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Academic Presentation Skills

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Presentation on theme: "Academic Presentation Skills"— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic Presentation Skills
16 November 2011 Sources: Comfort, Jeremy Effective Presentations. Oxford University Press, Sweeney, Simon English Business Communication. Cambridge University Press and [accessed ]. Decker Communications

2 Contents Before the presentation The structure Introduction Main body
Conclusion Bad manners Slides – some tips Outlines Slide Structure Fonts Color Background Graphs Spelling and Grammar Conclusions Questions In conclusion

3 Before the presentation
Audience What are their expectations What do they know  knowledge of your field How many to expect to be present Questions and discussion Clear objective Your knowledge of the field Presentation technique What to include Length and depth Number of key ideas

4 Before the presentation 2
Structure Sequence (introduction, main body, conclusion) Repetition, summarizing Delivery Style (formal / informal; enthusiasm / confidence) Voice (variety, speed, pauses, emphasis) Body language (eye contact, gesture/ movement, posture) Language: simple and clear, sentence length, structure signals

5 Before the presentation 3
Visual aids Type / design / clarity; Relevance to the topic Check spelling Simple and clear Practice Time yourself Use a tape recorder Script or notes? Check equipment beforehand (if possible)

6 The structure: introduction 1
Have a strong introduction to your presentation Give your audience a reason for listening Do not start with crucial information  your listeners might not be ”tuned in” yet

7 The structure: introduction 2
Points in your introduction: A greeting Your name and position The title of your presentation / your objective (make sure your title is informative) The purpose of your presentation The main parts or points to be covered

8 The structure: main body
Main body of the presentation Organize your main points in a logical order; the way you do it can differ Choose 2-4 main points, which you can divide into smaller sections of information Link your ideas by using linking words and phrases

9 The structure: conclusion
Summarize your key points Conclude your presentation with a dramatic statement or a recommendation, do not just trail off Distribute support information if needed Invite and anticipate questions; be ready to answer them Thank the audience

10 Bad manners If your presentation lacks structure, you haven’t practiced and show poor slides, the audience won’t understand you and will become impatient with you Do not read directly from your papers or your slides Do not turn your back to the audience

11 Slides – some tips Outlines Slide Structure Fonts Color Background
Visuals Spelling and Grammar Conclusions Questions

12 Outline Make your 1st or 2nd slide an outline of your presentation
Example: previous slide Follow the order of your outline for the rest of the presentation Only place main points on the outline slide Example: Use the titles of each slide as main points

13 Slide structure - good Use 1-2 slides per minute of your presentation
Write in point form, not complete sentences Include 4-5 points per slide Avoid wordiness: use key words and phrases only

14 Slide structure - bad This page contains too many words for a presentation slide. It is not written in point form, making it difficult both for your audience to read and for you to present each point. Although there are exactly the same number of points on this slide as the previous slide, it looks much more complicated. In short, your audience will spend too much time trying to read this paragraph instead of listening to you.

15 Slide structure - good Show one point at a time:
Will help audience concentrate on what you are saying Will prevent audience from reading ahead Will help you keep your presentation focused

16 Slide structure - bad Do not use distracting animation
Do not go overboard with the animation Be consistent with the animation that you use

17 Fonts – good Use at least an 18-point font
Use different size fonts for main points and secondary points this font is 24-point, the main point font is 28-point, and the title font is 42-point Use a standard font like Times New Roman, Tahoma or Arial

If you use a small font, your audience won’t be able to read what you have written CAPITALIZE ONLY WHEN NECESSARY. IT IS DIFFICULT TO READ Don’t use a complicated font

19 Color - good Use a colour of font that contrasts sharply with the background Ex: blue font on white background Use colour to reinforce the logic of your structure Ex: light blue title and dark blue text Use colour to emphasize a point But only use this occasionally

20 Color – bad Using a font colour that does not contrast with the background colour is hard to read Using colour for decoration is distracting and annoying. Using a different colour for each point is unnecessary Using a different colour for secondary points is also unnecessary Trying to be creative can also be bad

21 Background - good Use backgrounds that are attractive but simple
Use backgrounds which are light Use the same background consistently throughout your presentation

22 Background – bad Avoid backgrounds that are distracting or difficult to read from Always be consistent with the background that you use

23 Graphs – good Use graphs rather than just charts and words
Data in graphs is easier to comprehend and retain than raw data Trends are easier to visualize in graph form Always title your graphs

24 Graphs - good

25 Graphs – bad

26 Graphs - bad

27 Graphs – bad Minor gridlines are unnecessary Font is too small
Colours are illogical Title is missing Shading is distracting

28 Spelling and grammar Proof your slides for: speling mistakes
the use of of repeated words grammatical errors you might have make Have someone else check your presentation, if you cannot see your own mistakes!

29 How we take information

30 Therefore…… There are some important conclusions that we can take in from this information: Use visuals (pictures, graphs, tables, props) whenever you can In a speech you are only using 38% of the communication medium Ditch the bullet points 

31 Achieving your objectives

32 Conclusion Use an effective and strong closing
Your audience is likely to remember your last words Use a conclusion slide to: Summarize the main points of your presentation Suggest future avenues of research

33 Questions ?? End your presentation with a simple question slide to:
Provide a visual aid during question period Avoid ending a presentation abruptly

34 In conclusion Prepare yourself well (both your oral part and your visuals) Practice out loud  that is the only way to check how long your presentation will last (trust me) If you experience stage fright  relax, breathe deep and remember that you are not alone!

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