3 Contents In today's lecture we’ll discuss giving good presentations Presentation PMIEdward Tufte’s TipsHow to use PowerPoint wellOther presentation tipsDeath by PowerPoint?
4 Presentation PMILet’s do a quick PMI on presentations that you have been atP: What things have people done in presentations that have worked well?M: What things have people done in presentations that have worked badly?I: What interesting things have you seen people do in presentations?
5 Edward Tufte’s Presentation Tips Edward Tufte makes the following suggestions for giving presentations:Show up earlyHave a strong openingWhat's the problem?Who cares?What's your solution?On every subtopic move from the particular to the general and back to the particularGive everyone at least one piece of paperShow up early, and something good is bound to happen. You may have a chance to head off some technical or ergonomic problem. Also, whereas at the end of a talk people are eager to rush off and avoid traffic, at the beginning they filter in slowly. It's a great time to introduce yourself.Have a strong opening. Tufte offers a few ideas for structuring your opening:Never apologize. If you're worried the presentation won't go well, keep it to yourself and give it your best shot. Besides, people are usually too preoccupied with their own problems to notice yours.Open by addressing the following three questions: What's the problem? Who cares? What's your solution? As an alternate but more sophisticated technique, Tufte offers the following anecdote. a high-school mathematics teacher was giving a lecture to an intimidating audience: a group of college math professors. Early in the presentation, the teacher made a mathematical error. The professors immediately noticed and corrected the problem. And for the rest of the lecture, they were leaning forward, paying attention to every word, looking for more errors!PGP: with every subtopic, move from the Particular to the General and back to the Particular. Even though the purpose of a subtopic is to convey the general information, bracing it with particulars is a good way to draw attention and promote retention.Not so much a tip as a law: Give everyone at least one piece of paper. A piece of paper is a record, an artifact from your presentation. People can use that artifact to help recall the details of the presentation, or better yet to tell others about it.Know your audience. This is of course a general piece of advice for public speaking, but Tufte adds his own twist: know your audience by what they read. Knowing what they read tells you what styles of information presentation they are most familiar and comfortable with. Adapting your presentation to those styles will leave fewer barriers to the direct communication of your material.Rethink the overhead. Tufte spent a lot of time explaining why the overhead projector is the worst thing in the world. There's a lot of truth to what he said. Bulleted lists are almost always useless. Slides with bulleted lists are often interchangeable between talks.The audience is sacred. Respect them. Don't condescend by "dumbing down" your lecture. Show them respect by saying what you believe and what you know to be the whole story.Humour is good, but be careful with it. Humour in a presentation works best when it actually drives the presentation forward. If you find you're using canned jokes that don't depend on the context of the presentation, eliminate them. Also, be very careful about jokes that put down a class of people. If you're going to alienate your audience, do it on the merits of your content.Avoid masculine (or even feminine!) pronouns as universals. It can be a nuisance to half the audience. As universals, use the plural "they". The Oxford English Dictionary has allowed "they" as a gender neutral singular pronoun for years.Take care with questions. Many people judge the quality of your talk not by the twenty minutes of presentation, but on the thirty seconds you spend answering their question. Be sure to allow long pauses for questions. Ten seconds may seem like a long pause when you're at the front of the room, but it flows naturally from the audience's point of view.Let people know you believe your material. Speak with conviction. Believing your subject matter is one of the best ways to speak more effectively!Finish early, and something good is almost bound to happen. If nothing else, people will be able to leave early, and suddenly they'll have an extra couple of minutes to do things they didn't think they'd get to. People will really like you if you do that.Practice. Practice over and over and over. If you can, record your presentation. Play it back and watch yourself. You'll discover a thousand horrible, horrible things you never knew about yourself. Now watch it again without the sound. Why are your hands flying around like that? Now listen to it without the picture. Get rid of those ums! Now watch it at twice the normal speed. This emphasizes low-frequency cycles in your gestures.The two most dehydrating things you can do in modern civilization are live presentations and air travel. In both, the way to stay sharp is to drink lots of water. Take care of your body, especially your voice. If possible, avoid alcohol too.
6 Edward Tufte’s Presentation Tips (cont…) Know your audienceRethink the overheadThe audience is sacredHumour is goodAvoid masculine (or even feminine!) pronouns as universalsThey has been accepted by the Oxford English Dictionary for yearsTake care with questionsLet people know you believe your material
7 Edward Tufte’s Presentation Tips (cont…) Finish earlyDrink lots of waterHave a strong conclusionThink about all presentation possibilitiesPractice, practice, practiceFilm your presentationPlay it back and watch yourselfWatch it without the soundListen to it without the pictureHave your first couple of lines rehearsed
8 PowerPoint Done Well Tips for good PowerPoint presentations Include only necessary informationAvoid long paragraphs of textDon’t overcrowd the presentationDon’t forget to spell checkDon’t be afraid to use pictures – but be careful of overused clip-artBe consistent with formattingHave a backup planRemember slides are not the same as notes
9 PowerPoint Tips: Colours & Fonts Limit the number of coloursUse contrasting colours for background and textTry to think about accessibilityFont:Always use size 20 or biggerLarger font may be used for emphasisSomebody who is colour blind won’t be able to read this!
10 PowerPoint Tips: Colours & Fonts (cont…) Using too small font is impossible to readCAPITALIZE ONLY WHEN NECESSARYDon’t use complicated fontsUsing a font colour that does not contrast with the background colour is hard to readUsing a different colour for each point is unnecessaryUsing a different colour for secondary points is also unnecessaryTrying to be creative can also be bad
11 PowerPoint: Colours & Fonts (cont…) Avoid backgrounds that are distracting or difficult to read fromAlways be consistent with the background that you use
12 PowerPoint Tips: Animation Using animation in PowerPoint is almost always a bad idea!It just confuses people and makes your slides take forever to appearAlso you spend all of your time pressing the next slide buttonSo don’t do it!Except when it adds to the clarity of your presentation
13 Oral Presentation Tips Some tips for oral presentations:Body language is importantSpeak loudly and clearlyTry to put some feeling into your voiceDo not read from notesMaintain eye contact with your audienceSpeak to your audienceDon’t be afraid to take a pauseDon’t be afraid to correct yourself
14 Handling QuestionsQuestions at the end are just about the most important part of a presentationRepeat the question to the audienceRestate or ask for clarification if necessaryRequest that questions are asked during the talk or afterwardsAvoid prolonged one-to-one discussionsIf you can’t answer a question, just say soHave a dedicated questions slide
15 ConclusionThe most important things to remember when giving presentations are:Think about your audienceThink about your objectiveThink carefully about visual aides (slides)Speak confidently, clearly and to the audiencePRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE