How to give a good presentation [part II]

After my previous post (here) I want to share some more tips about how to give a good presentation. As mentioned in the previous post, you can find many pages discussing this topic. This time, I am going for a short list of small tips that I think are somehow complementary to the ones you can usually find around.

  1. Put page numbers in your slides. It is much easier to ask “can you go back to slide X?” rather than “Can you go back? One more, one more, one more… OK here!”
  2. Do not hide. Make yourself visible and audible.
  3. Do not stay in the middle, do not cover parts of the projected slides, make sure everyone can see and hear you.
  4. If possible, check the place where you will present. Does the projector work? Do the colors of your presentation look good with the projector you are going to use? Can you point with your finger or do you need a stick or laser pointer?
  5. Look at the people, try to make eye contact, still being “polite”… if someone wishes to do something else, don’t make him/her feel uncomfortable by staring continuously at him/her.
  6. If possible, try to use a set of colors that are easily distinguishable by color-blind people. Also, in your graphs, use different markers (together with different colors) to help people distinguish between different lines/points.
  7. Do not read the slides! If some specific sentence needs to be cited as it is, memorize it.
  8. Do not memorize what you will say during the presentation. You might get interrupted in many different ways. Also, it does not feel very natural when someone is just repeating what he/she memorized.
  9. Do not improvise too much. If you rehearsed many times the presentation, most likely there is no room for improvisation. Also, you might start saying something you think is very clever and realize half way it is not…
  10. Balance the amount of text and the amount of words you spend for each slide. An empty slide accompanied by five minutes of discussion (or a slide full of text accompanied by a short sentence) will most likely make the audience ask itself why are you making you presentation so hard to understand.
  11. Balance the amount of time you spend for each slide, each slide (except for “outline” slides) should get a similar amount of time, most of the time.
  12. Repeat each question before answering it. Someone in the audience might not have heard it, and he/she will not understand your answer without the question. You might not have heard / understood it correctly, so repeat it to make sure you did. Finally, you will also buy some time to think about what to answer..

I hope you find these tips useful. Good luck with your presentation.

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Posted in Master Thesis, Presentation, Teaching

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