Simon Willison’s Weblog

What are some creative programs to use for presentations?

My answer to What are some creative programs to use for presentations? on Quora

Here’s a trick I’ve used with success in the past: set up your Mac to have 9 virtual desktops, then arrange your “slides” on each desktop using a combination of applications. I’ve done this with a title slide in keynote on the first desktop, a text editor with some sample code on the second, a terminal prompt set up for live coding on the third, a browser showing a demo on the fourth and so on. Learn the keyboard commands to switch between desktops and off you go.

This works great, looks impressive, is easy to set up and amuses the audience. There is a BIG risk though: if your computer crashes you’ll have a heck of a time setting it all up again! Thankfully that hasn’t happened to me yet, but I always have a text file and a set of bookmarks in place so I can muddle through if things go wrong.