Bringing the Mac to the Masses: Presenting To PC Users

| News

In the past eight days I have been contacted by two groups of PC users. Each group has asked me to make presentations to them about Macs and how they operate. One group is primarily curious, but seems very interested. The other is desperate because their work environment is changing from PC to Mac. The members of both groups are experienced computer users, but their experience is only with PCs.

Both of these will be "standing in front of a group" kind of presentations. In other words, an overview of how to accomplish basic tasks using a Mac.

The first presentation is early next week and the contact person gave me a long list of things they were interested in. Then she commented that "she knew I couldnit cover it all in an hour and a half so I should just pick out what I thought was most important."

Here is the deal, though: Even with explaining the organization of the Finder window and throwing in how the Dock works, it will only take about 30 minutes to demo all the things on her list. They include things like how to create a new folder, how to move documents into a folder, how to transfer something from a thumb drive, and how to burn a CD.

I have been away from the PC environment for so long that I have forgotten how many steps it takes to do things on a PC and how easy things are on our Macs.

How Do I Spend The Rest Of The Time?
Oh The Pressure! This is important stuff, folks. Here I am, standing in front of virgin minds as it were. What do I tell them to help them understand what a Mac can do for them?

Lest you be worried that my non-techie brain will be answering techie questions, let me reassure you that a friend who is a true techie will be along for the first group to explain the differences in the operating systems. The second group doesnit care. They just want to know how to use a Mac.

What Did I Come Up With?
After a great deal of thought the following are the things I came up with: If you disagree with me, or think I left something out, I would really like to hear your thoughts and suggestions. I have a feeling that this may the first of several opportunities for such presentations and I really want to get it right for the sake of the audiences.

Tutorials and Help
Nobody, least of all me, every said the Mac tutorials and/or the Help menu are perfect. However, they are pretty darn good and for basic things they can keep you going. And nothing works as well as being able to keep on going. Not only that, the Help menu is right there in your face, easy to access.

Spotlight and F5 Search Abilities
The ability to find things on your computer, no matter your organizational skills, is a true asset and one that I think needs to be emphasized to anyone being introduced to a Mac.

Microsoft Office Works Just Fine, Thanks
PC users often donit know that they have options (or are not allowed options by their work environments) so they sometimes obsess about being able to use the Microsoft Office products. They need to know not only that there are Microsoft Office products for Macs, but that also products created on the Mac can be opened on a PC and vice versa.

iWorks Products Are Cheaper and Can Be Saved in .doc Format
Although an overview doesnit allow for much more than a visual introduction, I think it is important for people to know they have less expensive alternatives that do basically the same thing when they use a Mac.

The Uniformity of Interface
As a Mac user, I take for granted the uniformity of interface of all the applications that I use. Nay, I truly expect that it will just be there. Of course my Mail program will talk to my Address Book and my iCal. Of course, the File Menu is the same in all my apps. Of course, of course, of course.

My we are spoiled, arenit we?

This concept is easily demonstrated while showing off the attributes of Mail, Address Book and iCal, so they will be part of a quick demo as well.

Flash and Dash
OK, There has to be some flash and dash. First of all the whole presentation has to be done with Keynote. PC folks are used to PowerPoint for goodness sake. They need to see a really good presentation application. The final demo needs to be Screen Sharing with an emphasis on the fact that with a Mac, screen sharing is a secure process.

I Hope It Works
I hope this works. I hope it is enough to give a good overview of what it means to use a Mac today. How user friendly they are. How easy they are to use and all you can accomplish. Remember that your suggestions are more than welcome. You can contact me directly at nancy@macobserver.com.

Commercial
Copies of my manual for experienced beginners are available. Ordering information follows. My next column will include some cool new tips. Hope you will watch for it.

__________
Donit forget that my Tips and Hints Manual for Experienced Beginners is available for purchase. The entire Table of Contents and a sample page are available for free review for anyone who wishes to see them. I am making this book available in three formats:
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Payment for any version must be made using PayPal. Clicking on the Buy Now button next to the version you want to purchase will take you directly to PayPal where you can place your order and make your payment. Payment can be made through PayPal even if you are not a PayPal member.

Anyone wishing to pay with a money order or cashier check may contact me through TMO at [removed]eval(unescape(i[removed]('nancy@macobserver.com')i))[removed]

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