Slide and Presentation Tips

Slide Tips

  • Slides that are text only distract the audience. They read the text.
  • Slides that are non-self-explanatory images, require the audience to listen to the speaker. Try it. Put two circles on the screen and see what people do. They look at you for explanation.
  • TedX has a pretty good style-guide about slides:
  • What goes in my slides?
    • Images and photos: To help the audience remember a person, place or thing you mention, you might use images or photos. People will understand that the images represent what you're saying, so there is no need to verbally describe the images onscreen.
    • Graphs and infographics. Keep graphs visually clear, even if the content is complex. Each graph should make only one point.
    • No slide should support more than one point.
  • What should the slides look like?
    • Use as little text as possible – if your audience is reading, they are not listening.
    • Avoid using bullet points. Consider putting different points on different slides.
  • But, slides with images and no text are a nightmare for non visual person.
  • So good slides are: important graphs with little text

Presentation Tips

  • See Patrick Wilson's "How To Speak"
    • How to Start
      • Do not start a talk with a joke. Audience are not ready yet.
      • Promise - Tell them what they gonna learn at the end of your talk.
    • Samples
      • Cycle – make your idea repeated many times in order to be completely clear for everyone.
      • Make a "Fence" around your idea so that it can be distinguished from someone elses idea.
      • Verbal punctuation – sum up information within your talk some times to make listeners get back on.
      • Ask a question - intriguing one
    • Place and Time
      • Best time for having a lecture is 11 am (not too early and not after lunch)
      • The place should be well lit.
      • The place should be seen and checked before the lecture.
      • The place should not be full less than a half, it must be chosen according to the amount of listeners.
    • Board and Props
      • Board – it's got graphics, speed, target. Watch your hands! Don't hold them behind your back, it's better to keep them straight and use for pointing at the board.
      • Props – use them in order to make your ideas visual. Visual perception is the most effective way to interact with listeners.
    • Projections
      • Don't put too many words on a slide. Slides should just reflect what you're saying, not the other way around. Pictures attracts attention and people start to wait for your explanation – use that tip.
      • Make slide as easy as you can – no title, no distracting pictures, frames, points and so on.
      • Do not use laser pointer – due to that you lose eye contact with the audience. Instead you can make the arrows just upon a slide.
    • Case: Informing (e.g. teaching)
      • Promise: a promise what we'will go through
      • Inspiration: they were inspired when someone exhibited passion about what they were doing
      • How to Think: Education is continuity of storytelling. So, provide audience with the stories they need to know, the questions they need to ask about those stories, mechanisms for analyzing those stories, ways of putting stories together, ways of evaluating how reliable a story is.
    • Case: Persuading (e.g. oral exam, job talk, getting famous)
    • Oral Exam
      • the most usual reason for people failing an oral exam is failure to situate and a failure to practice. By situate, it's important to talk about our research in context (problem, solution, impact).
    • Job talk
      • Show to your listeners that your stuff is cool and interesting and you're not a rookie
      • You have to be able to: (1) show your vision of that problem, (2) show that you've done particular things (by steps), (3) conclude
      • Vision of a problem that somebody cares about and something new in your approach.
      • How do you express the notion that you've done something? By listing the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve the solution to that problem.
      • And then you conclude by you conclude by enumerating your contributions.
      • All of that should be done real quick in no more than 5 min.
    • Getting Famous: about how you're going to be recognized for what you do. Your ideas are like your children, so what you want to do is to be sure that you have techniques, mechanisms, thoughts about how to present ideas that you have so that they're recognized for the value that is in them.
    • If you want to your ideas be remembered you've got to have "5 S":
      • Symbols associate with your ideas (visual perception is the best way to attract attention)
      • Slogan (describing your idea)
      • Surprise (common fallacy that is no longer true, for instance, just after you've told about it)
      • Salient Idea (an idea which not necessarily important but the one that sticks out)
      • Story (how you did it, how it works…)
    • How to Stop Pursuading Presentations
      • Don't put the end with:
        • put collaborators at the end (do that at the beginning).
        • ‘questions?'
        • ‘link: https://bla.bla'
        • ‘the end'
        • ‘conclusions' (it will better ended with ‘contributions').
        • ‘Thank you (for listening)' (except, after applause).
      • Put the end with:
        • contribution
        • jokes, since people then will leave the event feeling fun and thus keep a good memory of your talk.
        • a salute to people (how much you valued the time being here, the people over here…, "I'd like to get back, it was fun!"). With this you won't have to worry about how to end!