I sent in my talk for LinuxWorld Boston 2006 on Friday. Friday was the deadline and I do try to take deadlines seriously. As you can see from the fancy graphic on the left, the conference is in the beginning of April; I hate having to submit a talk so far in advance since I tend to tweak my presentations right up to the minute before I present. Still, I understand why the organizers want to have the talks, even if I don’t necessarily agree it.
I’m not a huge fan of printed handouts for presentations. It gives me great pain to see the stacks of unused printed handouts destined for the landfill at the end of the conference. I try to craft my presentations so that there’s not a lot of content on any single slide. I generally try to avoid lengthy chunks of code or anything that audience members cannot reasonably see from the projector. And… in my humble opinion, most of the interesting things that I say aren’t in the slides anyway. You have to pay attention to me, not the handouts if you want to get value from the talk.
Anyway, I really hadn’t intended for this blog entry to dissolve into a rant against printed handouts, so I’ll move on…
I’m speaking on the topic of building applications using Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP). The hook for the LinuxWorld conference is the ability to deploy your applications on multiple platforms. I’ve done a lot of work on the talk and plan to continue to tweak it even though what I finally present will differ slightly from the handouts. If the situation permits, I’ll run through the presentation during the Eclipse in Motion code camps this week and will be presenting at least some parts of it for the RTP WebSphere User’s Group.
In the meantime, what do you think? Is the environmental impact of printing a bunch of handouts worth the value you get back from them? Do you actually keep the handouts? Do you throw them out before you leave, or after you get home?