Presentation Tip: How to Zoom

This is one of those posts inspired by people asking me “Hey! How did you do that Zoom thing while you were presenting?”  I’m not sure how I feel about them not asking me about the actual content, but hey, sometimes that’s how things go.  Hopefully, sharing these tricks will help people pick up a small skill which can make your presentations more accessible for your audience. 


Zoom Zoom Zoom

We’ve all been in a situation where you are stuck with an older projector, or just plain don’t have enough screen real-estate to get everything on the screen you need to. The classic eye-chart.  ( By the way,

Note: if you are going to call it an eye-chart, why did you include it in the presentation in the first place?  Call it out as reference material for future review, don’t make people wonder why you put something in the presentation that you intentionally made it difficult for them to see!  #rantover

I’ve started incorporating more and more live demo’s into my presentations, and many of those are showing code examples. Not the easiest thing to see in on a projector. Thankfully, there’s a nice accessibility feature within OSX and Windows that can help your audience with assimilating the information you’re trying to explain, which after all is the whole point of delivering a presentation, right? What’s the message you want to give them and what do you want to leave them understanding at the end. 


Note: I’m writing this in an airport on the way to ONUG, so the windows section will get posted in a future update as I’ve only got my MacBook open at the moment. 🙂 



To configure the zooming functions on OSX, it’s pretty easy. Just head over to the settings > accessibility > zoom and turn it on.  I particularly like option Zoom follows the keyboard focus which allows the zoom short-cut keys to focus in on exactly where your cursor is currently located. 

Screen Shot 2015 11 03 at 1 06 27 PM


Once you’ve turned on this setting To zoom in, press Command (⌘)-Option (⌥)-Equal Sign (=). To zoom out, press Command (⌘)-Option (⌥)-Minus Sign (-).

Here’s a quick video example of this in action. As you can see, you can zoom in and focus on any area of the screen that you want to draw attention to. 





This is a placeholder that I will update in the extremely near future.  I do present from both OS’s so it’s nice that both have a very similar feature with almost identical hotkeys.



Love your audience

Remember at the end of the day, although you may feel like you’re the man because you’re at the front of the room, the most important person in any presentation is each and every individual member of the audience. Anything that we can to to help them understand and consume the message/information that we’re trying to deliver is always going to be welcome. 



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