Medium
  • 2 Weebly
  • 1 SquareSpace
  • 1 Format

Fall ’17

This semester, I’ve asked almost 3 dozen Art Majors to try 5 platforms (2 “blogs” and 3 “portfolio/website” platforms) in 5 weeks and then settle on one. We’re just in the 5th week now, but this table will show you their choices for the 1st 4 weeks:

Wk 1 – Blog Platform (Goals & Grading)
Wk 2 – Portfolio Platform (New Work!)
Wk 3 – Portfolio Platform (10-15 best)
Wk 4 – Blog Platform (Artist’s Statement)
Wk 5 – Portfolio Platform (Work with narrative description)
Wk 6 – Pick whatever works best for you!


My portfolio, way too much documentation, contact info, and everything else, are here:

Thank You!

I’m pretty sure you will hear the word community more times at this WordCamp Los Angeles weekend than at any other conference you attend this year.

For all those thousands of Open Source projects that never had more than 1 developer working on them, WordPress is the one that really exploded. Such an amazing contributor community. So many great meetups and conferences like WCLAX. Thanks for all the cool themes! Thanks for all the handy plugins!

And Thank You for being here today!