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P OWERPOINT P RESENTATION S KILLS FOR S CIENTISTS Diane Hannemann McDougal Fellow, Careers & Professional Development & Anindita Sinha McDougal Fellow,

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Presentation on theme: "P OWERPOINT P RESENTATION S KILLS FOR S CIENTISTS Diane Hannemann McDougal Fellow, Careers & Professional Development & Anindita Sinha McDougal Fellow,"— Presentation transcript:

1 P OWERPOINT P RESENTATION S KILLS FOR S CIENTISTS Diane Hannemann McDougal Fellow, Careers & Professional Development & Anindita Sinha McDougal Fellow, Academic Writing

2 Keys to a Successful Presentation  Know your Audience  Make it Clear!  The Heart of the Matter: Sharp Figures & Pretty Pictures  Prepare & Practice  Zzzzzz …  How You Say it Matters  Not Compatible?  Closure

3 Know Your Audience In your field - can jump in with brief background; non-experts - need more set-up Purpose of your talk (Convince? Update? Teach?) Communicate with your audience * size matters * formal vs. discussion format Convey your enthusiasm about your work Don’t talk over their heads; don’t talk down to them

4 Make it Clear - Structure OUTLINE FIRST!!  Controls number of slides & provides balance - Budget 2-3 minutes/slide (e.g. 30’ talk = slides)  Have one story to tell: - decide on underlying issue to be addressed - divide into logical, heirarchical subquestions - talk should be series of answers to these questions  Zoom-In (intro) and Zoom-Out (closure)

5 Make it Clear - Concept Style & format - use color to highlight & organize - be consistent (audience knows where to look) Read through presentation and see if main points stand-out - Heading = WHAT or HOW - Summary statement = CONCLUSION “Speaker Support” - It doesn’t carry you -- you are the focus - It supports your message

6 Make it Clear - Don’t Lose ‘em Frustrate your audience & you lose them!  Science talk vs. murder mystery -- don’t keep you’re audience hanging!  Know the fuzzy borders between experimental evidence and speculation (affects how you formulate your sentences)  One concept per slide - cluster examples rather than moving through series too quickly  Make sure you can be heard!

7 The Heart of the Matter: Sharp Figures & Pretty Pictures Clear title Highlight particular areas/words Don’t crowd with too much info Give credit where credit due - reference published data; borrowed figures

8 The Heart of the Matter: Sharp Figures & Pretty Pictures Show bad showing a lot of unreadable info “for effect” - bad! if it can’t be read -- it’s a waste & it annoys audience

9 The Heart of the Matter: Sharp Figures & Pretty Pictures Show bad

10 The Heart of the Matter: Sharp Figures & Pretty Pictures GOOD (some showmanship here)

11 The Heart of the Matter: Sharp Figures & Pretty Pictures GOOD Use one of Jen’s figure slides color-coded parts, etc.

12 Prepare & Practice  Timing (how many slides & length of talk)  Memorize intro and first few lines  Beware of overpracticing * Don’t memorize entire talk -- stiff & BORING!! * 1X = 10-fold improvement * 2X = twice as good * 3X = polish

13 Zzzzzz … Talk to your audience (eye contact, conversational style) Engage your audience by asking questions Keep it interesting: - share interesting tidbits - give unique examples/analogies - humor disturbs slumber Tiny type kills (use at least 18 point font... ?) If you’re bored, you’re audience is snoring!

14 How You Say it Matters VERBAL SKILLS Slow down! Don’t read your slides - use as cues Vary voice tone (conversational) Genuine enthusiasm SPEAK-UP BODY LANGUAGE Eye contact Stand straight - breathe Don’t overgesture with pointer, etc. Face your audience

15 Not Compatible?  Ask ahead of time what equipment provided : - overhead projector vs. Powerpoint  What format used: - PC vs. Mac?  What type of disk acceptable: - floppy vs. Zip 100, Zip 250?  Emergency back-ups: - overheads - handouts

16 Closure Summary of conclusions Zoom-out (relevance or application of your work) Next steps (if appropriate) Acknowledgements

17 Scientific Talks - Summary 1. Know your audience & their needs 2. Tell them a clear story developing each point upon the previous 3. Show them the evidence (sharp figures) 4. Keep them awake by engaging them 5. Give them great delivery -- prepare, practice & SPEAK-UP! 6. Share your enthusiasm for your work 7. Sell your message with a strong summary of conclusions Most importantly - Have Fun!


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