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Boost Your Presentation Skills with Microsoft Office PowerPoint Online
In today’s digital age, effective presentation skills are crucial for success in the business world. Whether you’re a student preparing for a classroom presentation or a professional delivering a pitch to potential clients, having the right tools can make all the difference. One such tool is Microsoft Office PowerPoint Online, a web-based version of the popular presentation software. In this article, we will explore how Microsoft Office PowerPoint Online can help boost your presentation skills.
Easy Access and Collaboration
One of the key advantages of using Microsoft Office PowerPoint Online is its accessibility. As a web-based application, it allows you to create, edit, and present presentations from any device with an internet connection. Gone are the days of carrying around bulky flash drives or worrying about compatibility issues between different versions of PowerPoint.
Moreover, Microsoft Office PowerPoint Online enables seamless collaboration with others. You can share your presentations with colleagues or classmates and work on them together in real-time. This not only saves time but also enhances teamwork and productivity. With everyone on the same page, you can collectively improve your presentation skills and deliver more impactful messages.
Another reason why Microsoft Office PowerPoint Online is an excellent tool for boosting presentation skills is its user-friendly interface. Even if you’re new to creating presentations or have limited technical expertise, this online version makes it easy to navigate and utilize various features.
The interface closely resembles the familiar desktop version of PowerPoint, making it intuitive for users already acquainted with the software. Additionally, there are helpful templates available that can kickstart your creativity and ensure your presentations look polished and professional.
Seamless Integration with Other Microsoft Tools
Microsoft Office PowerPoint Online seamlessly integrates with other applications within the Microsoft Office suite like Word and Excel. This integration allows you to import data from spreadsheets or documents directly into your slides for data-driven presentations.
For example, if you have statistical data in an Excel spreadsheet, you can easily import it into PowerPoint Online and create dynamic charts and graphs. This integration not only saves time but also ensures accuracy and consistency across your presentation materials.
Cloud Storage and Easy Sharing
With Microsoft Office PowerPoint Online, your presentations are automatically saved in the cloud, eliminating the risk of losing your work due to technical issues or accidental deletions. This feature provides peace of mind and allows you to access your presentations from any device at any time.
Furthermore, sharing your presentations with others is a breeze. You can simply send a link to collaborators or embed the presentation on websites or blogs for wider distribution. This ease of sharing enables you to showcase your presentation skills to a larger audience, whether it’s for educational purposes or professional advancement.
In conclusion, Microsoft Office PowerPoint Online is a powerful tool that can significantly boost your presentation skills. Its easy access, collaboration features, user-friendly interface, seamless integration with other Microsoft tools, cloud storage capabilities, and easy sharing options make it an ideal choice for individuals looking to enhance their presentation abilities. So why not take advantage of this innovative online platform and take your presentations to the next level?
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)
Presentation skills are essential for your personal and professional life. Learn about effective presentations and how to boost your presenting techniques.
At least seven out of 10 Americans agree that presentation skills are essential for a successful career [ 1 ]. Although it might be tempting to think that these are skills reserved for people interested in public speaking roles, they're critical in a diverse range of jobs. For example, you might need to brief your supervisor on research results.
Presentation skills are also essential in other scenarios, including working with a team and explaining your thought process, walking clients through project ideas and timelines, and highlighting your strengths and achievements to your manager during performance reviews.
Whatever the scenario, you have very little time to capture your audience’s attention and get your point across when presenting information—about three seconds, according to research [ 2 ]. Effective presentation skills help you get your point across and connect with the people you’re communicating with, which is why nearly every employer requires them.
Understanding what presentation skills are is only half the battle. Honing your presenting techniques is essential for mastering presentations of all kinds and in all settings.
What are presentation skills?
Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images.
You'll make presentations at various times in your life. Examples include:
Making speeches at a wedding, conference, or another event
Making a toast at a dinner or event
Explaining projects to a team
Delivering results and findings to management teams
Teaching people specific methods or information
Proposing a vote at community group meetings
Pitching a new idea or business to potential partners or investors
Why are presentation skills important?
Delivering effective presentations is critical in your professional and personal life. You’ll need to hone your presentation skills in various areas, such as when giving a speech, convincing your partner to make a substantial purchase, and talking to friends and family about an important situation.
No matter if you’re using them in a personal or professional setting, these are the skills that make it easier and more effective to convey your ideas, convince or persuade others, and experience success. A few of the benefits that often accompany improving your presentation skills include:
Enriched written and verbal communication skills
Enhanced confidence and self-image
Boosted critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities
Better motivational techniques
Increased leadership skills
Expanded time management, negotiation, and creativity
The better your presenting techniques, the more engaging your presentations will be. You could also have greater opportunities to make positive impacts in business and other areas of your life.
Effective presentation skills
Imagine yourself in the audience at a TED Talk or sitting with your coworkers at a big meeting held by your employer. What would you be looking for in how they deliver their message? What would make you feel engaged?
These are a few questions to ask yourself as you review this list of some of the most effective presentation skills.
How you use language and deliver messages play essential roles in how your audience will receive your presentation. Speak clearly and confidently, projecting your voice enough to ensure everyone can hear. Think before you speak, pausing when necessary and tailoring the way you talk to resonate with your particular audience.
Body language combines various critical elements, including posture, gestures, eye contact, expressions, and position in front of the audience. Body language is one of the elements that can instantly transform a presentation that would otherwise be dull into one that's dynamic and interesting.
The ability to project your voice improves your presentation by allowing your audience to hear what you're saying. It also increases your confidence to help settle any lingering nerves while also making your message more engaging. To project your voice, stand comfortably with your shoulders back. Take deep breaths to power your speaking voice and ensure you enunciate every syllable you speak.
How you present yourself plays a role in your body language and ability to project your voice. It also sets the tone for the presentation. Avoid slouching or looking overly tense. Instead, remain open, upright, and adaptable while taking the formality of the occasion into account.
Incorporating storytelling into a presentation is an effective strategy used by many powerful public speakers. It has the power to bring your subject to life and pique the audience’s curiosity. Don’t be afraid to tell a personal story, slowly building up suspense or adding a dramatic moment. And, of course, be sure to end with a positive takeaway to drive your point home.
Active listening is a valuable skill all on its own. When you understand and thoughtfully respond to what you hear—whether it's in a conversation or during a presentation—you’ll likely deepen your personal relationships and actively engage audiences during a presentation. As part of your presentation skill set, it helps catch and maintain the audience’s attention, helping them remain focused while minimizing passive response, ensuring the message is delivered correctly, and encouraging a call to action.
During a presentation, projecting confidence can help keep your audience engaged. Stage presence can help you connect with your audience and encourage them to want to watch you. To improve your presence, try amping up your normal demeanor by infusing it with a bit of enthusiasm. Project confidence and keep your information interesting.
Watch your audience as you’re presenting. If you’re holding their attention, it likely means you’re connecting well with them.
Monitoring your own emotions and reactions will allow you to react well in various situations. It helps you remain personable throughout your presentation and handle feedback well. Self-awareness can help soothe nervousness during presentations, allowing you to perform more effectively.
Writing is a form of presentation. Sharp writing skills can help you master your presentation’s outline to ensure you stay on message and remain clear about your objectives from the beginning until the end. It’s also helpful to have strong writing abilities for creating compelling slides and other visual aids.
Understanding an audience
When you understand your audience's needs and interests, you can design your presentation around them. In turn, you'll deliver maximum value to them and enhance your ability to make your message easy to understand.
Learn more about presentation skills from industry experts at SAP:
How to improve presentation skills
There’s an art to public speaking. Just like any other type of art, this is one that requires practice. Improving your presentation skills will help reduce miscommunications, enhance your time management capabilities, and boost your leadership skills. Here are some ways you can improve these skills:
Work on self-confidence.
When you’re confident, you naturally speak more clearly and with more authority. Taking the time to prepare your presentation with a strong opening and compelling visual aids can help you feel more confident. Other ways to improve your self-confidence include practicing positive self-talk, surrounding yourself with positive people, and avoiding comparing yourself (or your presentation) to others.
Develop strategies for overcoming fear.
Many people are nervous or fearful before giving a presentation. A bad memory of a past performance or insufficient self-confidence can contribute to fear and anxiety. Having a few go-to strategies like deep breathing, practicing your presentation, and grounding can help you transform that fear into extra energy to put into your stage presence.
Learn grounding techniques.
Grounding is any type of technique that helps you steer your focus away from distressing thoughts and keeps you connected with your present self. To ground yourself, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and imagine you’re a large, mature tree with roots extending deep into the earth—like the tree, you can become unshakable.
Learn how to use presentation tools.
Visual aids and other technical support can transform an otherwise good presentation into a wow-worthy one. A few popular presentation tools include:
Canva: Provides easy-to-design templates you can customize
Powtoon: Animation software that makes video creation fast and easy
PowerPoint: Microsoft's iconic program popular for dynamic marketing and sales presentations
Practice breathing techniques.
Breathing techniques can help quell anxiety, making it easier to shake off pre-presentation jitters and nerves. It also helps relax your muscles and get more oxygen to your brain. For some pre-presentation calmness, you can take deep breaths, slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
While presenting, breathe in through your mouth with the back of your tongue relaxed so your audience doesn't hear a gasping sound. Speak on your exhalation, maintaining a smooth voice.
The more you practice, the better you’ll become. The more you doanything, the more comfortable you’ll feel engaging in that activity. Presentations are no different. Repeatedly practicing your own presentation also offers the opportunity to get feedback from other people and tweak your style and content as needed.
Tips to help you ace your presentation
Your presentation isn’t about you; it’s about the material you’re presenting. Sometimes, reminding yourself of this ahead of taking center stage can help take you out of your head, allowing you to connect effectively with your audience. The following are some of the many actions you can take on the day of your presentation.
Since you may have a bit of presentation-related anxiety, it’s important to avoid adding travel stress. Give yourself an abundance of time to arrive at your destination, and take into account heavy traffic and other unforeseen events. By arriving early, you also give yourself time to meet with any on-site technicians, test your equipment, and connect with people ahead of the presentation.
Become familiar with the layout of the room.
Arriving early also gives you time to assess the room and figure out where you want to stand. Experiment with the acoustics to determine how loudly you need to project your voice, and test your equipment to make sure everything connects and appears properly with the available setup. This is an excellent opportunity to work out any last-minute concerns and move around to familiarize yourself with the setting for improved stage presence.
Listen to presenters ahead of you.
When you watch others present, you'll get a feel for the room's acoustics and lighting. You can also listen for any data that’s relevant to your presentation and revisit it during your presentation—this can make the presentation more interactive and engaging.
Use note cards.
Writing yourself a script could provide you with more comfort. To prevent sounding too robotic or disengaged, only include talking points in your note cards in case you get off track. Using note cards can help keep your presentation organized while sounding more authentic to your audience.
Learn to deliver clear and confident presentations with Dynamic Public Speaking from the University of Washington. Build confidence, develop new delivery techniques, and practice strategies for crafting compelling presentations for different purposes, occasions, and audiences.
Forbes. “ New Survey: 70% Say Presentation Skills are Critical for Career Success , https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/09/25/new-survey-70-percent-say-presentation-skills-critical-for-career-success/?sh=619f3ff78890.” Accessed December 7, 2022.
Beautiful.ai. “ 15 Presentation and Public Speaking Stats You Need to Know , https://www.beautiful.ai/blog/15-presentation-and-public-speaking-stats-you-need-to-know. Accessed December 7, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
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Robert Dolan, Effective presentation skills, FEMS Microbiology Letters , Volume 364, Issue 24, December 2017, fnx235, https://doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnx235
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Most PhD's will have a presentation component during the interview process, as well as presenting their work at conferences. This article will provide guidance on how to develop relevant content and effectively deliver it to your audience.
Most organizations list communication skills as one of their most critical issues…and presentation skills are a large component of communications. Presentation skills are crucial to almost every aspect of academic/business life, from meetings, interviews and conferences to trade shows and job fairs. Often times, leadership and presentation skills go hand in hand. NACE Survey 2016 - Ability to communicate verbally (internally and externally) ranked 4.63/5.0 and was the #1 skill employers want. The information provided in this article is designed to provide tips and strategies for delivering an effective presentation, and one that aligns the speaker with the audience.
What type of speaker are you?
Facts and fears of public speaking.
Your blueprint for delivery.
Avoider —You do everything possible to escape from having to get in front of an audience.
Resister —You may have to speak, but you never encourage it.
Accepter —You’ll give presentations but don’t seek those opportunities. Sometimes you feel good about a presentation you gave.
Seeker —Looks for opportunities to speak. Finds the anxiety a stimulant that fuels enthusiasm during a presentation.
Public speaking can create anxiety and fear in many people. Dale Carnegie has a free e-book that provides tips and advice on how to minimize these fears www.dalecarnegie.com/Free-eBook
People are caught between their fear and the fact that many employers expect them to demonstrate good verbal communication skills.
Most interviews by PhD’s have a presentation component.
Academic interviews always have a presentation component.
If your job doesn’t demand presentation skills, odds are that you’ll need them in your next job
Develop your blueprint for delivery:
Information by itself can be boring, unless it's unique or unusual. Conveying it through stories, gestures and analogies make it interesting. A large portion of the impact of communications rests on how you look and sound, not only on what you say. Having good presentation skills allows you to make the most out of your first impression, especially at conferences and job interviews. As you plan your presentation put yourself in the shoes of the audience.
Values …What is important to them?
Needs …What information do they want?
Constraints …Understand their level of knowledge on the subject and target them appropriately.
Demographics …Size of audience and location may influence the presentation. For example, a large auditorium may be more formal and less personal than a presentation to your team or lab mates in a less formal setting.
Structure—Introduction, Content and Conclusion
Body Language and Movement
Build rapport with audience (easier in a smaller less formal setting).
State preference for questions—during or after?
Set stage: provide agenda, objective and intended outcomes
Introduce yourself providing your name, role and function. Let the audience know the agenda, your objectives and set their expectations. Give them a reason to listen and make an explicit benefit statement, essentially what's in it for them. Finally, let them know how you will accomplish your objective by setting the agenda and providing an outline of what will be covered.
Deliver your message logically and structured.
Use appropriate anecdotes and examples.
Illustrate and emphasize key points by using color schemes or animations.
Establish credibility, possibly citing references or publications.
Structure your presentation to maximize delivery. Deliver the main idea and communicate to the audience what your intended outcome will be. Transition well through the subject matter and move through your presentation by using phrases such as; ‘now we will review…’ or ‘if there are no more questions, we will now move onto…’ Be flexible and on course. If needed, use examples not in the presentation to emphasize a point, but don’t get side tracked. Stay on course by using phrases such as ‘let's get back to…’ Occasionally, reiterate the benefits of the content and the main idea of your presentation.
Restate the main objective and key supporting points
For Q&A: ‘Who wants more details?’ (Not, ‘any questions?’)
Prompting for questions: ‘A question I often hear is…’
Summarize the main elements of your presentation as they relate to the original objective. If applicable, highlight a key point or crucial element for the audience to take away. Signal the end is near…‘to wrap up’ or ‘to sum up’. Clearly articulate the next steps, actions or practical recommendations. Thank the audience and solicit final questions.
Your non-verbal communications are key elements of your presentation. They are composed of open body posture, eye contact, facial expressions, hand gestures, posture and space between you and the audience.
Stand firmly and move deliberately. Do not sway or shift.
Move at appropriate times during presentation (e.g. move during transitions or to emphasize a point).
Stand where you can see everyone and do not block the visuals/screen.
Decide on a resting position for hands (should feel and look comfortable).
Gestures should be natural and follow what you are saying.
Hand movement can emphasize your point.
Make gestures strong and crisp…ok to use both arms/hands.
Keep hands away from face.
When pointing to the screen, do so deliberately. Do not wave and face the audience to speak
Look at audience's faces, not above their heads.
If an interview or business meeting…look at the decision makers as well as everyone else.
Look at faces for 3–5 seconds and then move on to the next person.
Do not look away from the audience for more than 10 seconds.
Looking at a person keeps them engaged.
Looking at their faces tells you how your delivery and topic is being received by the audience. The audience's body language may show interest, acceptance, openness, boredom, hostility, disapproval and neutrality. Read the audience and adjust where and if appropriate to keep them engaged. For example, if they seem bored inject an interesting anecdote or story to trigger more interest. If they appear to disapprove, ask for questions or comments to better understand how you might adjust your delivery and content if applicable.
Use active rather than passive verbs.
Avoid technical terms, unless you know the audience is familiar with them.
Always use your own words and phrases.
Cut out jargon/slang words.
Look at your audience and use vocal techniques to catch their attention. Consider changing your pace or volume, use a longer than normal pause between key points, and change the pitch or inflection of your voice if needed. Consider taking a drink of water to force yourself to pause or slowdown. View the audience as a group of individual people, so address them as if they were a single person.
Tips for reducing anxiety
If you experience nervousness before your presentation, as most people do, consider the following.
Be Organized —Knowing that your presentation and thoughts are well organized will give you confidence.
Visualize —Imagine delivering your presentation with enthusiasm and leaving the room knowing that you did a good job.
Practice —All successful speakers rehearse their presentations. Either do it alone, with your team, or video tape yourself and review your performance after. Another tip is to make contact before your talk. If possible, speak with the audience before your presentation begins; however, not always possible with a large audience. Walk up to them and thank them in advance for inviting you to speak today.
Movement —Speakers who stand in one spot may experience tension. In order to relax, move in a purposeful manner and use upper body gestures to make points.
Eye Contact —Make your presentation a one-on-one conversation. Build rapport by making it personal and personable. Use words such as ‘ we ’ , ‘ our ’, ‘ us ’ . Eye contact helps you relax because you become less isolated from the audience.
Clothes should fit well, not too tight. Consider wearing more professional business-like attire. Find two to three colors that work well for you. Conservative colors, such as black, blue, gray and brown, seem to be the safest bet when presenting or meeting someone for the first time in a professional setting. Depending upon the audience, a sport coat and well-matched dress slacks are fine. Generally, try to avoid bright reds, oranges and whites, since these tend to draw attention away from your face. Avoid jewelry that sparkles, dangles or makes noise. Use subtle accessories to compliment your outfit.
Other resources: www.toastmasters.org https://www.skillsyouneed.com/present/presentation-tips.html
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How to Give a Killer Presentation
- Chris Anderson
For more than 30 years, the TED conference series has presented enlightening talks that people enjoy watching. In this article, Anderson, TED’s curator, shares five keys to great presentations:
- Frame your story (figure out where to start and where to end).
- Plan your delivery (decide whether to memorize your speech word for word or develop bullet points and then rehearse it—over and over).
- Work on stage presence (but remember that your story matters more than how you stand or whether you’re visibly nervous).
- Plan the multimedia (whatever you do, don’t read from PowerPoint slides).
- Put it together (play to your strengths and be authentic).
According to Anderson, presentations rise or fall on the quality of the idea, the narrative, and the passion of the speaker. It’s about substance—not style. In fact, it’s fairly easy to “coach out” the problems in a talk, but there’s no way to “coach in” the basic story—the presenter has to have the raw material. So if your thinking is not there yet, he advises, decline that invitation to speak. Instead, keep working until you have an idea that’s worth sharing.
Lessons from TED
A little more than a year ago, on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya, some colleagues and I met a 12-year-old Masai boy named Richard Turere, who told us a fascinating story. His family raises livestock on the edge of a vast national park, and one of the biggest challenges is protecting the animals from lions—especially at night. Richard had noticed that placing lamps in a field didn’t deter lion attacks, but when he walked the field with a torch, the lions stayed away. From a young age, he’d been interested in electronics, teaching himself by, for example, taking apart his parents’ radio. He used that experience to devise a system of lights that would turn on and off in sequence—using solar panels, a car battery, and a motorcycle indicator box—and thereby create a sense of movement that he hoped would scare off the lions. He installed the lights, and the lions stopped attacking. Soon villages elsewhere in Kenya began installing Richard’s “lion lights.”
- CA Chris Anderson is the curator of TED.
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Presenting With Confidence
Wendy h. vogel.
1 Wellmont Cancer Institute, Kingsport, Tennessee;
Pamela Hallquist Viale
2 University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Often, advanced practitioners must give clinical presentations. Public speaking, which is a major fear for most individuals, is a developed skill. Giving an oral presentation is a good way to demonstrate work, knowledge base, and expertise. Giving an effective presentation can help obtain recognition of skills and proficiency as an advanced practitioner or expert in the field. This paper will highlight skills and techniques that can help to improve presentation style and the ability to connect with an audience.
As an advanced practitioner, it is likely that you will be asked to deliver a lecture at some point in your career. Medical presentations can range from casual in-services to professional lectures given to audiences of thousands. Since public speaking is listed as one of the top fears of individuals living in the United States, it pays to develop skills as a speaker or presenter.
Giving an oral presentation is essential to demonstrating your work, knowledge base, and expertise. Giving an effective presentation can help you obtain recognition and acknowledgement of your skills and proficiency as an advanced practitioner or expert in the field. However, many presenters lack the skills to deliver a dynamic and persuasive lecture. Inadequate speaking skills can be detrimental to your ability to deliver an important message, or worse yet, bore your audience. This article will highlight skills and techniques that can help to improve your presentation style and ability to connect with your audience.
FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING
If you are afraid of public speaking, you are not alone. Marinho, de Medeiros, Gama, and Teixeira ( 2016 ) studied college students to determine the prevalence of fear of public speaking. In a group of 1,135 undergraduate students (aged 17–58), over half of those surveyed (n = 63.9%) reported a fear of public speaking. Almost the entire group surveyed (89.3%) wanted classes to improve public speaking. Specific traits associated with a fear of speaking were reported as female gender, infrequent experience, and perception of poor voice quality.
Giving a bad presentation can alienate your audience from your lecture and the message you are trying to deliver. Table 1 lists ways to give a bad presentation. But, let us assume you do not want to give a bad presentation at all. In fact, you have an important message to share with your audience and you have been invited to give an hour-long lecture on the subject. How can you deliver that message in an effective and engaging manner?
Tips for Giving a Bad Presentation
The first tip is to know your subject and know it well. In fact, should your audio-visual equipment malfunction (and if you speak often enough, this is likely to happen), you should have your presentation memorized. However, it is a good idea to make a hard copy of your slides and use them in case of equipment failure. Your audience might not be able to see a graph in detail, but you’ll be able to speak to a study and deliver the results without panicking about your lost slide deck or incompatible presentation equipment.
The second tip is to know your audience. If you are speaking to a group of nurses on a unit, your speaking style and delivery message will be more casual than when you speak to a room of 500 people. Nonetheless, you need to know who you are talking to and what they expect from your lecture. Table 2 lists some information you will want to know about your audience. Researching and knowing your audience will make your message more pertinent and personal.
What to Know About Your Audience
Understanding who your audience is will enable you to engage your audience. Look excited and enthusiastic. If you are motivated about your topic, then they will be too. Show your interest in your subject and your excitement about sharing the data with your audience.
Another tip is to develop your stage presence. Actors rehearse their roles until they can do it in their sleep, creating their best and most polished dramatic performances. You aren’t in a Broadway musical, but you need to have a stage presence. Recording your lecture and then examining ways to improve your delivery is a great way to develop your speaking skills. Utilize who you are and capitalize on that. Practice in front of a friend or mentor for feedback on your delivery
Your audience will develop an impression of you within the first 15 seconds. Develop an impactful opening to start off right. Table 3 gives some examples of impactful openings. For example, if you wanted to demonstrate the effect that tanning booths have had on the incidence of melanoma in young women, you could open with a photo of a tanning booth, followed by the daunting statistics in melanoma and an example of a case of melanoma. This slide becomes the "hook" that captures your audience’s interest.
Examples of Impactful Openings
When giving a medical presentation, advanced practitioners have a wonderful chance to share a patient story or vignette that will demonstrate the medical problem and its impact on practice ( Moffett, Berezowski, Spencer, & Lanning, 2014 ). You can do this easily by showing a patient radiological study or lab values, or a picture of a particularly challenging side effect. The net result is that your audience will be intrigued and relate to your story, especially if they take care of that patient population. Tell the story of the patient and describe the significance of the side effect or disease state. Clinical presentations often benefit from case studies that your audience may recognize from their own practices. Some of the most successful presentations use case studies followed by examples of right or wrong approaches to a patient problem, asking the audience to decide best practice and thereby engaging the audience fully. Tell your audience why this topic is important and why they need to know about it ( Moffett et al., 2014 ). Then, share the data supporting the importance of your story and how your audience can use the information to affect or change practice. You want to capture the attention of your audience at the very beginning of your presentation and then hold it. Humor may also be used for openings, but care must be taken with this and should be directed at yourself and not anyone else. Keep the attention of the audience by developing your delivery skills. Lastly, and perhaps the most important advice, is to "practice, practice, practice."
Most medical speakers use PowerPoint to illustrate their talk and data. Using your slides effectively can make an important difference in your presentation and how your audience will respond. Develop your presentation and topic first, then create your slides. The 5/5/5 rule calls for no more than five words per line of text, five lines of text per slide, or five text or data-heavy slides in a row ( LearnFree.org, 2017 ). See Table 4 for tips for using PowerPoint.
Adding images to your slides can create visual interest. Pictures of patients with side effects or complications can immediately show the audience what you are trying to communicate. As with data slides, appropriate referencing of images must be added to each of your slides. If you are using clip art to add interest or humor to your presentation, be mindful of possible distractions to your main message. Use these kinds of imagery sparingly.
Using slides during your presentation can enhance the message you are giving, but it is vital that you use the slide and not let it use you. Know your slides well enough that you do not have to read them. The title of the slide should give the key message of that slide. You do not have to tell your audience everything on the slide; instead, give them an overview of what they are looking at. Never read a slide to an audience. Do not present to the slide; present to your audience.
KEEPING THE AUDIENCE’S INTEREST
If your presentation is longer than 20 minutes, you may have a "mid-talk slump." This is a great time to check in with your audience: Do they understand your message thus far? Pause for a moment and engage your audience with a question or anecdote, or perhaps a patient story. Ask your audience if they have something to share regarding the topic. Change the pace and change the inflection of your voice.
Taking questions from your audience can be daunting. Table 5 gives some tips on how to answer questions. Determining when to take questions will depend upon your audience size and makeup, and the setting of your presentation. The most important tip is to listen carefully to the question and be honest if you do not know the answer.
Handling Questions From Your Audience
Your delivery skills can determine how the audience perceives you and your message. Eye contact, voice, pace, inflection, gestures, and posture are all important aspects of your delivery. Eye contact establishes rapport and a feeling of being genuine. Although you shouldn’t stare someone down, making eye contact while making a statement, then moving to your next audience member and giving another statement fosters engagement. Scanning, which is running your eyes over the audience and not focusing on any one person, should be avoided.
Your voice should be loud and animated. Generally, however loud you think you should be, be louder. Convey your enthusiasm, and vary your pace and inflection.
Gestures can enhance or take away from your talk. Be natural with an open-body approach. Keep your hands at your sides if you’re not using them. Avoid pointing; instead, use open-handed gestures. Your posture should be good, with your shoulders back and weight equally balanced on both feet. When you move, move with purpose; do not sway, rock, or pace ( Butterfield, 2015 ).
It is very normal to feel anxious or nervous. But let that feeling work for you, not against you. When you are faced with a challenging situation, cortisol and adrenaline are released, causing dry mouth, difficulty getting words out, shallow breaths, tremors, sweating, and nervous behaviors like laughter or fidgeting. To combat this, take some deep breaths, which reduces adrenaline output. Slow down and look around. Take a moment, take a sip of water, and smile. Look confident even if you do not feel it. Utilize every resource you can find to further your skills (see Table 6 for further reading).
Resources for Presenters
Advanced practitioners have many opportunities to give medical presentations, both as part of their job and as a way to advance in their professional practice. The tools provided in this article can help you develop a presentation that will be meaningful and impactful to your audience. It is a great feeling when audience members come to you after your presentation to share with you how much they enjoyed and learned from your talk. With practice, your presentations can make a difference. And remember—your audience wants you to succeed.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Presentation Skills: Become a Better Presenter Today
by Rawzaba Alhalabi Published on April 11, 2018
Becoming a better presenter is becoming a better communicator and thus, becoming a more successful individual. In this article, we will take you through a step by step process of how to improve your presentation skills by learning how to keep your presentation clear and focused.
Presentations are important to everyone, whether at school, university, when looking for a job, while at a job, when starting a business and when seeking investment or financing. It is one of the essential skills in any career whether you are an academic, a doctor or a business person.
Reasons Why Presentation Skills are Important to Everyone
Have you ever felt nervous every time you were asked to present a certain topic in front of a group of people? Do you remember your hands feeling cold, your legs shaking and sometimes your voice even trembling? Well, presentations are important to everyone, whether at school, university, when looking for a job, while at a job, when starting a business and when seeking investment or financing. It is one of the essential skills in any career whether you are an academic, a doctor or a business person. Therefore, improving your presentation skills is vital to be able to convey your message to others with full confidence and clarity.
Presentation skills are vital to everyone for the following 5 reasons:
- Individual and Business Success : The first ‘real’ presentation an individual normally goes through is a Job Interview. How well you present yourself doesn’t guarantee success but certainly improves your chances of success. Also, career growth, promotion, and business progress all depend on good presentation skills.
- Time Management: Great presenters use the most effective techniques to communicate their message across in less time focusing on the key elements.
- Leadership: Great leaders are known for their effective ways of expressing their inspiring thoughts to their team, community and sometimes even to the public.
- Public Image: You will be judged according to how you deliver your message. By conveying your topic clearly, you set a good image not only of yourself but also on behalf of your team or organization.
- Stress Reduction: Miscommunication is the biggest cause of work-related stress. Good presenters reduce miscommunication in their environment.
As explained, presentation skills are important for a number of reasons so, start working on improving them. Becoming a better presenter is becoming a better communicator and thus, becoming a more successful individual!
Key Elements You Should Consider while Preparing Your Presentation
Preparation before a presentation is essential and can help you keep your presentation focused, well structured and interesting. In this video, you will learn the 6 key elements that you need to keep in mind while preparing for your presentation; keeping you perfectly ready at all times before presenting your topic.
The following are the 6 key elements you are suggested to consider in order to keep your presentation clear and focused:
- The Objective: You should keep in mind the purpose of your presentation at all times. The reason for your presentation and the outcomes expected by your audience are very important.
- The Subject: This is the topic, in other words, what you are going to talk about. The subject comes from the objective but it is not necessarily the same thing.
- The Audience: You should know the size of your audience, their age range, gender and also whether they know anything about the topic you are addressing or is it something totally new to them. This really affects the way your topic must be presented.
- The Place: You should know, in advance, the place where your presentation will take place. The size of the room, the seating arrangements and the availability of equipment are three vital elements that can affect your presentation.
- The Time of Day: If you can choose the time slot for your presentation, then go for the morning slot. People are more alert than in the later times of the day.
- The Length of Talk: Keep your presentation short and straight to the point to avoid losing the concentration of your audience. If other speakers are going to present after you, make sure you don’t over speak and take their allocated time.
Preparing beforehand can really improve your presentation skills building up your confidence with time. Always remember that even the best presenters in the world take time to prepare what they have to say in advance! One of the crucial steps in producing a great presentation is having exceptional presentation templates so check out these business presentation templates .
Pillars of a Great Presentation
Presenting is not just speaking in front of an audience. For example, if your audience gets bored and stops listening or if your information presented in not well structured thus, confusing your listeners then you have failed to pass on your message. A great presentation is needed to be able to successfully share your thoughts and have a great impact on your audience.
The following are 4 pillars of a great presentation:
- Voice and Body Language: Your voice tone and pace, posture, gesture, and movement all play an important role in a great presentation. For example, having a positive and energetic tone can really grasp your listeners’ attention.
- Audience Engagement: Connecting and interacting with the audience through your presentation can keep them alert thus, securing their attention.
- Confidence: The more confident you are while presenting your topic the more your listeners’ believe in what you say. You will have the power to control their thoughts and when your presentation is over, you will leave a great impact behind.
- Clear Content and Structure: It is very important that you present your topic in a clear and organized manner so as not to confuse your audience. Visual Aids, such as PowerPoint, make it easier and faster for your listeners to grasp the message.
Remember concentration span of an individual is limited so you are advised to make your message clear and straight to the point. Always keep in mind the above 4 important pillars before, during and after presenting in order to WOW your way to having the perfect presentation!
Ways to Improve your Presentation Skills
Presenting or passing a thought to others is not as easy as it may seem. You need to work hard to learn how to convey your message so that your listener has fully understood and hopefully has got convinced in what you had to say.
The following are 6 ways to improve your presentation skills to the better:
- Keep rehearsing: your presentation over and over until you feel you are doing it right. Practice makes perfect! Writing it down makes it easier to remember what to say and in what order.
- Listening to your past recordings: helps you avoid repeating bad habits.
- Attending other presentations: before yours, helps you get some context that might benefit you while presenting. Also try to understand the mood of the crowd to learn how you should talk to them.
- Arriving early: avoids bad nervous feelings of possibly getting stuck in traffic. It helps you settle down before presenting.
- Spending time adapting to your presentation space before you start presenting: makes you more comfortable. You can get yourself familiar with the equipment you will be using like the microphone for example.
- Transforming your nervous energy to enthusiasm: helps your speech feel more energetic and positive to listen to, leaving a great impact on your audience.
The 6 ways we discussed are suggested to help you improve your presenting skills to the better. So start practicing!
Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Presenting
Have you ever felt that you gave a wrong impression just by mistakenly saying the wrong thing? It may be unfair but people mainly judge others by what they have to say. When nervousness kicks in, things get worse and you may not know why certain words are coming out of your mouth. Also, how you say things can really affect the way people perceive you.
The following are 6 things to avoid when presenting your topic:
- Holding your breath: Being nervous tightens your muscles and thus, you are unable to take deep breaths which makes it harder for you to relax.
- Worrying facial expressions: Always remember to smile to show your audience that you are calm and confident about what you are saying.
- Negative Visualization: Instead of visualizing yourself throwing a bad presentation, picture your presentation full of laughs and enthusiasm.
- Talking too fast: Work on your pauses so that you don’t end up running out of breath leading to more panic!
- Covering too much material: Your presentation should be useful, short and straight to the point. Presenting too much information in a short period of time will make your audience confused, losing focus on your topic.
- Admitting you know everything: Everyone knows that nobody has all the answers about a given topic, admitting so will improve your credibility with the audience.
It is natural to feel nervous before your presentation, but we advise you to take your time to relax so as to avoid the 6 common mistakes many presenters do. Relaxation is the main key to a great presentation making it a one of a kind experience for both you and your loving audience!
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Presentation Skills Everyone Should Have
Table of contents.
Poor presentation skills cost businesses time, money and opportunities. For entrepreneurs who rely on presentations to secure new investments or land large client accounts, a weak presentation can be the difference between success and failure.
When presentation software company Shufflrr conducted a survey of how 1,500 U.S.-based professionals behaved during business presentations, the results were grim.
One in 25 people reported walking out on a presentation that lasted too long. Another 25% admitted to having been so uninterested in the material that they fell asleep. And 1 out of every 12 people were so unengaged by a business presentation that they spent time browsing a dating app.
Strong presentation skills, on the other hand, will help your company stand out from the competition, connect with new customers , and make an impression on industry leaders.
Three-quarters of adults have glossophobia , a fear of public speaking.
What differentiates a strong presentation from a boring one? According to James Ontra, CEO of Shufflrr, it comes down to these four aspects.
1. Be strategic.
Ontra recommends thinking about every presentation not as a discrete set of slides, but as a part of your overall marketing strategies . This means that every time you prepare to present, you should think tactically.
Don’t focus solely on what will happen while you are speaking. Instead, structure your presentation around what you want to happen afterward. Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want people to remember at the end of my presentation?
- What next step do I want them to take when we are done?
- How can I gain my audience’s trust ?
That last one is particularly important, because the face-to-face interaction of a presentation often makes more of an impression than any other form of communication.
“If you lose them in your presentation, all your other marketing won’t make a difference,” Ontra said. “If you don’t gain trust, no matter what else [your audience] read or saw on TV, [they] would discount all of it.”
By thinking strategically, you put yourself in the mindset to create a presentation that supports your other marketing efforts and connects with your audience.
2. Prepare and practice.
According to Ontra, there is nothing worse than learning the contents of a presentation as you speak.
“You’ve got to take a moment to know the content,” Ontra said. “If you can’t speak confidently and conversationally, people will know you’re not the expert they’re looking for.” If you fail to demonstrate your expertise, your audience is going to lose interest before they come to trust your business.
Taking time to prepare and know your material is key to an engaging presentation, no matter who your audience is the topic you are covering.
Knowing your material doesn’t mean memorizing a script. Rather, try to understand what you want to communicate and why, including these elements:
- Information you want to cover, such as statistics
- The flow of the material
- The goal of the presentation
- Any questions that your audience may ask
Ontra suggests familiarizing yourself with your content well enough that you could carry on without using any of the technology or visual aids that you prepared.
“If you were one-on-one in the elevator without a slide,” he added, “how would you explain that slide to a person?”
You should be able to answer that question for every portion of your presentation. This will help you develop confidence, eliminate fillers and awkward silences, and nail down your timing. Practice on your own first; don’t memorize it, though, since this will make your delivery sound rote. Then, video yourself and watch the recording. Finally, practice with a live audience – a close friend or family member – to refine your delivery.
3. Capture attention.
The first few moments of a presentation are critical, Ontra said. This is when you have to capture your audience’s attention and convince them to listen to the rest of your presentation.
Ontra recommends using a simple tactic: Start your presentation with a small story or anecdote about your business.
“Use something that captures curiosity,” he said. If you can get them to imagine something – the dripping of a leaky pipe or the sick feeling in your stomach when you lose your wallet – it will instantly help your audience relate to what you are talking about.
If you aren’t sure where to start, Google “surprising statistics” plus the name of your industry. According to Ontra, you’ll always find something useful.
4. Speak candidly.
Once you have your audience’s attention, it can be intimidating to speak persuasively and confidently, especially if you are not comfortable with public speaking.
To overcome your anxiety, Ontra suggests picking one person in the audience to speak to. Never choose the person who intimidates you the most. Instead, “pick a friendly face in the crowd and speak to them,” he said. “Then everyone will hear that same confident message.”
By speaking as if you were talking to a friend, your presentation will naturally sound conversational and candid, rather than memorized and rehearsed.
How do you sound conversational when delivering a presentation that you’ve prepared? Don’t read what’s written on your slides. Instead, Ontra said, “visualize your slides. Put an image in your mind for each one … Something that cues you so you can talk about it, not something that cues you off so you say words that have been memorized.”
If you become nervous or lose your place, Ontra suggests remembering that all you are doing is telling a story. “Presentations are corporate storytelling. If you can tell the story of your company with a short message and have it reinforced with a visual slide, you’re in.”
What makes for a good presentation?
There are three parts to a presentation: what you say, your body language and facial expressions, and your visual aids. For a truly outstanding presentation, all of these must be top notch.
Your verbal presentation consists of both what you say and how you say it. Before beginning, think about what your audience already knows and what they want to know. If you are talking to novices, you would do well to cover the basics with a longer introduction so they aren’t lost. For a more experienced audience, a sentence or two on the basics is fine before you jump into the higher-level information to avoid boring them. Include at least one statistic or fact that is surprising to keep their attention, and tell stories to illustrate your points.
More than 6 in 10 attendees remember stories from presentations, while only 5% remember statistics.
Speak loudly and clearly. Few things are more frustrating than sitting through a presentation and not being able to hear what the speaker is saying. If you have a microphone, get to the venue early to do a mic check. Modulate your volume so that it is neither too loud nor too soft. For handheld mics, practice holding it at different distances from your mouth until you get the best volume, and be sure to keep it there throughout your presentation so your words are audible.
If you don’t have a microphone, you will need to project your voice to be heard. Breathe from your diaphragm and talk louder than you normally would. Start your presentation by asking audience members sitting in the back if they can hear you; make adjustments as needed. When talking, be sure to enunciate your words so you can be clearly understood. End each sentence with a downward pitch to portray confidence, not an escalating pitch like you would use to ask a question. Speak with enthusiasm and passion, not in a monotone.
From your practice sessions, you should have your presentation well timed to fit within your time allowance. So there is no need to talk fast. Talking fast makes you seem nervous and not in control of the material or, in a sales presentation, can make you come off as a high-pressure salesperson. It also makes it more difficult for your audience to understand what you are saying. After an important point or statement, take a pause for emphasis and let the information sink in.
When you are giving an in-person presentation, particularly on stage, it’s important to avoid certain body language mistakes . The way you stand and your facial expressions communicate a lot about your level of confidence and your emotional state. Before you go on, strike a power pose – one of Superman’s or Wonder Woman’s stances, for example – to boost your confidence. If someone is introducing you, stride purposefully up to the person, look them in the eye and shake their hand while you thank them. Then turn to your audience and focus on different parts of the room while smiling. As you are talking, take time to make eye contact with people.
According to research from Quantified , people usually make eye contact during just 30% to 60% of a conversation, but the ideal amount of eye contact to make an emotional connection is 60% to 70%.
Stand up straight with your shoulders back, and keep your arms by your side or slightly in front of you when gesturing. Some people like to move around while talking, while others prefer to stand mostly in one place. A wireless microphone will allow you to use more hand gestures, so it works best if you are the kind of person who likes to gesticulate. Otherwise, you could end up moving the mic away from your mouth or, even worse, bumping it and causing feedback.
While you are talking, smile occasionally throughout the presentation. This allows the audience to bond with you and shows that you are relaxed and confident, even if you aren’t. In fact, just the simple act of smiling can make you feel more self-assured, so it’s a win-win!
Most presentations use visual tools , such as a PowerPoint slideshow that includes images and key facts. This is intended to give the audience something to look at – other than the presenter – and to reinforce the information. It is not intended to be the main source of information.
Text on each slide should be brief, with no more than three sentences or bullet points. Most, if not all, slides should include striking images – a few that illustrate your point, such as graphs – and the rest that support the overall theme of your talk. Text should be large enough that people in the back of the room can read it easily – no smaller than 32-point font. If you are not confident in your design skills, ask for help, either from someone in your company or a freelancer.
Manually advance each slide with a remote. This will give you time to discuss each slide and possibly answer questions as needed, rather than be rushed by an auto-advancing presentation .
A survey by Presentation Panda found that 91% of public speakers feel more confident when using a well-designed slide presentation.
Tips for in-person presentations
- Address different parts of the room. Walk to both sides of the stage, and make eye contact with someone in every part of the room. This will make everybody in the audience feel like you are speaking directly to them.
- Avoid filler words. Don’t use words like “um,” “like” and “you know.” If you lose your train of thought, just take a breath and get back on track.
- Avoid negative words. Avoid words like “don’t,” because these tend to communicate the opposite of what you are trying to say. Instead, say it in a positive manner. For example, replace “don’t forget” with “remember.” Instead of saying, “Don’t get bogged down in minutia,” say, “Focus on the big picture.”
- Arrive at the venue early. Arrive ahead of time to check and get fitted for a microphone, hook up your laptop to the projector, and test your internet connection for a smooth presentation.
- Gauge the reaction of your audience. Do they look engaged or bored? If they look bored, you can use humor to get them to reengage, take a live online survey, or ask a question and obtain audience input.
How to improve your virtual presentations
Virtual presentations can be challenging because there is a greater propensity for your audience members’ attention to wander. Follow these tips to optimize your results:
- Make sure you are well lit. Avoid backlighting, as this will throw you into shadow. If you have a window behind you, close the blinds. Light should be coming from in front of you. Eyeglass wearers should also adjust the angle of their light source to reduce glare. Many virtual presenters use ring lights for optimal lighting.
- Be mindful of your background. Audience members can see behind you, so opt for a clean and uncluttered area. If you are presenting from home, ensure nothing personal or potentially embarrassing sits in the background. If it is impossible to control your environment, opt for video conferencing software that allows virtual backgrounds such as Zoom.
- Get comfortable with the technology. Do several run-throughs with the software to get familiar with the controls and capabilities, like how to mute yourself or others, and how to acknowledge audience questions.
- Make sure everything is working properly. Well before the presentation, test your camera, microphone and internet connection to prevent glitches. Adjust your distance from the camera so that your head and shoulders are taking up most of the frame.
- Look at the webcam. While conducting an in-person presentation, you would look at the audience. This will backfire in a virtual presentation. Instead, pay attention to the camera the whole time; this will give each participant the feeling that you are looking directly at them.
- Interact with the audience. Every 10 minutes or so, interact with the audience by asking a question and having them answer in the chat window. Then mention some of the answers and comment on them, acknowledging individuals by name.
- Use a buddy. If possible, have someone else be your admin. Keep a copy of the presentation for yourself and also forward the slides to the appointed individual in case of a technical issue. Your assistant can also monitor the chat for anything noteworthy to comment upon.
Jennifer Dublino contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.
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- 12 May 2021
Good presentation skills benefit careers — and science
- David Rubenson 0
David Rubenson is the director of the scientific-communications firm No Bad Slides ( nobadslides.com ) in Los Angeles, California.
You can also search for this author in PubMed Google Scholar
You have full access to this article via your institution.
A better presentation culture can save the audience and the larger scientific world valuable time and effort. Credit: Shutterstock
In my experience as a presentation coach for biomedical researchers, I have heard many complaints about talks they attend: too much detail, too many opaque visuals, too many slides, too rushed for questions and so on. Given the time scientists spend attending presentations, both in the pandemic’s virtual world and in the ‘face-to-face’ one, addressing these complaints would seem to be an important challenge.
I’m dispirited that being trained in presentation skills, or at least taking more time to prepare presentations, is often not a high priority for researchers or academic departments. Many scientists feel that time spent improving presentations detracts from research or clocking up the numbers that directly affect career advancement — such as articles published and the amount of grant funding secured. Add in the pressing, and sometimes overwhelming, bureaucratic burdens associated with working at a major biomedical research institute, and scientists can simply be too busy to think about changing the status quo.
Improving presentations can indeed be time-consuming. But there are compelling reasons for researchers to put this near the top of their to-do list.
You’re probably not as good a presenter as you think you are
Many scientists see problems in colleagues’ presentations, but not their own. Having given many lousy presentations, I know that it is all too easy to receive (and accept) plaudits; audiences want to be polite. However, this makes it difficult to get an accurate assessment of how well you have communicated your message.
Why your scientific presentation should not be adapted from a journal article
With few exceptions, biomedical research presentations are less effective than the speaker would believe. And with few exceptions, researchers have little appreciation of what makes for a good presentation. Formal training in presentation techniques (see ‘What do scientists need to learn?’) would help to alleviate these problems.
Improving a presentation can help you think about your own research
A well-designed presentation is not a ‘data dump’ or an exercise in advanced PowerPoint techniques. It is a coherent argument that can be understood by scientists in related fields. Designing a good presentation forces a researcher to step back from laboratory procedures and organize data into themes; it’s an effective way to consider your research in its entirety.
You might get insights from the audience
Overly detailed presentations typically fill a speaker’s time slot, leaving little opportunity for the audience to ask questions. A comprehensible and focused presentation should elicit probing questions and allow audience members to suggest how their tools and methods might apply to the speaker’s research question.
Many have suggested that multidisciplinary collaborations, such as with engineers and physical scientists, are essential for solving complex problems in biomedicine. Such innovative partnerships will emerge only if research is communicated clearly to a broad range of potential collaborators.
It might improve your grant writing
Many grant applications suffer from the same problem as scientific presentations — too much detail and a lack of clearly articulated themes. A well-designed presentation can be a great way to structure a compelling grant application: by working on one, you’re often able to improve the other.
It might help you speak to important, ‘less-expert’ audiences
As their career advances, it is not uncommon for scientists to increasingly have to address audiences outside their speciality. These might include department heads, deans, philanthropic foundations, individual donors, patient groups and the media. Communicating effectively with scientific colleagues is a prerequisite for reaching these audiences.
Better presentations mean better science
An individual might not want to spend 5 hours improving their hour-long presentation, but 50 audience members might collectively waste 50 hours listening to that individual’s mediocre effort. This disparity shows that individual incentives aren’t always aligned with society’s scientific goals. An effective presentation can enhance the research and critical-thinking skills of the audience, in addition to what it does for the speaker.
What do scientists need to learn?
Formal training in scientific presentation techniques should differ significantly from programmes that stress the nuances of public speaking.
The first priority should be to master basic presentation concepts, including:
• How to build a concise scientific narrative.
• Understanding the limitations of slides and presentations.
• Understanding the audience’s time and attention-span limitations .
• Building a complementary, rather than repetitive, relationship between what the speaker says and what their slides show.
The training should then move to proper slide design, including:
• The need for each slide to have an overarching message.
• Using slide titles to help convey that message.
• Labelling graphs legibly.
• Deleting superfluous data and other information.
• Reducing those 100-word text slides to 40 words (or even less) without losing content.
• Using colour to highlight categories of information, rather than for decoration.
• Avoiding formats that have no visual message, such as data tables.
A well-crafted presentation with clearly drawn slides can turn even timid public speakers into effective science communicators.
Scientific leaders have a responsibility to provide formal training and to change incentives so that researchers spend more time improving presentations.
A dynamic presentation culture, in which every presentation is understood, fairly critiqued and useful for its audience, can only be good for science.
Nature 594 , S51-S52 (2021)
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