I'm giving a speech about SuSE

Dear fellow SuSE users,

I am in a public speaking class at my college for the summer. It’s a condensed 5-week course. We’re required to give a 6-8 minute informative speech on Wed. June 18 (five days from now). I am asking for some input and ideas from anyone willing to share any. We just got this assignment yesterday, and it’s a fast-paced class, which is why I only have five more days to prepare.

Our speeches are required to have one main topic and either two or three main points. My main topic will be SuSE (or possibly Linux in general), and I am still thinking about what two or three main points I will make. I was thinking about choosing the points 1) Explaining what SuSE is, and 2) Explaining how SuSE can be used as an alternative to Windows. I am also required to have some sort of visual aid(s) for my presentation. The classroom already has an excellent overhead LCD projector setup with a Mac OSX computer at the podium, which makes using Open Office Impress slide shows very easy.

I have been using SuSE exclusively for over a year now. I don’t even dual-boot. This gives me good credibility and authority in the subject. I have to mention this, because establishing our credibility and relating the topic to the audience accounts for about 15% of our speech grade.

There are 17 students in the class, most of which are in non-technical degrees such as photography and illustration. There are probably no other Linux users in the class. There are several Mac users, however.

If anyone has any ideas they would like to share about what two or three main points I should choose, or anything else I should include, or any particular visual aids or pictures for slides I should use, feel free to post anything. I’m not asking for anyone to do too much or to do the assignment for me or anything. I am just seeing if anyone has any quick ideas they want to throw at me. I appreciate anything any of you would like to say.

Also, if there are any examples of SuSE in the news that anyone knows about, or SuSE appearing in any magazines or journals, that would be a help, too.

1 - The concepts of OSS. Gratis and Libre.
2 - Debunk the myth that Linux is hard.
3 - Demonstrate how easy it is to dual-boot with openSUSE 11’s new installer.
4 - Most people primarily use a web browser. For them, Firefox is Firefox. The big difference with Linux is no spyware, no virus concerns, etc.
5 - Show alternatives to common Microsoft apps.
6 - Show off composite effects. Sexy UI trumps all.

Thanks! This could easily turn into a persuasive speech. I have to give a persuasive speech also this semester. I might just use SuSE for the persuasive one, and do something else for the informative speech.

To brush up on top level concepts, you could take a look at the openSUSE concepts wiki:
Concepts - openSUSE

Focus on your experience of SUSE, not on other people’s - what difference it has made to your life/use of computers - using the sub-points to demonstrate this difference.

Personal experience is always more powerful than other people’s ideas.

Recorded presentations available from openSUSE Day at LinuxT - openSUSE Forums may help:)

When I was doing that for real, I used Vu-graphs which imparts visual information and talked to each one for about a minute. So, you would need 6 to 8. It should take the format:

tell them what you are going to tell them
tell them
tell them what you told them

(I also had backup slides for each question that might arise from each of the presentation vu-graphs.)

Get a buddy to run the vu-graphs so you will be free to move about and gain eye contact.

I also provided lapcharts of the main brief so they could take notes (and get something free). If you do that, include a page of links (and point that out).

Rehearse; rehearse it front of a group of buddies too.

Should be worth an “A”.

Thanks, Snakedriver. What you said is exactly the format that our professor said our speech should follow: introduction, body of speech, and summary. I’ll definitely take a look at those presentation videos for inspiration.

First of all, thanks to everyone who contributed ideas. I’m hoping that my speech about SuSE not only gets me a good grade, but also spreads the word about SuSE Linux and influences people to try it.

I chose to make SuSE the topic for my persuasive speech, not my informative speech, so I don’t deliver the speech until June 30.

The professor is enforcing a set of guidelines for the speech that requires us to use this structure:

  1. Attention: Gain the attention of the audience by relating the topic to the audience, showing that the topic is important, and establishing personal credibility on the subject.
  1. Need: Having captured the audience’s attention, make them feel a need for change.
  1. Satisfaction: Having aroused the sense of need, satisfy it by providing a solution to the problem. State your plan or idea and show how it will work. Include enough details to give the listeners a clear understanding of it.
  1. Visualization: Having given your plan, use imagery to show your listeners how they will benefit from your proposal. Make them see how much better conditions are once your plan is adopted.
  1. Call to action: Say exactly what you want the audience to do–and how to do it. Then conclude with a final stirring, reinforcing appeal.

Here is how I’m planning to organize my speech:

  1. Attention: Describe a scenario in which anyone from the audience is working on their speech outline for the class, and is burning the midnight oil (working late), and trying to find facts in articles and journal entries from all over the web to use in their report. They’re working on a Windows PC or Mac. All of a sudden, their computer starts to slow up, then shut down. It has been infected with a virus! The virus has wiped out the boot sector of the hard drive, and the computer won’t even boot up! A lot of hard work has been lost…or has it?

  2. Need: The student then needs to recover his report and other valuable data somehow. But how? The student doesn’t have time to reinstall the entire operating system or repair it, because the report is due soon. The student needs to recover his data immediately. But in order to do this, the student needs an OS that will run independently of the now crippled Windows or Mac installation, and not be affected by the virus.

  3. Satisfaction: The SuSE LiveCD saves the day! The LiveCD is invulnerable to viruses, and runs completely in memory. This is exactly what the student needs to recover the data. Just the LiveCD, a thumb drive, and a few minutes, and the student can have all of their valuable work recovered, finish typing it, and also get online with Firefox and submit the report electronically. All of this takes less than 15 minutes.

  4. Visualization: I will use the projector mounted on the ceiling of the classroom to show an Impress slide show of the LiveCD creation and data recovery process. I will demonstrate how easy it is to use. I will show a slide of the recovered data.

  5. Call to action: Go and download the LiveCD today! You never know when you might need it.

If anyone has any thoughts or comments, please post them. Any constructive criticism is welcome. Don’t be afraid of being too harsh.

I wanted to use a lot more of everyone’s suggestions, but the strict speech guidelines and the limited technical knowledge of my audience restricts that somewhat. My audience may not want to dump Windows completely and start using SuSE exclusively, so it is a better strategy to advocate that they burn a LiveCD and give it a test drive. This will move more people to action, and may influence them to use Linux in the future. Also, since I have to give a specific call to action, I cannot simply argue that SuSE is superior to Windows. I have to advocate that they take an action. Everyone in the class knows how to burn a CD, and so everyone will be capable of this action.

Sounds like it will be a great speech! If you have the time and the CDs, you might consider burning some LiveCDs yourself to hand out to your classmates, just to get over that initial “I don’t have time/CDs/money to download and burn it” excuse.

I gave my speech today. It was a success! I focused more on the positive aspects of using Linux, instead of the negative aspects of Windows. I talked mainly about the ease of use and quality and abundance of programs, since these were two concerns that I needed to address. I was a bit nervous and forgot to go over the last point I wanted to make and the last Impress slide, but overall it was one of the best speeches in the class. Another classmate gave a really good speech about why Macs really out-perform Windows machines, and I enjoyed that presentation, too. I think we both made a positive impact on the audience, and got them to think outside the box a lot more. Oh, and I took your advice about burning the CDs for everyone Andrew, and a couple of classmates already told me that they’re leaning toward switching to Linux anyway. I get the feeling that Linux is going to be becoming even more popular than it is already.

Great news, congratulations - it’s always better to persuade people by using positives.

Well, it’s hard for me to not dwell on how bad Windows is. When I discovered Linux about a year ago, I was furious at Microsoft after I realized how much better SuSE was, and how poor Windows was in comparison. I paid a lot of money for Windows software in the past, including three copies of XP for different computers. So when I discovered that Open SuSE was free and much better, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach like “wow I can’t believe I wasted all that money on a horrible OS.”

But even the lady in my speech class who gave the presentation on Macs couldn’t help but bash Windows. There are just so many obvious flaws that were never even addressed. One example was, say you download a file to your desktop and you have 6 programs open in XP. You have to minimize each one to get to the file. Not so in Linux or OSX. But I put up with those sort of things under Windows for so long, that it felt like I was being liberated after I wiped Windows off my drive and installed SuSE.

On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 20:06:04 +0000, BNG22908 wrote:

> Well, it’s hard for me to not dwell on how bad Windows is. When I
> discovered Linux about a year ago, I was furious at Microsoft after I
> realized how much better SuSE was, and how poor Windows was in
> comparison. I paid a lot of money for Windows software in the past,
> including three copies of XP for different computers. So when I
> discovered that Open SuSE was free and much better, I got a sinking
> feeling in my stomach like “wow I can’t believe I wasted all that money
> on a horrible OS.”
>
> But even the lady in my speech class who gave the presentation on Macs
> couldn’t help but bash Windows. There are just so many obvious flaws
> that were never even addressed.

Arguably, though, the fact that those flaws are obvious means you don’t
need to spend time dwelling on them in a pro-Linux presentation. I guess
that’s kinda the difference - do you want it to be pro-Linux, or anti-
Windows? Negative presentations are very difficult to successfully pull
off - that’s part of the reason I think your presentation was a success.

> One example was, say you download a file
> to your desktop and you have 6 programs open in XP. You have to minimize
> each one to get to the file. Not so in Linux or OSX. But I put up with
> those sort of things under Windows for so long, that it felt like I was
> being liberated after I wiped Windows off my drive and installed SuSE.

There’s an internal Microsoft e-mail floating around the 'net from Gates
to some of his team about how poor his experience was downloading
Microsoft Movie maker and the so-called “plus pack” (whatever that is).
It’s a funny read, but just goes to show that anyone can find problems
with Windows.

Jim

I agree. That’s why I barely mentioned Windows in my speech. I just mentioned that it was vulnerable to viruses and that Linux wasn’t. The other speaker took that angle with OSX, also. We both bashed Windows for being very vulnerable to viruses though. I have strong personal feelings against Windows, but in public debate or conversation, I rarely let those surface. It was mostly the first two months that I discovered Linux that I was just still in awe of the difference in quality between the two systems. I love SuSE in particular, more than any other distro. I’m going to work for Novell some day. That’s my goal.

On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 01:46:03 +0000, BNG22908 wrote:

> I agree. That’s why I barely mentioned Windows in my speech. I just
> mentioned that it was vulnerable to viruses and that Linux wasn’t.

That’s not strictly true, though. For example the Bad Bunny virus (which
was xplat for OpenOffice) affects Linux boxes. There also is a list at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_computer_viruses#Threats of
several viruses that target Linux specifically.

Then there’s also Linux-as-a-server being used to distribute viruses,
either through file shares to Windows clients or as a mail server.

They’re not as common, but it’s not accurate to say Linux is not
vulnerable to viruses.

> The
> other speaker took that angle with OSX, also. We both bashed Windows for
> being very vulnerable to viruses though. I have strong personal feelings
> against Windows, but in public debate or conversation, I rarely let
> those surface. It was mostly the first two months that I discovered
> Linux that I was just still in awe of the difference in quality between
> the two systems.

Oh, I have a serious bias against Windows. I’ve been a Linux desktop
user for about 10 years now, and avoid using Windows unless I absolutely
have to. I’ve got 6 machines in my lab here at home, and none of them
run Windows natively (one has a Vista install that it shipped with on it,
but I think I’ve booted it twice - and I hated it). My wife’s laptop
runs openSUSE 10.1. Stepson’s machine is the only Windows machine in the
house - for games he plays with his friends, mostly.

But it’s important in public debate to not misrepresent facts as well.
If you say “there are no viruses for Linux” or something like that,
someone’s going to call BS and point to a reference. Less susceptible,
yes, but that’s largely because it’s not a major target.

Then we could also talk about rootkits and other hack attacks against
Linux. You definitely have to protect yourself from those. I have one
box that was being attacked with an ssh attack (just a simple password
brute-force); easy to defeat, just use key-based authentication only from
known hosts. Or change the port sshd listens on. Or if you’re really
paranoid, use something like knockd to open the port only when a sequence
of ports are hit in a specific sequence within a specific amount of time.

Jim

To me Linux is really about fully owning and controlling my computer. Not just the whole open source thing is free, though I like that.

but no one tells me how or what software I use. If I want an enterprise quality version I just go get that and use it, none of these inhibited partial feature versions.

Plus I explain to people that with Linux the whole graphical system is on top of a basic command line system that they used to see with DOS. Which is great when things go wrong.

I just explain that it is just like the difference of when something goes wrong with your car, the computer and how they are set up makes it so some things you can’t easily fix. With Linux you can get low level and get there and manually just flip a few things around on the low level and get it working.

You can be totally hands off, or completely hands on depending on your need.

Don’t forget why it’s better than Mac OS X :wink:

Otherwise the mac users will pound you on how Macs do the same better (and don’t just use the fact that it’s free)