Thursday, September 9, 2010

Presentations - check lists

If you think you cannot deliver a presentation without a written speech think again. You've answered questions without a written prompt - right? To deliver a presentation without reading it try to reduce your written speech down to keywords. Maybe start off with one keyword per paragraph then when you know what  you need to cover based on your keywords start merging the keywords. 


The key to a good presentation is to know your area well and to practice, yes even if you no longer have any friends because you've used them to pilot on when designing experiments you always have the mirror or if you dare video your own efforts - view - try again.


Pull your audience into your talk. You almost need to limit yourself to 140 characters or 14 sound bites. 


You do not have to cover everything in your talk. Your audience is not going to remember most of it the next day. Take a narrow focus and examine it in detail. 

Check list

  • Practice, you do not want to be looking at your notes the whole time.
  • Introduce yourself; this may include an appropriate background story as to why you are interested in this area.
  • Give the audience a take home message. The audience is only going to remember so much.
  • Clear focus, stay on a narrow topic. 
  • Make sure the audience can contact you.  
  • Ask for questions at the end even if you have been answering them throughout. 
  • Make sure you stay within your time limit (practice). 
  • Use show and tell if you can.
  • Handouts should be brief. You don't want the audience reading these while you are presenting. 

Powerpoint check list

  • Not too much text on slides.
  • Use images, figures, charts, tables rather then text.
  • Title slide should have the title, your name and your institute. 
  • Number the slides so that the audience can ask about a particular slide. 
  • The last slide could do with your name again and an email address or a way to contact you. 
  • Not too many slides; this is not a movie. 

Useful links


On the lighter side of Powerpoint

Powerpoint is overrated. Try to use it for important images/figures/tables and when you use it for text try to put up only keywords otherwise you will simply distract from your talk. Have a look at the clip below.



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