terrible presentations (…and how to not give one)

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Terrible Presentations (…and how to not give one). Katherine Compton Dept. of ECE UW-Madison. Mark L. Chang Dept. of ECE Olin College of Eng. Why A Good Presentation?. You want people to: Understand your work Be INTERESTED in your work Think you’re great! - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Terrible Presentations(and how to not give one)

    Mark L. ChangDept. of ECEOlin College of Eng.Katherine ComptonDept. of ECEUW-Madison

  • *Why A Good Presentation?You want people to:Understand your workBe INTERESTED in your workThink youre great!

    What happens if you give a bad one?Few pay attentionThey may fall asleepMight think your work is not important

  • *Tips For PresentingHow to give GOOD presentations:Part I: PresenceAttitudeVoiceMannerismsPart II: Slide styleUnderstandableInteresting Will show examples of what NOT to do

  • *Part IKeep audience interestedKeep them with you

    Things that can affect thisTopic, topic depthAttitude/PresenceMannerisms

  • *Know Your TopicBe prepared to get questions!What if I dont know the answer?Know WHEN to say I dont knowKnow HOW to say I dont knowDont just stand there uncomfortably!Be able to recover from interruptionsKnow what to skip if youre running lateDont just talk faster!

  • *Know Your AudienceDo they have a background like yours?How much hand-holding?Can you jump right in to specifics?How much motivation for your work?How detailed should you get?

  • *Know Your LocationNeed to bring a laptop?Need to bring a CD, or email a PPT in advance?Need to print transparencies? How far is audience from screen?Can you point with your hand, or do you need a laser pointer?

  • *Attitude. (Yours)Are you INTERESTED in your topic?If no, get a different one!If yes, ACT LIKE ITIf YOU arent excitedCant expect OTHER people to be! Dont talk down to audienceYou know more than them about THISThey know more than you about other stuff

  • *Dead Man TalkingAre you hiding behind the podium?Are your hands/face motionless?Are you staringat your advisor/boss?at your laptop?at the screen?at the ceiling?Is your back to the audience?

    IF SO youre probably BORING!

  • *I Drank A Case Of Mountain Dew!Sometimes nerves make for fast talkingCalm down. E-nun-see-ate.Its not a racePeople need time to absorb information

    Take a bottle of water if necessaryBottles if you can work a cap (spillage)Glass if youre using a laser pointer

  • *Is This Thing On ? Feedback kills people!Most PA systems are tuned so that the microphone can be middle of your chestNot 2mm from your mouthModulate your voice evenlyCareful turning head affects volume!

    If not using a mic project your voice!

  • *Where are your hands?You have a set of moves that repeat during your talkMake sure they arent silly lookingDont point with your middle finger

    Can videotape yourself speakingDo a practice for friendsMake sure theyre not too niceYou want real feedback!

  • *Look Ma, I have a L-A-S-E-R!If necessary, get a laser pointerWill depend on your talkGet it a few weeks before your talkPlay with it. Circle things. Make shapes.Be comfortableGet Borg impersonations out of the wayGet a second one for backup, or make sure session chair/host has one

  • *Common Laser Pointer MovesThe circleThe underlineThe back-handed flickThe epileptic-seizure inducer

    DO NOT POINT AT EVERYTHINGNot everything is equally importantYour voice can provide emphasis too

  • *Right Here. See?Dont point at your laptop screenThey cant see it

  • *Ummmm The Uh Yeah.Practice makes perfectCaveat: OVER practicing can be badDo not read your slides like a script

    Most people lose 20 IQ points in front of an audience

  • *Part II: Slide DesignGoals:Convey the necessary informationBe readable/understandableBe interesting (enough)

    Avoid:Over stimulationBooooring

  • *LogosWe know you had supportDont need to list all of them every slideIf on first slide, dont obscure title/authorsMaybe save it for last slide

  • *OutlineTitle SlideIntroductionOutlineMy WorkResultsConclusions

  • *README.TXTDo not attempt to put all the text, code, or explanation of what you are talking about directly onto the slide, especially if it consists of full, long sentences. Or paragraphs. Theres no place for paragraphs on slides. If you have complete sentences, you can probably take something out.If you do that, you will have too much stuff to read on the slide, which isnt always a good thing.Like the previous slide, people do not really read all the stuff on the slides.Thats why its called a presentation and not a reading of your workPractice makes perfect, which is what gets you away from having to have all of you notes in textual form on the screen in front of you.Utilize the Notes function of PowerPoint, have them printed out for your reference.The audience doesnt need to hear the exact same thing that you are reading to them.The bullet points are simply talking points and should attempt to summarize the big ideas that you are trying to conveyIf youve reached anything less than 18 point font, for Gods sake, please:Remove some of the textSplit up the text and put it on separate slidesPerhaps you are trying to do much in this one slide?Reading a slide is annoying.You should not simply be a text-to-speech converter.

  • *Font SizeYou are close to your monitorYour audience is far from the screenTahoma32 pt28 pt24 pt20 pt18 pt16 pt14 pt12 pt10 ptTNR32 pt28 pt24 pt20 pt18 pt16 pt14 pt12 pt10 ptCourier32 pt28 pt24 pt20 pt18 pt16 pt14 pt12 pt10 ptComic32 pt28 pt24 pt20 pt18 pt16 pt14 pt12 pt10 ptLucida Sans32 pt28 pt24 pt20 pt18 pt16 pt14 pt12 pt10 pt

  • *Squint CityIf you find yourself saying you probably cant read/see this, butThen you probably have a BAD SLIDE!There are exceptions, but very fewTest on real screen in conference roomNot just your computer screen 15 away.

  • *This is a really long title for this single slide, I should have just summarized

    Hard to readMany people dont read the title anyway

    Should have been Long Slide Titles

  • *Know Slide BoundariesPeople cant read text that runs off the side of the slide

  • *Bullets Arent EverythingHow manyLevels ofHierarchy doYou thinkYou need * To express - Your point?

  • *SpeelchickHow samrt will poeple thikn yuo are?

    Watch for:there/their/theyretoo/to/twoits/its

  • *Picture ThisThere are exceptions, but in generalDont have only text on most of your slidesTry to draw diagrams wherever applicable(Well-drawn) pictures easier to understand

  • *Example Diagrams

    Compute-intensive sections on hardwareHardware reconfigured for eachwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwww wwwwww wwwwwwwwwwwww wwSource codeFPGA

  • *Example Diagrams

    Compute-intensive sections on hardwareHardware reconfigured for eachwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwww wwwwww wwwwwwwwwwwww wwSource codeFPGA

  • *You are not Pixar StudiosPrevious slide(s) used animation

    Use only where it is USEFULKnow if presentation system will handleDifferent versions of PowerPoint, Macs, etc.Or use multiple slides to safely animateFlip-book styleAnimationCanBe VeryDistractingUse it sparingly(it can be annoying)

  • *Line Em UpThis is a bad drawingPut in some effortFPGACPU

  • *

  • *The Art of Suspense

  • *The Art of SuspenseDont

  • *The Art of SuspenseDontBe

  • *The Art of SuspenseDontBeA

  • *The Art of SuspenseDontBeATease

  • *Anticipatory LecturingDont Be A Tease

    Let the audience think at their own pace

    It only provides benefit if theres a surprise result

  • *Mommy, my eyes are burning!Can you look at this for 45 minutes?Colors look different on every LCD projectorColors look different between transparencies and projector

    Side note: if printing slides, may want to choose white background to save ink!

  • *I See A GhostMore contrast on monitor than projectorDifferent projectors == different resultsColors to avoid with white are: Light GreenLight BluePale Yellow

    Your slides should have good contrastUsually cant read this

  • *Contrast GuidelinesWhite background, black text is clearestCan use other (dark) text colorsBut be careful -- dont be distracting!Make sure to not use light-on-white or white-on-lightDont using glaring colorsIf not an art major, dont have to get fancy

  • *Equations

    Ummm okay

  • *Keep It SimpleDo you really need all those equations?This is very instance-dependent!Depends on what youre discussingDepends on your audienceSometimes you may need themExplain the variables and what they meanGive a plain-text description of itIf you dont need them, dont use them!

  • *Use Simple ExamplesThis isnt one. It doesnt help.

  • *ResultsYou have lots of cool resultsNo one can read thisNo one can understand this

    Graphs are your friend

  • *Graphs Can Also Be The Enemy

  • *Pick A Line, Any Line

  • *Summary/ConclusionIf your talk is more than 5 minutes, nice to summarize work & resultsBring people back if they zoned outRemind them why youre greatGive selling points here30x performance increase with only 10% area penaltyDescribed novel method to create clean fuel from used cat litter

  • *Bad PresentationsAudience wont see your work is greatBut will make fun of you from back rowzzzWhat does that slide say?Dunno, Im playing minesweeperThose are some NASTY colorsHey it matches my tie.Please let it be OVER

  • *Good PresentationsInteresting topic, explained at audiences levelSlides are understandable and easy to seeGood presentations reflect well on speaker!In