Presentation on theme: "Effective Technical Presentations"— Presentation transcript:
1Effective Technical Presentations Dr. Fotowat AhmadiSharif University of Technology
2What is an effective technical presentation? One that interests the audienceOne that educates the audienceOne that complements or enhances your written materialOne your audience remembers (of course in a positive way!)
4Why care? (1) A Good Presentation… Educates, informs, entertains Positive impression- speaker and organizationFurther or establish your technical reputationIs memorable
5Why care? (2) A Poor Presentation Impairs knowledge transfer from speaker to audienceNegative impression- speaker and organizationCan damage your reputationIs forgettable- or worse- memorable
6Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
7Preparation Know your audience Know your material Know your time limit (important!)
8Know Your Audience (1) Material should be appropriate to the audience How does the audience know about your subject?Experts or novices?Will the know the jargon, acronyms?DeterminesAmount of background materialAmount of detailIf humor is OK- make sure they’ll get your jokes!
9Know Your Audience (2) What do you want from your audience? Increased knowledge of your subject?A job?Laughs?Renewed research funding?Buy your product?Objective determines content and deliveryOur focus is on educationIdentify your objectives for the audience
10Know your material (1)Know your presentation so well you don’t need the slidesIf you want to lose your audience- read your slides!Your command of the subject should be apparentIt’s in your head not on the slide!Slides should contain talking pointsNot your complete text/ presentationPresentation should complement not duplicate your written work
11Know your material (2) Practice, practice, practice… Give several dry runsOut loud to yourselfTo several peersTo other authors- go to their talks too!Helps with “How to say what I want to say”Helps with transitions between slidesAsk for feedback- did you get it?Practice answering questionPractice yields confidencePractice helps you stay on time
12Know your time limit (1) Amount of material = Amount of time Affects number of slides and the amount of detailRule of thumb is 1-2 minutes per slideOutline slides will go more quicklyExplanation of drawings may take longer
13Know your time limit (2) Too much material Too little material Causes you to rushYou may not completeYou ma eat into question time or another author’s slotsDon’t make the session chair cut you off!Too little materialAudience ma think that’s all you knowCauses awkward gaps in a program
14Know your time limit (3) Timing should be planned as follows: Introduction 15-25%Welcome and Outline minimalBackground 10-15%Introduction of topic 5-10%Body 60-70%Conclusions 10-15%Questions left for after...
15Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
17Title SlidePresentation Title Effective Technical Presentations Dr. Fotowat Ahmady Presenter name Sharif University of Technology Affiliation (you can add a logo here)
18Introduction (1) Identify who you are/ establish your “presence” Why should they listen to YOU? Express your qualifications, passions, become a bit “human” to the audienceGive a roadmap: Tell them what you are going to tell themExplain where you plan to go, set up the storyExplain what the audience can anticipate
19Introduction (2) Don’t say “Before I begin” Don’t apologize for being nervousDon’t read the introductionDon’t use a dramatic, irrelevant openerDon’t make the introduction too long
20Motivation Why my presentation is important? Why do you care? Describes a really interesting problemAnd my solutionWhy do you care?Because it affects you!Your design will be faster and smaller!You’ll make millions!
21Outline List major topics ProblemCausesSolutionConclusion / SummaryRepeat the outline between major sections of your talk
22Structure The scope of each component follows from this common image Here:The introduction is a big pictureThe body focuses in on the objectiveThe conclusions reframe the presentation back into the broader scope
23Body Types Content guidelines Word charts Tables, Graphs, Drawings VideosContent guidelinesMax two-three points per slideAvoid overcrowding- make more chartsIf I don’t read it it doesn’t countVideos- make sure I can hear itVerbalize connections between points
24TransitionsA word or phrase that signals a speaker has finished one thought and is moving to anotherShould state the idea that the speaker is leavingThe review partAnd the idea that the speaker is coming up toThe preview part
25Conclusion / Summary What is your “take away” message? One- two points Offers audience a sense of closureReinforces thesisOne- two pointsShould match your motivation
26Conclusion cont. Don’t drag out the conclusion Don’t end on a weak or rambling noteDon’t introduce new pointsDon’t say “so in conclusion” !
27Acknowledgments / References Acknowledge those who contributed to the presentationList other’s work (e.g. charts, graphs, etc.) you used
28Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
29Background / Font Color Best choice depends on:Size of the roomRoom lightningPresentation lengthDarker, solid color background with white or yellow textBest for large, well-lit roomsWhite or light backgrounds with dark textOK for small rooms, short duration
30Poor color choicesWhite on black has good contrast but the dark background may blacken the room too much and if your font is too thin, it won’t be visibleYellow on bright green will be impossible to see, no contrastAvoid red/ green combination. It can’t be read by people who are color blind
31Font Types Use a simple, bold font Stick with one or two font types Arial or Helvetica are bestAvoid thin fonts- not readable at the back of the roomAvoid Times font- can look fuzzy at a distanceAvoid “hip” or “artsy” fonts- not professionalStick with one or two font typesDon’t change size, type, color, for no reason!
32Titles should be 40+ Font Sizes Main text should be 24-36 Don’t get below 20 for a large roomI won’t be able to read!
33The Abuses of Capital Letters Bullet points typically have one capital letter at the beginningJust because you think a word is important does not mean it should be capitalizedALL CAPITAL LETTERS MAKE IT HARDER FOR YOUR AUDIENCE TO DECIPHER WORDS
34The exclamation point Warning! Don’t over use this. Be careful of where and when you use it!!!
35Background Design Simpler is better Avoid clouds, lightning bolts, globes, flowers, etc.Focus on the presentation content, not the slide backgroundShould enhance, not distractIf a graphic does not add to your messageGet rid of it!
36Clip Art and Animation Avoid “cutesy” clip art Avoid excess animation It’s distractingIt may not workPuts focus on the effects, not the contents
37Graphs and Figures Don’t make graphs overly complicated The audience can’t readGraphs with too much informationGraphs with lots of thin linesGraphs or figures, with dotted, dashed, or other specialty lines unless they are very bold and thick
40Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
41Do’s and Don’ts (1) Do Be enthusiastic Make eye contact with the audienceTalk in a loud, clear voiceMove, occasionallyBreathe, smile, relaxSay “I don’t know” if you don’t know
42Do’s and Don’ts (2) DON’T Read your slides Talk to the screen or laptopPoint at your laptopTurn away from the microphoneMumbleInvent answers to avoid “I don’t know”Lock into podium “Death Grip”Engage in “Laser Pointer Madness”
43Do’s and Don’ts Do Don’t Use bullets and short phrases Target max of seven lines of text / slidesRun spell- checkUse pictures, graphs drawingsDon’tPut entire paragraph of text into your slides. It’s your job as the presenter to elaborate on the key points captured by the bullets. If every word you are going to say is on your slide, what does the audience need you for? Also no one is going to have the time or patience to read this much text. If it’s absolutely necessary to include large amounts of text, plan to read it to the audience yourself.
44Conference Etiquette Do Don’t Provide your final slides on time Show up with changes on a thumb drive right before your presentationVery unprofessionalShows lack of preparation and considerationLast minute changes can be fatal
45Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
46Presentation Checklist Check the roomBring your presentation on a reliable diskDecide how loud you must speakCheck the presentation projection
47Dealing with the nerve! Practice dramatically reduces nervousness Try breathing exercisesNervousness is naturalUse the nervous energy to speak loudly and energetically
48Teamwork Considerations Work out all transitionsBetween sectionsBetween team membersPractice as a teamSpeak with one voiceGive the speaking member full attention or it may distract your audience
49Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
50Summary Effective Presentations based on: Your material You Appropriate to the audienceThe audience can read / understand itFits in the amount of time givenYouKnow your materialSpeak loudly, clearly, to the audienceMake the experience enjoyable for the audience
51Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
52References Rincon, A., “Effective Technical Presentations,” CICC 2008 Robertson, A., “A Guide To Technical Presentations,” University of UtahHarder, D.W., “On Technical Presentations,” University of Waterloo