Tips for Second Life Presentations

Oct
30
2007

Previously I have discussed the interface of the standard Second Life client. But on this post I’m looking at how people can step up beyond their usual real world methods when giving a presentation or talk in Second Life (SL). Now I’m not an expert on Second Life, but I have noticed a few things that work and don’t work when presenting a talk. Most of them are really simple if you think about it. But we are making way too may assumptions that Second Life works like Real Life (RL).

When doing a presentation in Second Life:

  • Don’t assume people will get the slides downloading on to the presentation screen as fast as you are.
  • Don’t assume that they have their configuration such that the pictures render with the same amount of detail
  • Don’t assume they have mouseview activated and have the presentation screen filling the entire HUD
  • Don’t present with a standard Real Life MS-PowerPoint presentation layout. The screen can be small and fussy at best. Avoid text altogether if you can.
  • Don’t assume everyone has audio in SL. Or that if they do they know how to configure it. If audio is essential for the presentation then make that clear in any SL or RL invite you issue. But be prepared to coach newbie SL avatars on how to configure audio.
  • Allow for people without audio or slow internet connections. Be prepared to Issue a notecard with all the speaker transcript and references at the end of the session.
  • Have someone as a shouter that shouts out the presentation, usually via cut and pasting from a notecard into the chat dialog.
  • Don’t have computers with separate microphones and speakers setup in the same room as you will get double, triple or even four times the echo of the talk. Even headsets can’t overcome this problem.
  • Test the speakers audio setup before the presentation.
  • Seating, don’t use the RL arrangement of seating like a normal layout, or set them far apart. Make sure they very close together in almost a tiered traditional speaking pit of amphitheater arrangement, or even like a large cube with the speaker at one end. You will be suprised the number of avatars you can get in small space.
  • Record the session in SL via tool such as Rogue Amoeba’s Audio hijack.
  • Think about loading the seats with a script to send the avatars a notecard of the speakers transcript, pictures or any other object required.
  • If you have promoted the event in the RL expect a good number of newbie SL avatars, allow for this.
  • Be prepared to have a lot of avatars present (40-50) and remind people of techniques in decrease any lag time in Second Like.
  • Position your avatar or camera so you can see the screen and the audience.

Well that’s it do you have any pointers for presenting a talk or workshop in Second Life?

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3 comments

  1. Thanks Gary for all the tips for presenting in Second Life. The main reason I decided to go into SL was so if people did presentations I would know enough to be able to attend and not look like a n00b.

    Now you have made me stop and think about whether I would do a presentation in SL. I am still struggling to feel comfortable using Virtual Classrooms — wow and then add an extra dimension with SL.

  2. Gary, this is a really interesting and helpful post – you’ve pinpointed ideas that are so sensible now that you pointed them out 🙂 Great! I wish I had enough experience to add some pointers…but keep this list brewing for us all, if you don’t mind. Cheers, Judy

  3. Starboards Yacht Club in Hollywood Sim in Second Life has been doing Learn to Sail presentations almost every Sunday at noon for over two years. Our presentation has evolved over time, but a couple of points that have worked for us…first in regard to the graphics rezzing issue that is addressed in item one above..we handle this by asking folks to type “y” when the graphic has come in to focus for them. The presenter simply waits until all of the students have responded before proceeding. We have used chat almost totally and have a very stable device (can’t remember the name of it right now) that will step through a preset “speech” one line at a time…with a simple touch from the presenter. I am going to be adding voice to the mix in the next few weeks for a more advanced sailing class that is now in chat format. We follow up the presentation portion of the class with one on one coaching instruction on the water with experienced skippers. Using this method has grown the sailing community in Second Life tremendously over the past four years. As evidence of this, Starboards Yacht Club (the oldest yacht club in Second Life) currently has over 1000 members.

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