A recent webinar I recorded has been posted here. Feel free to check it out for a brief overview of some of the BI opportunities in the Project Server and SharePoint 2010 stack. This is essentially a mashup of the presentation I gave at the Microsoft Houston Project Roadshow event in January of this year….with a couple of tweaks:
1) This was my first attempt to deliver a presentation using pptPLEX, a PowerPoint add-in for nonlinear narratives. The tool gets a thumbs up from me, although I’d really like to see it further developed, or even incorporated into future versions of PowerPoint out of the box. Despite Microsoft’s official statements, I still have hope for this, and that this might give Prezi a run for the money.
2) This was also my first attempt to use Camtasia, which overall turned out pretty smoothly – albeit I had to concentrate a bit to keep the commands straight for PowerPoint, pptPLEX, ZoomIT, and Camtasia all at the same time so I didn’t inadvertently drop out of PowerPoint.
This presentation ended up being a bit scaled down from what I originally envisioned. At the last minute, I decided to cut the live video intro where I was going to attempt to channel a hybrid of Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe and that smarmy Continental CEO (the old bald one, not the new one) who always gives the preflight welcome speech on the plane videos – and eliminate a couple of vomit jokes that I’d queued up. I’ve found based on a sample size of one presentation that low brow barf humor seems to work well with the topic of BI (or perhaps that’s just saying something about the type of audience that attends presentations on reporting). In this case, I swapped the puke puns for a couple of Blippy jokes – which depending on when you watch the webinar, may be a bit too topical for mass consumption. (“It doesn’t bend!”)
Now, since I do PM stuff for a living, let’s throw out some lessons learned to the community:
1) Make sure the kids are asleep and not just in bed before recording a webinar. There’re a couple of places where I had to pause the recording so I could frogmarch my youngest back to bed. It doesn’t look too obvious in the replay, but if I seem discombobulated at times during the recording, that’s what happened.
2) In addition to doing dry runs of the presentation, make sure to do dry runs at the target resolution. Right before hitting record, I cranked down the resolution from what I usually have on my laptop. The result is that I found Office 2010 making all sorts of decisions as to what buttons to leave on the Ribbon, and which ones to consign to drop down arrows – thereby forcing me to hunt for commands that I had easily found in rehearsal. I also found that this truncated the Visio Webpart in one place so that the Shape Date button was inaccessible. (Hopefully, that’s an issue with the Beta environment and has been addressed in the RC.)
Finally, a shout out to my colleague Aneal in our Denver office. I am reasonably sure that I butchered his last name, a couple of times. Luckily I don’t think he reads this blog or watches BI webinars in rerun, so I may yet get way with it.
….and that’s about it. Watch. Enjoy. And stay tuned. For my next challenge, I hope to rework the presentation so it can be controlled with Wii nunchuks – and perhaps also invest some effort to work my vast repertoire of vomit jokes back into the act.
If you’d like to see more Catapult videos in the same genre (meaning the BI genre, not the scatological):
Aneal Roney on PowerPivot and Excel Services.
Scott Hadden on SharePoint 2010 BI Improvements