It's conference season at the moment, and I'm giving 4 talks in the next few weeks. Three of the organisers have asked for my slides in advance, and all have said that they want to make them available before the conference on the web site so that delegates can print them off in advance - presumably to take notes on.
I have a number of issues with this. As my preferred style of time management is the just-in-time variety, I tend to be still making changes to presentations on the way there, or even as I'm waiting to go on. The thought of actually finishing something a week before fills me with horror! Secondly, encouraging delegates to print off slides - particularly when they contain images - isn't very environmentally friendly when most of us are doing all we can to discourage printing. I also like to know that my slides, which contain a lot of images, are going to display exactly as I intend them so I use my own laptop.
But I suppose my main concern is around the concept of what a presentation is. It shouldn't centre around powerpoint slides - death by powerpoint is one of the worst experiences of a conference. It should be as much a performance as a presentation - and I don't want the audience to know what my performance is going to be in advance. I like to keep the element of surprise!
So, I refuse to give conference organisers my slides in advance. I turn up with my trusty macbookpro, my vga adaptor, and just plug in. It's never failed yet. Of course, I'm more than happy to have the performance streamed live, and to make slides available after the event, or to make them available to remote attendees during the event.
I'd be interested to know if anyone agrees, or if conference organisers think I'm being decidedly selfish!