Modeling advocacy

Posted in feminism on August 20th, 2014

Note: this post was written by my father, Bill Hogan. I asked him to share his thoughts on how he approached parenting two daughters, given that we ended up well-equipped to confront sexism and other tough challenges for young women in our respective industries. Dad focused on a particularly great anecdote from our childhood, which I heard about a few years later. For me, hearing how he gracefully challenged sexist attitudes modeled how important it is to stand up for what’s right, regardless of how deaf those ears may be. My parents gave my sister and me the strength and tools we needed to stay strong in our careers, and to support others in doing the same.

I have been encouraged by my oldest daughter to share a few thoughts involving her upbringing.  I have never blogged before and wish to make it very clear that the following is intended to encourage readers to reflect on their own experiences as a parent or child and are not intended to project an image of perfect parenting.  My purpose in writing this post is to provide an example of the importance to stand up for your beliefs regardless of outcome.  In the same spirit of sharing this story with my daughter, I have chosen to share it with others as a means for encouragement.

In our household, high values are placed on faith, academics and the arts.  Our daughters attended public elementary and high schools and developed good study habits paired with very good grades. Each girl participated in a variety of extracurricular activities but, as parents, we placed some limits to avoid over-scheduling.  Each girl developed a strong individual identity but we were to learn that there would be times when we would need to advocate for them.  Looking back, the first of these occurred in 1994.

Our oldest daughter is Lara and on her ninth birthday her paternal grandmother presented her with Molly, a popular doll from the American Girls Collection.  The doll was a very generous gift and much loved.  Molly represented a typical 1944 elementary school girl and like many dolls, it came with accessories.  While I too appreciated the gift given to my daughter, I had strong misgivings regarding two of the accessories.  The first of these was Molly’s “student report card”.

I loved that the report card did not attempt to represent Molly as a “trophy” child.  However, being a parent and middle school math teacher, I was disappointed that the doll manufacturer chose to assign the lowest grades to the most gender-biased discipline in American schools.

molly2

Furthermore, embedded in the accompanying pamphlet, Molly’s School Story was the statement that “she dreaded arithmetic”.  I was prepared to disregard the report card but now found myself reacting very strongly to the pamphlet and I believed I needed to write a letter to the Pleasant Company (owner of the American Girls Collection).

“I think I understand the connection you are attempting to make with youngsters but believe you are doing them a terrible disservice.  Contemporary educators are going to great lengths to correct the biases that have slanted science and mathematics along gender lines. The Molly and arithmetic scenario fails to assist this effort, in fact, it degrades the situation further.  Too many impressionable children (especially young girls) might come to accept the falsehood that excellence in mathematics is determined by gender”.

Having mailed the letter I felt a sense of relief and even pride in not letting this “situation” take place without some documented action.  The company’s response came a month later.

The letter I received (and still have in my possession) explains that their decision was not to show an unrealistic report card filled with A’s.  It further states that that what is important in Molly’s story is that she recognizes the need to improve and work hard (note: this is not stated in the accompanying pamphlet).  The letter’s author also felt compelled to remind me that a “C is definitely not at F!”   Completely absent from this response was any reference to the offending phrase that Molly “dreaded arithmetic”.  Lastly, demonstrating further that they missed my point regarding gender biases in science and mathematics was the statement “if English had been selected for a subject….English teachers from all over the country would be writing”.

So in spite of my best prose, the customer service representative seems to have judged me to be a disgruntled math teacher and moved on. I’ll admit that my expectations of the Pleasant Company’s response to my letter were not all that great.  It is just that I felt compelled at the time to act on my beliefs and advocate for my children and students.  While I don’t recall the particular circumstances, there did come a point when I chose to share this experience with my daughters.  I wanted to let them know that there are times when we need to advocate for others and not be intimidated by the situation or circumstance.

Nowadays, we have a multitude of means to express our thoughts and challenge authority.  The power of letter writing in 1994 pales in comparison to the power of online advocacy.  Yet, in some simple way, writing that letter was one of my best parenting decisions and I encourage all of us to continue the good fight.

- Bill Hogan

Quantifying the book writing process: my first draft

Posted in work on August 18th, 2014

The first draft of Designing for Performance is done! There is still a ton left to do: get feedback from reviewers, incorporate the feedback, then go through all of the publishing steps like proofreading, getting the figures redrawn, etc. But in this brief pause in the process as I wait for reviewers to take a look, I decided to analyze the first draft writing process, inspired by Ilya Grigorik’s retrospective on his own writing process.

I’m using two different datasets for this post:

  • a Google Docs spreadsheet in which I manually entered daily hour + page data so I could track which days were primarily writing days and which were editing/reviewer feedback days
  • the git log from O’Reilly’s book repo, using GitStats for analysis

The git log includes a few random commits from other folks (primarily O’Reilly admins reformatting the book so that the Early Release could be printed), but it’s clean enough to look at rough data.

Writing and editing patterns

There was a lot of common advice I heard from fellow authors:

  • lean on the O’Reilly online reviewer tool, Atlas, to gather feedback
  • utilize O’Reilly’s provided git repo for your book in combination with Atlas to track edits
  • write every day (even if you don’t feel like it)

I totally ignored that last one. :) I wrote only when I felt like it, and this worked really well for me. I wrote when I had large chunks of time to focus and when I knew what I wanted to say. This meant that out of 146 days from start to finish (from the day I made my first commit to the day I completed the first draft), I only committed work during 35 of those days. I took many breaks from the book during busy times in my life:

weekly-activity

I feel extremely fortunate to be able to take these breaks, and that writing came so easily (and was so much fun for me). I attribute it to having written and given presentations (and a keynote!) on this particular topic for years, and having a background in writing thanks to my Philosophy degree. Some chapters required many hours of research (like the responsive web design chapter); others I was able to outline and easily fill out, having already amassed the right supporting research during previous work.

Of those 35 days in which I worked on the book, 13 days were spent just making edits or incorporating reviewer feedback, and 24 days were actually spent researching and writing the original draft. The page count added/subtracted over time roughly matches to the commits by week pattern as well:

page-count-trend

I also didn’t go overboard with number of hours writing or editing per day. I was intentional about taking breaks and having a life outside of book writing.

Daily Stats Hours Writing Hours Editing
Mean 2.4 1.3
Median 2.5 1
Min 0.5 0.5
Max 6.5 2

That 6.5 hour day writing was the first day in which I got everything set up with O’Reilly’s repo, created all the files and the outline, and effectively wrote the first chapter. The second-longest day, 5.25 hours, was when I wrote the bulk of the images chapter, which is the longest chapter by far. Here’s a histogram of hours per day spent writing:

histogram

Again, most of my writing was done on weekends. Occasionally I’d write in the evening of a weekday, and there were some weekdays that were holidays or vacation days when I wrote during the day. When we take a look at the hour of the day combined with day of the week, we can see that pattern:

hour-of-day

I spent the last week of writing on vacation, intentionally taking a little getaway to complete the last two chapters. In this graph, I combined holidays and vacation days to see how they stacked up against a normal writing week.

day-of-week

Overall, I wrote at a pace of roughly 2 pages per hour, writing/editing for roughly 75 hours total. (This includes time spent researching, reading reviewer feedback, etc.) 80% of those hours were spent writing (20% editing) and there’s naturally a big difference in pages/hour velocity when you break it down by writing vs editing days:

pages-per-hour

Creating writing goals

As I was writing the draft, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to say. I’ve been presenting on this topic for years, have written about it a bunch in blog post or article form already, and knew what kind of research I’d have to do to fill it out. I set some goals for myself in terms of page count to make sure I’d reach for my total goal of 150 pages and conditionally formatted the page count as I worked toward each chapter’s goal.

estimates

(The preface pages obviously didn’t count toward the 150 page count.)

The chapters came in pretty close to their estimates! Having the page count goal helped me calculate how many hours were left based on my pages/hour velocity, too. I also was able to calculate “Pages to next donut”:

=(80%-'Pct done')*150

Where 80% was the threshold to meet for the next donut. These chapter page counts will all change, of course, once I get reviewers to take a look at the first draft. I didn’t write them in the order that they’re found in the book; I wrote when I had something to say, so I jumped around a bit. Here’s the total page count over time by chapter:

pages-over-time

To say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book writing process is an understatement. Except for a few natural challenges, it’s been a ton of fun for me, very stress-free, and something I would absolutely want to do again (should I have something interesting to say). It’s so different than the other kinds of writing I’m used to (long papers in college, blog posts, articles, etc.) and has definitely rewired parts of my brain. I also really like the collaborative feeling that happens when reviewers send feedback, thoughts, and questions. I’ve also gotten to know many of my reviewers better through the process, which has been so cool. I’m really excited for the next parts of the publishing process: incorporating all the feedback I’ll be getting, working with O’Reilly on proofreading and redrawing the figures, and getting it printed.

You can still get the early release of the ebook which will contain all of the chapters as they get uploaded (still rough and unedited, of course)!

On unsolicited criticism

Posted in feminism, work on July 22nd, 2014

I had a new experience a few weeks ago when I was speaking at Velocity. I gave a keynote to 2,000 people; throughout the following day, a half-dozen strangers came up to me to supply unsolicited criticism of my presentation tone.

They each approached me individually. They were all male. Some waited til I was alone to approach me, others did it while I was surrounded by people. I don’t think they knew each other, and I don’t think they were fellow speakers. I repeatedly heard the following:

  • “You sounded like a school teacher.”
  • “It felt snoozy.”
  • “You rehearsed too much.”

I’m a person who really appreciates feedback. I read the comments and reviews submitted through the Velocity site religiously. I gave the presentation 8 times at work before I gave it at Velocity, and more than a dozen people gave me incredibly helpful feedback on it beforehand.

But by the end of the day after my keynote, I was crushed. I had received a ton of praise and positive feedback, too, but I couldn’t hear it. My brain could only retain were these random, surprising, caught-off-guard moments that required me to nod and smile and try to make sense of what these people were saying. After dinner, I nearly broke down; I went to my manager, Seth, and told him what was going on. [1]

Seth turned to a nearby presenter (and fellow coworker) and asked, “Hey Jonathan, did you receive any constructive criticism or feedback after your talk?”

Jonathan said, “What? No. I mean, people said it was good. But not really feedback.” We continued our poll. The male presenters we asked received no unsolicited feedback (other than “that was great!”). Some women I spoke with, however, had received feedback on their tone as well.

I asked Seth, “Wait, are you saying this is gendered?” He nodded, “Yeah, I think it could be.” I was blown away. I was still crushed, but at least I could begin to try and process what had been happening. As someone who loves receiving feedback, I’ve had a hard time figuring out why I was so deeply affected by these strangers. I’ve narrowed it down to a few possibilities:

  • It’s hard to turn those comments into something constructive that I can learn from (or even really understand).
  • There’s something about the power they may have felt the need to demonstrate. They chose to come and say something to my face rather than simply add comments and a review through Velocity’s site (which is what the conference organizers were emphasizing regularly). [2]

Those around me have some additional guesses as to why they decided to approach me and say something. I’ve heard, “Maybe they thought you were cute and wanted to impress you.” I’ve heard, “Maybe they were insecure.” But I think the real nugget is that I wasn’t like a lot of the other presenters: I wore a dress, heels, and a big necklace. I was incredibly articulate and poised. I wasn’t a stand-up act or rough around the edges. I think that this set off a red flag to these men: “There is something different here. Different is bad.” Is it possible that the only frame of reference they have for a strong woman in front of an audience, speaking articulately, is their school teachers? [3]

I’ve rewatched that video quite a bit since I gave the presentation. I continue to need to reassure myself that I’m actually really proud of my delivery. I think I represented myself well onstage that day [4], and I think I represented Etsy well, too. In the few days following the presentation I told a handful of very close friends that I didn’t want to give a talk again – I was that shattered by what’d happened. I’m in a much better place now, thanks to being surrounded by people who give real, helpful, honest feedback. There are things I’m continuing to improve on as a public speaker, but none of them relate to my tone.

I wrote this post for two reasons: I want people who have experienced this to understand that they are not alone. And I’m writing this to remind folks to check yourself when you have an instinct to give someone advice or feedback. Ask yourself some questions. When’s the right time? Is it constructive? What’s moving you to give feedback to them right now? And is it possible that your brain was itched by them not in a bad way, but in a potentially eye-opening way for you? It may reveal some unconscious biases in yourself that would be worthwhile for you to explore.

[1] An even weirder part of this story is that one of the men who approached me also approached Seth and gave him feedback on my presentation tone.

[2] I’ve spoken with other women who’ve had a similar experience and we’ve commiserated about how much it rattles you. But I’ve also learned how to handle it in the future: “Thanks so much for wanting to give me feedback! Please put in your comments and review online through the site; I read every single one of those, and I’m MUCH more likely to remember it that way” with a big old smile. It’ll undercut whatever is driving them to come say it to your face.

[3] And I’m still confused: how is coming across like a teacher a piece of criticism?

[4] I’ve also read through the reviews (I have a 4.37/5 star rating!) and was asked to speak at additional conferences by two fellow highly-rated keynote speakers at Velocity. And reading through the feedback on Twitter (which was universally positive), I realized something big: female audience members reacted incredibly positively to my talk. Maybe my tone and presence didn’t shock them as much as it did the others.

My presentation workflow and challenges

Posted in tips on April 4th, 2014

I was asked to write about my presentation-creation process the other day on Twitter. I thought this was really interesting – I would love to know how other people approach developing, editing and improving on their presentations and public speaking skills! So here’s my whole process, including what I’m really working hard to improve upon.

Since this is such a long post, some anchor links:

First, some context: I’ve been professionally public speaking for a few years. My mother is a United Methodist minister, so I grew up watching her effectively give a talk every week. I grew up comfortable giving presentations, having watched her. To this day I can feel myself channel her when I begin a talk (I’m pretty sure our “Good morning!” intros are exactly the same). My father is a middle school math teacher, who is naturally also very comfortable getting up in front of an audience and talking. Thanks to what they modeled, I never really had a fear of standing up in front of audiences. I gave a few presentations (like running for class president) in middle school through college, but never took it seriously as a skill set to develop until I realized it was a way for me to level up my career in tech.

Creating the content

My good friend Ed Davis taught me how to write a presentation that tells a story. The first time I wrote what I thought was a solid deck, he very sweetly explained to me that it was missing a narrative. It wouldn’t have as big of an impact on my audience as I was hoping. Ed recommended I follow this pattern:

Landscape > Analysis > Problem > Options > Solution > Reason/Why it works > Bigger Idea

Landscape: here’s what exists
Analysis: here’s what I see
Problem: at the core is this issue
Options: here’s what we could do
Solution: here’s the best option and how it works
Reasons: why you should believe
Bigger idea: why this concept matters to you even if it is irrelevant to your particular work

At first I thought this was ridiculous. It was a slide deck on techniques to improve page load time. Don’t people already know why it’s important? After all, they were showing up to see the talk. Why should I add all this stuff about the landscape and a bigger idea? Don’t people just want to see how it works?

Thankfully I got over myself, and decided to give his suggestion a shot. And holy cow, the presentation was so much better. It forced me to ask myself: what is the bigger idea? Why is this stuff really important for people to talk about and learn about? Why am I even up there talking to begin with? Nailing down the bigger idea – something I wanted people to leave with, thinking about after they went home – was crucial to taking my presentation to the next level. Also, I absolutely love Lea Verou’s tips on talk content, and I’ll make sure that my content doesn’t just aim for beginners and involves the audience in some way.

When I’ve got the timing just about right, I do a ton of run-throughs for coworkers. I’m so lucky to have patient coworkers who are willing to give me their time and feedback. Mike Brittain is easily the best feedback-giver I’ve ever met; he always can see right through to the core of my attempt at a message. He’s given me some of the most creative suggestions to make sure an audience really understands what I’m trying to say. I aim to get both technical and storytelling feedback from folks as I practice.

I do all of this work incredibly early. I’m not a procrastinator by nature, and that really ensures that I have plenty of time to do plenty of run-throughs. I’ll probably do the presentation six or seven times at work before it’s done over the course of two or three weeks.

When I’m feeling like the presentation is pretty much there, I’ll start creating a ton more content to support the talk when I give it. I:

  • build tweets into my Keynote presenter notes to be auto-tweeted during the presentation
  • upload the slides to SpeakerDeck (example)
  • build a custom URL on laraswanson.com for the presentation to live alongside a list of resources (example)
  • make sure that all links to resources both on laraswanson.com and within the slides are custom bit.ly links that I’ve made, so I can track clicks later

I find that all of this hard work really pays off, as it’s both easy for the slides to live on after the presentation, and easy for me to measure the impact of the talk. My goal is to create a helpful resource. I’ve known some presenters who are conservative with putting their slides online, or make their slides very general and leave out the good bits, for fear that this will make folks not need to see them actually give the presentation in the future. Or something. To me, giving a presentation is all about sharing knowledge, and I want to make sure that I make this information as accessible as possible to the largest audience.

Gathering data

My favorite part about giving talks is really the data-gathering that goes into it. I like to measure:

  • clicks on the custom bit.ly links that I’ve built into the slides and tweets
  • which tweets have been retweeted and favorited, and how many times (example list of tweets that get auto-tweeted while I’m presenting)
  • visits to the laraswanson.com URL of the slides and the SpeakerDeck version of the slides

This all gives me data about what resonated the most with the audience. Maybe some tweets spread like wildfire; maybe others weren’t even favorited once. Looking at this data helps me know what to change about my presentation next time, and what content to explore and emphasize more. The most recent time I gave my Designing for Performance talk, I added a new section about changing culture at an organization. My tweet and link from this new content spread 60x more than any other from my talk. Needless to say, now I have a new chapter to add in that book I’m writing on the topic.

On donuts

After the presentation’s done, I’ve checked the data, answered questions, and thanked people, I’ll go find a donut. I’m not really kidding. Eating a donut is an integral part of my career celebration process. Years ago, I found that whenever something awesome happened in my career – maybe I got published, or promoted, or launched a project – I wouldn’t take the time to celebrate the achievement. I’m an achiever by nature, the kind who feels like every day starts at zero. Not deliberately marking these moments left me feeling like I wasn’t actually accomplishing anything. “Oh cool, that A List Apart article went up,” I would think, then move on with my day. Once I realized that this was happening, I decided to be deliberate about marking achievements by eating one donut. Well, sometimes more than one, if it’s a really big deal. The act of donut-eating has actually helped me feel like I’m accomplishing my career goals, and I’ve started documenting them here.

My personal challenges

Outside of finding the perfect donut, there are a few things that I personally find challenging when it comes to public speaking:

1. Not just reading from the presenter notes, or walking around.

My comfort zone is reading aloud from my notes, standing at my laptop. I once tried to give a talk during college in which I attempted to “wing it”, going off-script and riffing and walking around. It was a total and complete failure, and for a number of years after I stuck to a script. But in the last few years, I’ve learned to remove those notes, as they’re just a crutch. I practice enough before I give a presentation and affirm I really do know my material, and I do leave some bullet point notes to cover. But mostly, I’ve recognized that eye contact with the audience is really important to my delivery, so I’ve worked really hard to break out of my comfort zone.

2. Not having enough content to fill the time.

I think this is the opposite problem to what many public speakers have? I’ve heard many people say that most of their work on their presentations is cutting down content to fit in the allotted time. I have never in my life had this problem. Usually the first time I rehearse a talk that I think is ready for editing, it’s ten or twelve minutes long – not nearly enough to fill a 30- or 45-minute time slot. The feedback I usually get from people during rehearsals is about what kind of content I should be adding to fill in the gaps. This is usually the most stressful part of the process for me, as I worry about not having enough to say to fill the time, and reassuring myself that there will always be plenty of Q&A to fill any gaps if I finish too early.

3. Blushing.

Since childhood, I’ve been a blusher. I don’t necessarily blush when I get embarrassed, though. It happens for the most random of reasons: if I’m caught off guard by someone asking me a question, I blush. If a teacher called on me in school when I raised my hand, I’d blush, even though my hand was raised and I was totally prepared to answer. Really even just thinking about blushing makes me blush. It’s just one of those really stupid, random physiological things that I’ve dealt with forever.

Knowing I was a blusher used to make me nervous about public speaking because I didn’t want the audience to interpret it as me being uncomfortable up on stage – I’m actually quite comfortable in that element, and I didn’t want people to misunderstand, so I avoided doing a lot of public speaking during high school and early college. But then I realized, hey, it doesn’t really matter what people think. If I’m delivering good content, people will pay attention to it. So what if I blush during the first three minutes of a presentation? My delivery can still be just as strong, and by the time Q&A rolls around, I actually think that people see how excited I am to answer questions (my grin comes out full-force).

4. Jersey fast-talking.

I’m from New Jersey, and yes, I’m really proud of that. But one thing that Jersey gave me is my very fast pace of speaking. It’s something I’ve needed to be incredibly cognizant of while public speaking. It’s nice working in NY where folks are generally used to this quick speech pattern (and who don’t hesitate when I say “chawcolate cream-filled” when I get really excited while ordering a donut), but when it comes to public speaking, I am constantly reminding myself to slow down.

Proposing talks

I want to mention that I honestly haven’t done that much talk proposing, having been fortunate enough to be invited to do a lot of public speaking. This is thanks in part to the brand recognition of the companies I’ve worked for. It’s also due to the networking I’ve done at conferences. I spend a lot of time in the “hallway track” when I attend a conference, meeting people I’ve always wanted to meet, talking about what we’re working on, and brainstorming ideas that could end up as interesting talk topics. This kind of networking is what got me my current job and my book deal, and it’s also where a number of conference organizers have encouraged me to propose talks to their conference. I worked with these folks to propose talks that get accepted, whether it was mentioning those people’s names in the proposal form, asking for their feedback on the topic early, or even workshopping the proposal idea with them directly.

To me, those relationships are really everything, and this kind of networking has gotten my career to where it is. It sounds kind of false and empty to state it that way, but these are really valuable connections I’ve made with people – not just surface name-dropping. I don’t network just to network; I talk to people to really understand the kind of problems they’re solving, and to see how I can help them with my own research or knowledge or projects, and in doing so I think that they value my work, too.

The people on the Web are so interesting and smart and really want to help each other; it’s a big part of why I love this industry, and a big reason why I love the hallway track at conferences. How do I know Amanda Harlin, the woman who asked me to write this post? I saw Amanda at Fluent last month after meeting her at 200OK last year; I ran up to her and her husband while we waited for the keynotes to start to say hi, and they kindly came to my talk later in the week. These are meaningful, lasting relationships – the kind where we can all rely on each other to help one another in our work and careers.

Live tweeting from Keynote

Posted in tips on March 14th, 2014

A version of this post originally appeared here. It’s now updated with more recent resources!

I recently gave a presentation at FluentConf about Designing for Performance. I set up my presentation using Keynote ahead of time to automatically tweet relevant links and quotes from my Twitter account as I went from slide to slide. This was awesome for a few reasons:

  • By seeing what was retweeted after the presentation (and by tracking clicks on the bit.ly links I’d created just for these tweets), I was able to get a good sense of what pieces of information resonated the most with folks.
  • It opened up a channel of communication with my audience that hadn’t been there before. People knew exactly how to reach out to me with questions during and after my presentation. They didn’t have to wonder if they should email me, hunt down my website, etc.
  • It looked super fancy.

Most of my instructions below come from this video with a few modifications that will allow you to test tweet from your presentation, then learn how to switch to your real Twitter account.

1. Set up twurl

  1. In Terminal, type sudo gem i twurl --source http://rubygems.org
  2. Enter your system admin password (your OSX password)

Now you’ve got twurl, which will allow your Mac to tweet. It’s important to use twurl because of the recent changes that Twitter made to their API authentication requirements. Twurl can grant an access token for your Twitter application (next step) and authenticate your tweets.

2. Register a Twitter application

  1. Using your main Twitter account, visit http://dev.twitter.com/apps/new to register a new application so you can tweet.
  2. Name your application with a unique name, and you can use the same for the description field.
  3. For the website, make sure you include “http://” in what you enter.
  4. Agree to the terms, complete the captcha and create your application.
  5. Click “Settings” on the tabs under your application name.
  6. Change “Application Type” to “Read and Write”.
  7. Click “Update this Twitter application’s settings”.

Congrats! You have your own Twitter application that will allow you to tweet from your Mac. Next, we need to set up your Mac to play nicely with it. Keep that application window open in the background.

3. Create your test Twitter account

Because you will want to play around with Keynote and tweeting before you take it to your real live Twitter account, you should create a testing playground. Create a new account and log in (I used a different browser so I could go back and forth between my real one and my test one). I recommend making the account private so you don’t accidentally alert anyone you @ or who follows your hashtag.

4. Connect your application with your test Twitter account

  1. Find your application’s API key and secret key back in your original browser. Edit the following and replace the_api_key and the_secret with that information:twurl authorize --consumer-key the_api_key --consumer-secret the_secret
  2. Copy that line (starting with “twurl…”) and your keys into Terminal, and press return.
  3. Terminal will give you a long web address starting with “https://api…” Copy this entire URL and paste it into your browser where your test Twitter account is logged in.
  4. The browser will give you a pin code, as you’ve just connected your application with your test account. Copy the pin and paste it into Terminal. Hit return.

You now have your Mac working with your test Twitter account. Congratulations!

5. Install Keynote Tweet

  1. Download Keynote Tweet 2.5
  2. Unzip the file and copy Keynote Tweet 2.5 to your applications directory.
  3. Run it and enter any hashtag you wish to use.

6. Test tweeting

  1. In Keynote, put any text you’d like to tweet in between [twitter] and [/twitter] tags within the presenter notes area. When you play that slide in your presentation, it will tweet from your test account.
  2. If you run through the slides too fast, it won’t tweet. Give it a few seconds per slide to tweet before going to the next.
  3. Add all of the text you want, and run through the entire presentation. Make sure that all the tweets go through. If they don’t, check your character length. I found that I needed to count my username’s character length in the total tweet.

7. Switch to your real Twitter account

  1. When you’re ready to switch to your real Twitter account, you’ll need to connect your application to your real Twitter username. Run through the steps in “Connect your application with your test Twitter account” above, but when you copy the “https://api…” link into your browser, make sure it’s the browser where you’re logged in to your real Twitter account.
  2. Next, you’ll need to change the default profile that you tweet with from within twurl. The first time you authorize an application, twurl stores your access token for this Twitter account as the default. To see what user names have been authorized for your application, type twurl accounts in Terminal.
  3. You’ll see your test and real Twitter usernames and the application key for each. Notice that your test username is marked as the default. To change the default type twurl set default YOURREALTWITTERACCOUNT in Terminal, substituting your real Twitter username there.

I highly recommend testing the entire presentation a few times to make sure that your tweets make sense and have a short enough character count (especially if you’re adding a hashtag automatically).

Happy tweeting!