Guidelines for good presentation
of us give more presentations than we realize. Updating project results,
status reports, paper in scientific conferences, panel discussions, student
sessions are all examples of public speaking areas we scientists have
to cater to. In all these, ability to clearly communicate with your peers,
bosses, students, stakeholders, and extension workers will lead the audience
to perceive you as credible and capable and also a good scientific worker.
While some presentations are more important than others, it is always
better to understand the basics of preparing for a presentation for better
results following the presentation.
In this session few guidelines are brought forth as tips for good presentations.
Most of the presentations seek to achieve: to inform or to persuade.
In an informative presentation, the audience learns about a new subject
or new about a familiar subject. In a persuasive presentation, the
speaker attempts to change attitudes of audience or behaviors. For
e.g. Working in your project you seek to inform new information as
a result of the experiments done. Your objective is to present your
opinion of the work and tacitly to convince others that your opinion
is correct. But if you need more resources for undertaking experiment
you need to 'inform' your SRC members of facts and seek their help
to overcome obstacles to achieve the targets
The audience will have an impact on your presentation. Although the
exact message to an audience is same, it can be more meaningful if
particular group we are communicating to is given consideration. As
a speaker, the size, demographics, knowledge level and motivation
of audience must be considered. A prior awareness of the audience
The physical attributes of your presentation stage must be known for
planning. Type of seating, number, audio-visual equipment, distracters
and other constrictors, time of presentation and your own appearance
need to be considered in preplanning process.
an outline of your talk
In these days of technology-driven presentations, LCD projections
are the order-of the day. The presentation software packages are equally
versatile and allow the freedom to set the presentation for OHP, slide
or electronic shows. Thus you can set the file to what you want by
clicking on the setup option. Preparing an outline of your talk allows
the space for integrating some of tools for better presentation. It
is advisable to prepare an outline of technical matter before starting
to work on the computer.
all visuals in place before integrating all.
While the computer can access all the links wherever they are, it
is always easy to put the needed visual files in an easily accessible
site. Keeping the path to links short is advisable.
Design hints from Powerpoint
designing your visuals, four basic areas must be considered. Size and
proportion Design and contrast Simplicity Available resources
a single font
When too many lettering styles are mixed together, slide readability
goes down. Stick to a single font and develop variety with tasteful
use of different sizes and styles.
lines or less
Avoid making slides with too many lines of text. Too many items in
list force your viewers with difficulty in comprehension. Six lines
is a rule of thumb.
Use short key phrases, eliminating verbs, articles, and other words
that are not essential to your message.
Keep your audience in touch with more complex topics by building slide
content, one item at a time.
Use leading capitals instead of all capital letters. All caps are
hard to read and tend to lose the emphasis you want.
up complex slides:
If a slide is too complex, break it into two or more slides
on one point:
Keep visual elements to a minimum. Incidental art have great eye appeal
but when you add too many fancy frills ,your message gets lost in
Unless you are trying to achieve a one-time dramatic effect, avoid
using too many colors, too bright colors, overly ornate typefaces
and other distracting effects.
mindful of contrast
The greater, the contrast between foreground and background, the more
legible the image. Stark white or light backgrounds well on slides
as on OHP and prints.
is a reference table to be used as a guide for using colors in slides
guide for use in preparing slides
text/ object colour
Your audience is used to reading text from left to right, top to bottom.
Techniques that alter this tradition detract from a presentation
text format consistent
Unexpected shifts in a text typestyle disturb the audience's attention.
nonessential values and grids on graphs:
Such extraneous details obscure the technical import of your presentation.
Round numbers on graphs:
off numbers and use axis tittles that indicate the rounding.
graph axis values with zero Axes that start in mid-scale confuse and
results of table or graph in the same slide.
The leading conclusion of table or graph is best understood if put
along with the graph/table in bullet fashion. Using text tool would
be easy and also highlighting.
not read your slides:
While presenting use slides as direction in explaining the points
and not read the text on the slides. Use the bullets as pointers to
explain your point.