Much of the academic life revolves around speaking well and giving good presentations. Here is some great advice from Mike Taylor over on an excellent blog about dinosaurs and other things paleontological.
As the conference season heaves into view again, I thought it was worth gathering all four parts of the old Tutorial 16 (“giving good talks”) into one place, so it’s easy to link to. So here they are:
Part 1: Planning: finding a narrative
- Make us care about your project.
- Tell us a story.
- You won’t be able to talk about everything you’ve done this year.
- Omit much that is relevant.
- Pick a single narrative.
- Ruthlessly prune.
- [You want to end up with] a structure that begins at the beginning, tells a single coherent story from beginning to end, and then stops.
Part 2: The slides: presenting your information to be understood
- Make yourself understood.
- The slides for a conference talk are science, not art.
- Don’t “frame” your content.
- Whatever you’re showing us, let us see it.
- Use as little text as possible.
- Use big fonts.
- Use high contrast between the text and background.
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