Presentation on theme: "Effective Technical Presentations"— Presentation transcript:
1 Effective Technical Presentations Dr. Fotowat AhmadiSharif University of Technology
2 What 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!)
4 Why care? (1) A Good Presentation… Educates, informs, entertains Positive impression- speaker and organizationFurther or establish your technical reputationIs memorable
5 Why care? (2) A Poor Presentation Impairs knowledge transfer from speaker to audienceNegative impression- speaker and organizationCan damage your reputationIs forgettable- or worse- memorable
6 Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
7 Preparation Know your audience Know your material Know your time limit (important!)
8 Know 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!
9 Know 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
10 Know 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
11 Know 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
12 Know 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
13 Know 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
14 Know 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...
15 Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
16 Format / Organization Tile slide Introduction / Motivation Outline BodyConclusion or summaryAcknowledgements / References
17 Title SlidePresentation Title Effective Technical Presentations Dr. Fotowat Ahmady Presenter name Sharif University of Technology Affiliation (you can add a logo here)
18 Introduction (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
19 Introduction (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
20 Motivation 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!
21 Outline List major topics ProblemCausesSolutionConclusion / SummaryRepeat the outline between major sections of your talk
22 Structure 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
23 Body 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
24 TransitionsA 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
25 Conclusion / Summary What is your “take away” message? One- two points Offers audience a sense of closureReinforces thesisOne- two pointsShould match your motivation
26 Conclusion 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” !
27 Acknowledgments / References Acknowledge those who contributed to the presentationList other’s work (e.g. charts, graphs, etc.) you used
28 Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
29 Background / 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
30 Poor 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
31 Font 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!
32 Titles 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!
33 The 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
34 The exclamation point Warning! Don’t over use this. Be careful of where and when you use it!!!
35 Background 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!
36 Clip Art and Animation Avoid “cutesy” clip art Avoid excess animation It’s distractingIt may not workPuts focus on the effects, not the contents
37 Graphs 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
40 Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
41 Do’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
42 Do’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”
43 Do’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.
44 Conference 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
45 Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
46 Presentation Checklist Check the roomBring your presentation on a reliable diskDecide how loud you must speakCheck the presentation projection
47 Dealing with the nerve! Practice dramatically reduces nervousness Try breathing exercisesNervousness is naturalUse the nervous energy to speak loudly and energetically
48 Teamwork 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
49 Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
50 Summary 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
51 Effective Technical Presentations OutlinePreparationFormat / OrganizationBackgrounds and FontsPresentation Do’s and Don’tsPresentation DaySummaryReferences
52 References 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