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Published byJonathan O'Grady Modified over 3 years ago

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**Using Powerpoint Effectively for Ecological Talks**

Charles J. Krebs University of Canberra and University of British Columbia

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Disclaimer These are my personal ideas about effective communication by the use of Microsoft Powerpoint You may agree or disagree with all of them as you like The key point is to think carefully about what you present

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Rule # 1 Giving a talk is difficult - it becomes much easier after you have given 100 talks - so do not worry if you are nervous

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Rule # 2 Outline the problem clearly for those less familiar with the area of research - this should be done in 1-2 slides

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Rule # 3 Adhere to the 1-minute rule - each slide should be on the screen for about 1 minute - do not jump to the next slide too quickly or too slowly

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Rule # 4 Avoid too much detail - Methods should be brief, people are more interested in Results - people will remember at most 2 or 3 points in your talk - KISS (keep-it-simple…..)

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Rule # 5 Use colour but not excessively - do not use photos as a background - make graphs colourful and clear

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Rule # 6 Use phrases rather than complete sentences (dot-points) - if you have more than 20 words on a slide you should revise it - never have more than 30 words on a slide - (this slide has 31 words…..)

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Rule # 7 Avoid statistical clutter - never give p-values or F-values or other boring statistics – the audience is interested in ECOLOGY - always use confidence limits or standard errors on graphs

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Rule # 8 Use clever graphics - label the axes - always give the units of measure - never have more than one graph on a slide - give the audience time to read the graph labels

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Rule # 9 Use large fonts not small fonts - avoid wild colour schemes - do not normally give many references in an oral presentation - do not normally read what is on the slide (most people can read faster than you talk….)

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Rule # 10 Provide a good, simple summary - what is the problem ? - what did you find out ? - what needs to be done next ? - what do you wish the audience to remember ?

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