An Interview with Wendy Russell
Interviewed By: Geetesh Bajaj
See Also: Raptivity Review on Indezine
Date Created: June 21st 2008
Last Updated: March 5th 2009
Russell is the About.com Guide to Presentation
Software -- in her role as a software consultant and teacher,
Wendy gives frequent presentations, coaching and offering advice
to students, educators and business clientele on how to make the
most of presentation software.
In this interview, Wendy discusses her role as a guide at About.com, talks about PowerPoint 2007, and shares some trivia.
Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself and your work as an About.com guide.
Wendy: I have spent the last 13 years working in education as a teacher/consultant in the area of communications and graphics software. I make presentations frequently and teach students, administrators and business clientele how to create and deliver presentations effectively and make the most out of the software. My role as the Presentation Software guide at About.com fits in perfectly. I write tutorials and tips on how to use presentation software and what makes a successful presentation. It is a dream job.
Geetesh: Looking at your About.com page, it is very obvious that you enjoy your role as a guide -- but tell us about what part do you enjoy the most.
Wendy: My role as a guide at About.com has allowed me to follow another pursuit that I enjoy – being a writer. I don’t ever see myself as writing a great novel, but I have always been good at explaining how to do things, (always the teacher). Being a technical writer allows me to follow through on that and reach a very large audience
Geetesh: What is your opinion about the new interface and features in PowerPoint 2007?
Wendy: PowerPoint 2007 … well, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I am not its biggest fan. Having suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome, I am very conscious of all those mouse clicks. I find it takes a few or more clicks to do the same task as in previous versions. Sure it looks prettier, but being a “techy”, I am more interested in getting the job done efficiently, not how the software looks on the surface. There are more options in this version, but the average user just wants to make a basic presentation and most will never need the extras. I prefer the earlier versions.
Geetesh: Tell us more about the feedback you receive from your readers -- and how you use that feedback.
Wendy: I get emails frequently from readers asking how to solve specific problems with PowerPoint. I reply with a short answer to their question if I can, or if the problem requires an in-depth answer, I will write that up as an article. I feel that if one person has this problem, there might be others who do as well. The readers are always so appreciative that I take the time to try to help them.
Geetesh: Can you share some trivia with us -- this is the part where you can talk about an unconventional experience, something funny, or just anything you want to share with Indezine readers.
Wendy: Being an educator, I am always looking for ways to use PowerPoint for something more than the standard business presentation. There is a big push to use computer technology in schools, and for good reason. However, most teachers are so overworked already, that they find it a daunting task to learn the software and then teach it. I have received many emails from teachers thanking me for creating some very basic lessons to use with their students, to make the learning fun in the classroom. PowerPoint can go a long way in helping those visual learners – and the best part is that the kids find out that learning can also be fun.