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1 How to present scientific information, supported by slides? Paul Nieuwenhuysen Vrije Universiteit Brussel Information and Library Science, University.

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Presentation on theme: "1 How to present scientific information, supported by slides? Paul Nieuwenhuysen Vrije Universiteit Brussel Information and Library Science, University."— Presentation transcript:

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2 1 How to present scientific information, supported by slides? Paul Nieuwenhuysen Vrije Universiteit Brussel Information and Library Science, University of Antwerp(en), Belgium Lectures presented in universities in Linfen and in Ningbo, China, March These slides are available from

3 2 Contents / summary of this presentation 1.Why is presenting information important? 2.Pictures on computers 3.Guidelines for developers of presentations 4.Creating charts 5.Presentation software

4 3 Why is presenting information important? **** How to present scientific information, supported by slides?

5 4 Why is presenting information important? **** Presenting scientific information to a live audience can be important, for instance »in teaching / education / training of students »in showing new results of scientific research »in making a research project proposal Therefore, the capability to create an attractive, high- quality presentation is a useful skill for any scientist and teacher/educator.

6 5 **** Pictures on computers

7 6 Why learn the basics of pictures on computers? **** Pictures / graphics / images are often inserted in »word processing documents »presentations with slides »web pages So it is interesting to know how to acquire and improve pictures. As documents are more and more made available through the Internet, it is important to make the file sizes small while preserving an appropriate image/picture quality.

8 7 How to obtain computer files with images/pictures? **** from the collection of clip art delivered with the software to create presentations from printed material (by scanning) from the WWW or an intranet (by saving to disk) by making photographs yourself …

9 8 How to create digital photographs for use on computers? To obtain digitized photos to insert in your presentation file, you can »use a classical, chemical camera and digitize the results, —by scanning the printed photo by using a page scanner —by using a specialized scanner to scan the photo film —by using the Kodak PhotoCD service through a good photo shop »use directly a digital camera ***-

10 9 Software suitable to edit image files, produced by Microsoft: examples The drawing module that is available to all application programs in the suite Microsoft Office 97, 2000, 2002=XP… The drawing module that is available to all application programs in the suite Microsoft Office XP (2002) Microsoft PhotoEditor (part of Microsoft Office 97) Microsoft PhotoDraw 2000 NOT suitable to create appropriately compressed files saving in PowerPoint XP with Tools | Compress pictures allows appropriate compression suitable to create JPG files, but an obsolete program suitable to create JPG files; easy to use program **--Examples

11 10 Software suitable to edit image files, independent of Microsoft: examples JASC PaintShop Corel PhotoPaint Adobe PhotoShop ! Adobe PhotoShop Elements suitable to create JPG files; shareware suitable to create JPG files; commercial software suitable to create JPG files; powerful, expensive, and complicated program suitable to create JPG files; powerful program, much cheaper than PhotoShop ***-Examples

12 11 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? ***- Which program will YOU use to improve your digitized photos?

13 12 Creating pictures on computer for printing (1) Scanning or PhotoCD or digital photography Save (lossless) as a (big) master file (for instance in TIFF format)  ***-

14 13 Creating pictures on computer for printing (2) Use a graphics program and if required: 1. rotate, 2. crop, 3. adjust simply the brightness and contrast (or adjust dark and light levels using the more complicated manual histogram method) (Do NOT decrease size, to keep high quality) Sharpen (if appropriate) (always as last step) Save (lossless) (for instance in TIFF format) Print ***-

15 14 Creating pictures on computer for a presentation or web (1) Scanning or PhotoCD or digital photography Save (lossless) as a big master file (for instance in TIFF format)  ***-

16 15 Creating pictures on computer for a presentation or web (2) Use a graphics program and if required: 1. rotate, 2. crop, 3. adjust simply the brightness and contrast (or adjust dark and light levels using the histogram method) 4. resize/resample 5. Sharpen (if appropriate) (always as last step) 6. Save (lossless) (for instance in TIFF format) 7. Save as JPEG file at an appropriate level of quality or as a GIF file ***-

17 16 Creating pictures on computer for a presentation or web (3) Finally: Insert in a slide or in a web page ***-

18 17 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? ***- What is an important difference between creating pictures on computer for printing for a presentation or for a web What is an important difference between creating pictures on computer for printing for a presentation or for a web

19 18 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? ***- Use a raw picture (a photograph) to include it in a presentation or a web. Edit this and resize this, so that the resulting picture covers a complete typical projection screen. (See the example that follows.) Use a raw picture (a photograph) to include it in a presentation or a web. Edit this and resize this, so that the resulting picture covers a complete typical projection screen. (See the example that follows.)

20 19

21 20 Developing web documents: guidelines related to graphics File formats used mostly on a web are GIF, JPG, PNG, because the common browsers include viewers for the file formats. For each image/picture, use an appropriate graphics file format. Graphics/images/pictures take long to download. To speed things up, compress JPG (or PNG) files to make them as small as possible, while preserving an appropriate quality. ***-

22 21 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? For which applications is the GIF file format appropriate? For which applications is the JPEG/JPG file format appropriate? For which applications is the GIF file format appropriate? For which applications is the JPEG/JPG file format appropriate? ***-

23 22 PNG more more - Graphics formats for bitmap pictures: a comparison Maximum number »of colours in one image  of bits per pixel Compression of file size without loss of quality Maximum no. of pixels per image Multiple images in 1 file Animation is possible GIF LZW + (but colours can be lost) x JPG 256*256*256 = JPEG x **-- BMP RLE 256*256*256 = RLE x TIF 256*256*256 = more +

24 23 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? ***- Which programs do you know and which program do you use to save images as JPEG/JPG files?

25 24 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? **-- Select or create an appropriate photograph bitmap file. Save this file as a JPEG file under a different name. Repeat this at about 3 very different levels of compression and thus of image quality (always starting from the appropriate original photo file, because JPEG is a final storage format). Load all the resulting photo files in a program to edit such files; zoom in to 400% for instance; use tiling to display the photo files simultaneously on the screen; compare their quality. Determine also the file size of each photo file. Decide finally which compression level is appropriate or your aims. Select or create an appropriate photograph bitmap file. Save this file as a JPEG file under a different name. Repeat this at about 3 very different levels of compression and thus of image quality (always starting from the appropriate original photo file, because JPEG is a final storage format). Load all the resulting photo files in a program to edit such files; zoom in to 400% for instance; use tiling to display the photo files simultaneously on the screen; compare their quality. Determine also the file size of each photo file. Decide finally which compression level is appropriate or your aims.

26 25 Maximum number of colours displayed by computers: introduction The number of colours (including shades of a colour also) that can be displayed simultaneously on a computer screen/display is limited. This limitation is primarily caused by the limitations of the video/graphics card used by your computer. **--

27 26 Maximum number of colours displayed by computers: examples Examples of limitations / maximum number of colours on a computer display: »8-bit = 2**8 = 256 typical for older systems »16-bit = 2**16 = = “thousands of colors” = “High Color” »24-bit = 2**24 = (2**8)*(2**8)*(2**8) = 256*256*256 =“True Color” »32-bit = 2**32 **--

28 27 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? What is the maximum number of colours that your computer can display simultaneously with the appropriate settings of the software? (If you do not know, then check it with the software for the display settings.) What is the maximum number of colours that your computer can display simultaneously with the appropriate settings of the software? (If you do not know, then check it with the software for the display settings.) **--

29 28 Maximum number of colours displayed by computers: consequences The computer system that is asked to display a graphics file with more colours than can be displayed simultaneously by the system will »dither the image to display it with less colours »shift colours to nearby colours that the system can display The result will depend on »the type of computer, and on »the particular application software that is used to display the file. **--

30 29 How to present scientific information, supported by slides? Introduction and general guidelines for developers of presentations ***-

31 30 Media for presentation: overview Overhead projection of transparencies Slide shows (using classical, hard copy 35 mm slides) Direct computer-controlled projection... ***-

32 31 Media for presentation: transparencies There are various types of plastic transparencies for overhead projection: For writing with suitable pencils For Xerox machines (can resist the heat in the machine) For laser printers (can resist the heat in the machine) For ink-jet printers (ink sticks well on the rough side; see that the printer prints on the suitable, rough side!) Price goes up! ***-

33 32 Planning an oral presentation: a brief check list (Part 1) What is the aim of the presentation? What are my main points? What are my sub-points? What is my conclusion? What is the summary? Which questions from the audience can I expect and which answers should I give? ***-

34 33 Planning an oral presentation: a brief check list (Part 2) Who will be my audience? What size will be my audience? Which kind of visual aids will be useful? What handouts will be useful? Which is the appropriate language and terminology for my audience? Where will I do the presentation? ***-

35 34 Planning an oral presentation: a brief check list (Part 3) Will the following be available in the room: »a whiteboard, »a flipchart, »an overhead projector, »a slide projector, »equipment for projection directly from a computer… ? Can the room be darkened well enough for projection? Be totally familiar with your introduction. ***-

36 35 Planning an oral presentation: a brief check list (Part 4) Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse… Test also on the pc that you will actually use in the real presentation (when this is not your own pc) to avoid »wrong fonts »slides that do not show up »lost images »images that are not animated… ***-

37 36 Software packages that are useful for presentations To create transparencies: »(Word processing programs) »Presentation software packages! To create hard-copy slides: »Presentation software packages! For direct computer-controlled projections: »(Word processing programs) »(Hypertext editors + WWW browsers) »Presentation software packages! ***-

38 37 Some tips for developers of presentation slides: readability (1) Keep texts short. Use less than 10 lines of texts on a slide, because people hate reading long texts and listening at the same time. Use maximum 3 levels of headings per slide. »Like this heading at level 2 for instance —And like this and the next heading at level 3 —This is just another example ***-

39 38 Some tips for developers of presentation slides: readability (2) Use bullets to start each item in a text list; use a contrasting colour for the bullets if possible. Create your slides so that they are well readable even when printed or copied »smaller and »in black and white only. ***-

40 39 Some tips for developers of presentation slides: typography (1) Use fonts that are present on most computers, so that the slides can also be shown with the right, appropriate, correct fonts, using the fonts on almost any computer. Use large characters, so that the people in the back of the room can also read your message. ***-

41 40 Some tips for developers of presentation slides: typography (2) Bold text is better readable in slides than normal text. (This is certainly so in the case of light characters or lines on a dark background.) Avoid a lot of italic text, because it is less well readable. Use maximum 2 fonts per slide. ***-

42 41 Some tips for developers of presentation slides: contrast Foreground and background colours need high contrast for visibility. ***-

43 42 Some tips for developers of presentation slides: contrast demo ***-Examples Light characters on a very dark background Light, bold characters on a very dark background Light characters on a light background Light, bold characters on a light background Dark characters on a very light background Dark, bold characters on a very light background

44 43 Some tips for developers of presentation slides: tables Use tables whenever possible, for instance when comparing systems. Use small tables; avoid detailed, big tables with small characters and numbers, because nobody will be able to read them. ***-

45 44 Some tips for developers of presentation slides: enhancements Instead of text, try to use whenever possible: »flow charts, »schemes, »charts (pie charts or others), »pictograms such as arrows to indicate a sequence, and  ***-

46 45 Some tips for developers of presentation slides: titles Make the title stand out clearly from the body text lines. Do not use the same title on several slides, because this may confuse your audience. Instead, use »variations »or subtitles »or insert terms like “continued” or “cont.” or “part 1” / “part 2” / … ***-

47 46 Some tips for developers of presentation slides: the final slide Use the last slide well, for example: »To repeat an important message or address »To thank the audience »To ask for something (for instance: a participation or a contribution or an approval or a comment) In other words: do NOT show an empty or meaningless or confusing or distracting screen during the final part of your presentation. ***-

48 47 Thank you for your attention! Do you have any questions?

49 48 Presentation software Creating charts ***-

50 49 Tips for developers of charts: programs to create charts A chart can be inserted for instance »in a document created with Microsoft Word using Insert | Object | … »in a slide created with Microsoft PowerPoint using Insert | Chart ***-

51 50 Tips for developers of charts: type of chart Use a well suited type of chart to show your numerical data. For instance: Use pie charts to show proportion, such as market share. ***-

52 51 Tips for developers of charts: 2 versus 3 dimensions Use simple 2-dimensional charts instead of more complicated 3-dimensional charts, if possible. ***-

53 52 Tips for developers of charts: bar chart or line chart? Make a good choice between line and bar charts, when you want to represent a change over time. ***- OR ?

54 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? Prepare the creation of a slide, using a simple sheet of paper and colour pens or pencils: the slide should present 1 chart/graph that shows both the average temperature at noon and the average rainfall/precipitation for the 12 months of the year, for the place where you live. (In this exercise, not the exact data are important, but the way they are presented.) ***- 53

55 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? Create a slide using some computer program, with 1 chart/graph that shows both the average temperature at noon and the rainfall/precipitation for the 12 months of the year, for the place where you live. (In this exercise, not the exact data are important, but the way they are presented.) ***- 54

56 !? Task !? Problem !? Improve the readability and impact of a chart that you make, for instance by choosing appropriate colours for lines and characters, by choosing related colours for related lines and characters, by choosing appropriate colours for the background, by adding symbolic icons, by smoothing line charts (when the individual data points are not important while they may make your message less direct and strong) Improve the readability and impact of a chart that you make, for instance by choosing appropriate colours for lines and characters, by choosing related colours for related lines and characters, by choosing appropriate colours for the background, by adding symbolic icons, by smoothing line charts (when the individual data points are not important while they may make your message less direct and strong) ***- 55

57 56 Presentation software Specialized presentation software ***-

58 57 Presentation software packages for Windows Presentation software strictu sensu: (Harvard Graphics) Lotus Freelance (part of the Lotus Office software suite) Microsoft PowerPoint 95, 97, 2000, XP= (part of the Microsoft Office 95, 97, 2000, XP=2002 … software suites) The program for presentation development in the office software suit by Sun, which is available free of charge. ***- Examples

59 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? When you prepare a slide show, move to slide sorter view and copy a slide to another place in the show as the basis for an additional slide. ***- 58

60 59 Presentation software packages: learning to use them Ways to learn using presentation software: computer-assisted introduction / tutorial / instruction coming with the software package!! in-context hypertext help built into the software package! books or chapters of books, about the software package manual and documentation for the software package … ***-

61 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? Have a look at the computer-based tutorial for the presentation software that you will use. For instance a tutorial about PowerPoint is available from a tutorial about PowerPoint is available from (in the form of a PowerPoint show file), Have a look at the computer-based tutorial for the presentation software that you will use. For instance a tutorial about PowerPoint is available from a tutorial about PowerPoint is available from (in the form of a PowerPoint show file), ***- 60

62 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? If you are not satisfied with other methods to learn PowerPoint, you can have a look at a tutorial about PowerPoint that is available free of charge through the WWW: If you are not satisfied with other methods to learn PowerPoint, you can have a look at a tutorial about PowerPoint that is available free of charge through the WWW: ***- 61

63 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? If you are not satisfied with other methods to learn PowerPoint, you can study a book such as How to use Microsoft PowerPoint (Visually in full colour) by Daffron, Susan C. Indianapolis : SAMS, 1999, 290 pp. If you are not satisfied with other methods to learn PowerPoint, you can study a book such as How to use Microsoft PowerPoint (Visually in full colour) by Daffron, Susan C. Indianapolis : SAMS, 1999, 290 pp. ***- 62

64 63 Tips for developers of presentation slides: icons and logos Try to insert a logo or small image (icon) on each of your slides, that symbolizes / summarizes the contents of the presentation. Insert a logo at least in your title slide. Note: use an existing, official logo as it is; in other words: do not change its colours, shape… ***-

65 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? Learn to select clip art and to insert it in a slide. ***- 64

66 65 Tips for developers of slides: frames Avoid unnecessary frames/borders on the slide, even when these are suggested by the program that you use, because the border of the slide already serves as a frame for your message. ***-

67 66 Tips for developers of slides: frames demo This slide shows/demonstrates that a frame on a slide eats up space that cannot be used anymore to show your message and text. ***-

68 67 Tips for developers of slides: images Use images or photos instead of text, or together with text, whenever possible. ***-

69 68 Tips for developers of slides: image example Example of a photo + text in a suitable colour, inserted in a slide: ***-Example Fishes on the market

70 69 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? **-- Select a digital photograph. Crop it. Improve its quality. Save it as a file and insert in a presentation. Select a digital photograph. Crop it. Improve its quality. Save it as a file and insert in a presentation.

71 70 Tips for developers of slides: templates for slides = slide masters Try to avoid modifying the formatting of each individual slide in a presentation. Better: improve the template slide = slide master, on which your presentation is based Advantages: »Less work for you »More uniform / consistent formatting (Tip: Keep / save the improved template / master slide, as a template file, so that it will be available for other, future presentations to be made.) ***-

72 71 Tips for developers of slides: working with a slide master Choose an appropriate slide master. Improve further the layout of that slide master if required in View | Master | … (Do NOT edit the contents of your slides in this view.) Edit the contents of your slides in View | Normal. (Avoid editing the layout of your slides in this view.) ***- Slide show !

73 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? Get some experience with switching from normal slide view to viewing the master slide. ***- 72

74 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? Get some experience with editing the master slide. ***- 73

75 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? When you prepare a slide show, switch to slide view and try to find or create a better template = master slide, for your presentation. ***- 74

76 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using -- light characters on a dark background -- dark characters on a light background What are the advantages and disadvantages of using -- light characters on a dark background -- dark characters on a light background ***- 75

77 76 Tips for developers of slides: motion and transitions Effects are possible: »Motions / animations can be added to the contents of a slide. »Transitions from one slide to the next can be animated. »A sound can be added to a slide transition. Keep all these effects to a minimum; use them efficiently and effectively only. ***-

78 Example of a poor-design- slide ***-Example 77 The slide title is not placed well. There is not enough space in front of the text on this slide. There is no logo on this slide. Animation effects can be distracting! There is no margin on 1 side of this slide, so that text falls off this slide. This following lines can be improved: »This line is in a different colour, without reason. »This line does not end with a full stop, but all other lines do »The character font in this line is different, without reason. »Italic text is not well readable in this line.

79 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? When you have created a slide show, print an audience handout for every person in your audience. **-- 78

80 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? What is the difference between the file formats created by Microsoft PowerPoint, that have the file name extensions.PPT and.PPS? **-- 79

81 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? Activate a.PPT file directly from the operating system (NOT using the program Microsoft PowerPoint) Do the same for a.PPS file. Observe the difference. Activate a.PPT file directly from the operating system (NOT using the program Microsoft PowerPoint) Do the same for a.PPS file. Observe the difference. **-- 80

82 !? Exercise !? Task !? Problem !? Practice using a.PPS file for your presentation. (That is better than starting your presentation in editing mode with a.PPT file.) **-- 81

83 !? Question !? Task !? Problem !? Test the projection from the computer that you will use for your presentation. Match the resolution on your computer with that of the projector. In case of a notebook pc: learn about the key combinations that trigger the projection in the particular pc that you use. Test the projection from the computer that you will use for your presentation. Match the resolution on your computer with that of the projector. In case of a notebook pc: learn about the key combinations that trigger the projection in the particular pc that you use. ***- 82

84 83 Thank you Anymore questions? The slides are available through the WWW from


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