Powerpoint Karaoke was the highlight of BarcampLA for me. It was Tvs idea and he executed it perfectly complete with a custom built ppt randomizer and 5 minute countdown. Each competitor stood on stage, the lights dark, the powerpoint illuminated for the audience. It could have been any offsite pow-wow except for the keg of beer in the back and the fact that none of the presenters had ever seen the presentations.
Four days later I helped Danny do PPT Karaoke at eTech. It was totally different, but still fun.
Here's my recap of the two different kinds of ppt karaoke, how do them and at the end, you can watch my performance on Planet and Gravity at BarcampLA3. Anjalis was fast enough with her camera to catch it.
If anyone got Robert's Voting presentation, please let me know.
How to run your own PPT Karaoke night
1. First decide whether you want to do serious or funny presentations.
2. Find or make the presentations
3. Have a sign up sheet.
4. Acquire the following materials:
- Screen or white wall to project upon
- Sign up sheet
- Willing Participants
- A video camera (if you want to record for posterity)
- 5 to 15 powerpoint presentations (creative commons licensed please)
- A darkened room
5. And then invite your tech-geek friends to gather around the lit screen for some real fun.
6. Extra credit: Include buzz-word drinking game for the audience
Note 1: it's best to pick presentations that you may have some basic knowledge of. Tantek's microformats presentation is a good one to warm up on.
Note 2: Serious vs Funny presentations
There are two schools of thought and I have experienced both. At BarcampLA Tv found serious presentations that had been creative commons license. That was actually Tvs point - to cc license your material. These were real presentations about products and technology. Like a Voting System, Live Journal's Backend, Identity and Planet/Gravity. The humor here was in the ad-libbing.
On the night
1. Have someone running the show. This person will be in charge of matching the presentations (if you don't want to build a randomizer - heh) and keeping time.
2. Presenters sign up on the list and come to the stage when their name is called.
3. A presentation is put up on screen. The presenter DOES NOT get to look at it prior to it being projected on screen.
4. The timer goes off and the presenter starts giving the presentation. You're pretending this is your presentation and trying to actually give it, not necessarily make fun of it, or just blast your way through it. Take your time and read the slides as if you really want to communicate the information. Most of the time, the presentations give you plenty of stuff to work with, so be sure to ham it up and go off on tangents.
5. Presenter continues presenting for 5 minutes (or until you run out of slides or decide you've had enough)
6. Audience applauds.
7. Next victim arrives on stage...
At eTech we had some serious presentations and then some that were hilarious. One that was just chicken, chicken, chicken. Another was a children's story. The humor was in the presentation here.
Everyone who saw powerpoint karaoke at Barcamp thought it was hilarious. I myself was doubled over with laughter and had tears in my eyes. We are definitely doing it again. If you want to be a victim (I mean, willing participant) get in touch with me. I'll be putting together a Powerpoint Karaoke night in LA soon.
And now, here's my foolish moment on the Internet: me doing powerpoint karaoke at BarcampLA. Thanks (or maybe not-ha ha) to Anjali for her documentation.