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Presentations and demos INFO61003 Harold Somers. Overview General remarks Structure and planning Timing Preparation Delivery Visual aids: – Powerpoint.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentations and demos INFO61003 Harold Somers. Overview General remarks Structure and planning Timing Preparation Delivery Visual aids: – Powerpoint."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentations and demos INFO61003 Harold Somers

2 Overview General remarks Structure and planning Timing Preparation Delivery Visual aids: – Powerpoint – Demo Taking questions Conclusions

3 General remarks What are they for? –Listening is easier than reading –People like to be stimulated and entertained What makes a good (bad) presentation? –Imitate good ones, analyse bad ones and avoid their mistakes First impressions count, so the start of the talk is the most important –Set the context with the first slide: “This talk is about...” –The magic trio: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them it, then tell them what you’ve told them

4 Personal factors Try not to be nervous –The audience is on your side: they want to hear a good presentation –Don’t be too worried if you make a mistake; just be honest about it Involve the audience –“Can you hear me?” (joke) –Audience participation: ask questions –Will you take interruptions? Tell them. Judge their understanding by looking at them –But try not to look always at the same person!

5 Personal factors Delivery (see later) Should you tell jokes? –Yes, but they should be spontaneous, and relevant –If you are not naturally witty, don’t try to be How to lose your audience –Misjudging their level of understanding Too high or too low –Being over-confident or under-confident –Giving a bad talk (!) –Talking for too long, too fast

6 Overview General remarks Structure and planning Timing Preparation Delivery Visual aids: – Powerpoint – Demo Taking questions Conclusions

7 Structure and planning People’s attention span is quite short (10 minutes if they’re not fully engaged) –Find ways to refresh it: Change of pace or tone Silly joke Attractive slide Best way to keep people’s attention is to have a clear structure, and to remind them of it (see previous slide)

8 Structure and planning Structure: –10% - 20% Introduction –60% - 80% Main body –10% - 20% Conclusion / summary Be overt about your structure, both on the slides and verbally

9 Planning Top down development –Identify your main headings –Then subheadings –Then fill in the details The three most important things are: –Structure

10 Overview General remarks Structure and planning Timing Preparation Delivery Visual aids: – Powerpoint – Demo Taking questions Conclusions

11 Timing Surprisingly difficult to judge this right Most beginners over-run, though some underestimate the time needed Obviously, have a full run through beforehand, though remember: –Adrenalin will make you talk faster –The audience may slow you down So: plan your talk to last 80% of the allotted time It’s easier to fill in than to hurry

12 Timing What if you are over-running? –Can you talk faster? –Can you skip things? (bad) Whatever you do, don’t plough on regardless In any case, it’s a bad thing to happen Prevent it by –Careful preparation –Keeping an eye on your progress –Don’t dawdle at the start

13 Overview General remarks Structure and planning Timing Preparation Delivery Visual aids: – Powerpoint – Demo Taking questions Conclusions

14 Preparation Don’t underestimate how much time you need to prepare and practice The shorter the talk, the more preparation needed –Why? Practice the talk with another person and/or video it

15 Preparation Check out the venue beforehand Get your presentation installed on the host computer, or have your laptop ready to just plug in –Make sure it works –Have you used any unusual fonts or characters? –Have you used a later version of PPT? Practice the changeover beforehand Be there on time (duh)

16 Overview General remarks Structure and planning Timing Preparation Delivery Visual aids: – Powerpoint – Demo Taking questions Conclusions

17 Delivery –Adrenalin will make you talk faster: SLOW DOWN! –Don’t just read out the slides: have something to say about them –Do you need to work on voice projection? Arrange for there to be amplification if necessary

18 Delivery Watch your body language –What are you doing with your hands? –Keep relatively still... –... though some animation is natural –Find out if you overdo it Don’t block the screen –You may have to move around if the screen is badly placed –Can everyone see? –Not your fault, but apologize to the audience anyway Don’t turn your back –Face the audience, not the screen –Point at the big screen not at your monitor –Use the cursor, or a big stick –Laser pointers?

19 Notes and text Never read aloud from notes or text –Notes are OK, but use them as a guide (I use my slides as my notes) –If you must have notes, use individual numbered cards –They should be NOTES, not the full text of what you want to say –Listening to someone reading is boring –You can’t look at your audience if you are reading –And anyway, speech and text should be different –My advice: don’t write out your speech in full in the first place

20 Overview General remarks Structure and planning Timing Preparation Delivery Visual aids: – Powerpoint – Demo Taking questions Conclusions

21 Slides One per minute for a short talk, one per 3 minutes for a long talk –Though some slides don’t count The information on the slide should complement what you’re saying, not compete with it I won’t say anything about this third bullet point: will you have time to read it and also listen to what I’m saying?

22 Slides Don’t overcrowd the slide –Two or three levels of bullet point –Headings, not full text If you put too much text on the slide you will be tempted to just read it out: the audience can just as easily read the text themselves, so what’s the point? Also too much text on the slide means that the writing will be too small

23 Slides This slide is too bare

24 This slide is too dense A talk with slides is the usual way of presenting scientific results and business plans, so it is important to be familiar with this type of presentation in particular. You need first to decide how many slides you will show. For a short talk I find that one a minute is about right. For a ten minute presentation, I will normally produce ten slides with the most important information on, and another two or three with supporting material. I normally try to anticipate the sorts of questions that people will ask, and prepare supporting slides to illustrate my answers to these questions. Usually I find I don't need all these extra slides, but it doesn't take long to make them. For a one-hour presentation you can take things a bit more slowly; in this case one slide every two or three minutes is probably about right. Of course you should not follow these guidlines dogmatically; if you find you need to show more slides then that's what you should do. If a slide contains complex experimental or statistical results then it will take longer to explain. In this case you may find you can only show a few slides in a ten minute presentation. The trusty old overhead projector is the normal method of showing slides in the academic environment. A common mistake is for the speaker to stand in front of it and obscure the audience's view. Sometimes the projector and screen are deployed so badly that it is impossible to avoid blocking someone's view. If you cannot do anything about this, you should at least apologise for it.

25 Colour schemes There’s a lot of research on colour combinations Generally simple schemes work best: –Dark letters on light background –The opposite may look more exciting, but inverted slides are hard to read if the room is not very dark

26 Colour schemes There’s a lot of research on colour combinations Generally simple schemes work best: –Dark letters on light background –The opposite may look more exciting, but inverted slides are hard to read if the room is not very dark –Dark letters on dark background is a disaster

27 Colour schemes There’s a lot of research on colour combinations Generally simple schemes work best: –Dark letters on light background –The opposite may look more exciting, but inverted slides are hard to read if the room is not very dark –Dark letters on dark background is a disaster

28 Colour schemes There’s a lot of research on colour combinations Generally simple schemes work best: –Dark letters on light background –The opposite may look more exciting, but inverted slides are hard to read if the room is not very dark –Dark letters on dark background is a disaster

29 Colours and fonts Don’t use too many colours –It looks messy –It distracts form what you want to say Same is true of fonts –Simpler fonts are easier to read –Some fonts are OK for headers but not running text

30 Templates Think twice about having fancy backgrounds Is it appropriate? Does it add to or detract from your presentation? Familiarity breeds contempt –Everyone has MS Powerpoint

31 Animations and effects Again, simpler is better Scrolling or wiping is OK Think hard whether you really need it Other effects are distracting Especially whizzing and twirling Whizzing and twirling is distracting Whizzing and twirling is distracting

32 Doing a demo These need very careful planning What do you hope your demo will show? Make sure you explain to the audience –Before the demo, what they are GOING to see –What is happening at each point Integrate your demo into your presentation –Better if you can launch it from within Powerpoint

33 Doing a demo If you need to launch it, do so before the start of the talk, so it is running in the background: –No one wants to watch you loading your program Make sure it works on the platform you are given: try it out beforehand

34 Doing a demo Murphy’s law: If something can go wrong, it will DO a demo if required, but avoid it if you can Back-up: have some screen shots that you can show and talk through if it goes wrong If it is going wrong, just stop: don’t try to fix it

35 Questions Leave time to take questions Questioners usually have one of three purposes –To get you to explain something they didn’t understand –To show off –To put you down

36 Questions To get you to explain something they didn’t understand –Maybe they are stupid –Maybe you didn’t explain it well If you think you already explained it, go back to the relevant slide and try again –But don’t be impatient or patronising

37 Questions If they ask you a question that you can’t answer –Because they are showing off or trying to put you down –Or because it’s a genuinely difficult question Be honest and say you don’t know Thank them for the question Offer to discuss it with them afterwards

38 Conclusions Keep it simple Practice plenty Be prepared Try to be confident –Everyone knows what it’s like to be nervous Assume the audience is on your side

39 Overview General remarks Structure and planning Timing Preparation Delivery Visual aids: – Powerpoint – Demo Taking questions Conclusions


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