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September1999 October 1999 Giving Effective Presentations Marie desJardins CMSC 691B February 20, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "September1999 October 1999 Giving Effective Presentations Marie desJardins CMSC 691B February 20, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 September1999 October 1999 Giving Effective Presentations Marie desJardins CMSC 691B February 20, 2006

2 September1999 October /20/06 2 Sources u Robert L. Peters, Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning a Master’s or Ph.D. (Revised Edition). NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, u Justin Zobel, Writing for Computer Science: The Art of Effective Communication, 2/e. London: Springer-Verlag, u Mark D. Hill, “Oral presentation advice” u Simon L. Peyton Jones, John Hughes, and John Launchbury, “How to give a good research talk” u Patrick Winston, “Some lecturing heuristics” u Dave Patterson, “How to have a bad career in research/academia”

3 September1999 October /20/06 3 Outline u Rules for presentations u General guidelines for preparing talks u Paper presentation guidelines for this class

4 September1999 October 1999 Rules for Presentations

5 September1999 October /20/06 5 Rule u Know what on earth you’re doing up there! u Rule #2: Know what you want to say u Rule #3: Know your audience u Rule #4: Know how long you have

6 September1999 October /20/06 6 Rule #2: Know What You Want to Say u Just giving a project summary is not interesting to most people u You should give enough detail to get your interesting ideas across (and to show that you’ve actually solved the problem), but not enough to lose your audience u They want to hear what you did that was cool and why they should care u Preferably, they’ll hear the above two points at the beginning of the talk, over the course of the talk, and at the end of the talk u If they’re intrigued, they’ll ask questions or read your paper u Whatever you do, don’t just read your slides!

7 September1999 October /20/06 7 Rule #3: Know Your Audience u Don’t waste time on basics if you’re talking to an audience in your field u Even for these people, you need to be sure you’re explaining each new concept clearly u On the other hand, you’ll lose people in a general audience if you don’t give the necessary background u In any case, the most important thing is to emphasize what you’ve done and why they should care!

8 September1999 October /20/06 8 Rule #4: Know How Long You Have u How long is the talk? Are questions included? u A good heuristic is 2-3 minutes per slide u If you have too many slides, you’ll skip some or— worse—rush desperately to finish. Avoid this temptation!! u Almost by definition, you never have time to say everything about your topic, so don’t worry about skipping some things! u Unless you’re very experienced giving talks, you should practice your timing:  A couple of times on your own to get the general flow  At least one dry run to work out the kinks  A run-through on your own the night before the talk

9 September1999 October /20/06 9 Comments on Zobel / Peters u Zobel recommends one minute per slide  Unless you have VERY little information on each slide, this is a racing speed u Peters recommends writing out your presentation, word for word  This is a very bad idea for most people, and will lead to extremely stilted delivery  The only alternative, if you’re not an experienced public speaker, is to PRACTICE

10 September1999 October 1999 General Presentation Guidelines

11 September1999 October /20/06 11 Organizing a Talk u Talks are linear:  Your audience can’t flip back to see what you said last  They can’t use the section headers as a guideline  → Help them keep track of where you are in the talk  → Don’t try to cover as much ground as you would in a technical paper u Give an overview (& use it throughout) u Start with a slide or two on key ideas/contributions u Give a high-level summary (or simple example) before you dive down into (not too many) details u Recap at the end

12 September1999 October /20/06 12 Slideology 101 u Don’t just read your slides! u Use the minimum amount of text necessary u Use examples u Use a readable, simple, yet elegant format u Use color to emphasize important points, but avoid the excessive use of color u “Hiding” bullets like this is annoying (but sometimes effective), but… u Don’t fidget, and… u Don’t just read your slides! Abuseofanimationisacardinalsin!

13 September1999 October /20/06 13 How to Give a Bad Talk Advice from Dave Patterson, summarized by Mark Hill 1. Thou shalt not be neat 2. Thou shalt not waste space 3. Thou shalt not covet brevity 4. Thou shalt cover thy naked slides 5. Thou shalt not write large 6. Thou shalt not use color 7. Thou shalt not illustrate 8. Thou shalt not make eye contact 9. Thou shalt not skip slides in a long talk 10. Thou shalt not practice

14 September1999 October /20/06 14 Handling Questions u Questions during the talk:  If your presentation will answer the question later, say so and move on  If your presentation won’t answer the question, either: n Give a brief answer n Defer the question to the end of the talk u Make sure you understand the question before answering it  Ask for clarification if you need it  Restate the question, and ask whether you’ve gotten it right u Have backup slides for questions you can anticipate (but don’t have time for in the main presentation)

15 September1999 October 1999 Paper Summary Presentations

16 September1999 October /20/06 16 Goals of Paper Presentations u Convey why this is an important and/or interesting problem u Review key ideas in the paper u Convey why this is an important and/or interesting approach u Critique the work u Stimulate discussion

17 September1999 October /20/06 17 Paper Summary Presentations u Content: You should provide a well organized presentation of the key contributions and important ideas in the paper. u Timing: You should aim for a 12-minute presentation.  This works out to (roughly) six to eight slides – no more!  As in a real talk, you will get 5-minute, 2-minute, and time’s-up warnings from the session chair.  I will cut you off if you go too long!  There will be five minutes afterwards for questions. u Audience: Your audience consists of computer science graduate students. (I don’t count.)  Some are in your field, some are not  Most will not have read the paper (at least not in depth)  You can’t assume a lot of existing knowledge  On the other hand, you only have twelve minutes! Be selective!

18 September1999 October /20/06 18 Summary Presentation Content u Just as when writing a paper on your own work:  Describe the problem  Starting with a simple example can be very helpful  Explain why it’s important (or at least why they think it’s important)  State how the authors solved the problem at an appropriate level of detail  Tell what explicit and implicit claims the authors make  Describe the authors’ experimental and/or analytical evidence for these claims (and indicate whether you think the evidence is sufficient to support the claims)  Stimulate discussion by pointing out interesting aspects of the approach, flaws, limitations/assumptions, open questions,...

19 September1999 October /20/06 19 Giving the Presentation u PowerPoint slides are fine, but not required u Draft slides can be sent to me* for review, if you want feedback beforehand u Feel free to use the whiteboard, especially to work through an example u Practice your presentation, even if it’s just to yourself, to make sure your timing is correct u As with written summaries, leave out details that you don’t have time to explain u Be prepared to fill in the missing details during the discussion session if you are asked questions! * Draft slides must be sent at least 24 hours before your talk

20 September1999 October /20/06 20 Grading and Feedback u Students are required to fill out a short feedback form for each presentation u You will receive these forms u I will also give you written feedback u Your grade will be based on:  Your level of preparation  The clarity of your presentation  The timing of your presentation  Other students’ evaluation of your presentation  The ensuing discussion


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