We all want to be able to give great presentations, unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way. The truth is all of us can improve our presentation skills. To help with that effort, we put this page together to provide you with some tips and advice on everything from your presentation style to building your slide deck. So, look things over and hopefully we will see you presenting at the next NMFWA Workshop!
7 Presentation Tips
This 7 minute video by Practical Psychology presents the Top 7 Presentation Tips from Dana Blouin. These 7 tips will help to ensure that presentation hits the mark and leaves a lasting impression.
How to Aviod Deth By Powerpoint
This 20 minute video by David JP Phillips is from a TEDx Talk in Stockholm. He gives an entertaining talk connect nuro-science with presentation skills. He provide great examples and anecdotes. You will come away from this video with a better undersatnding of how to create and give a presentation that your audience will understand and remember.
Creating a great Slide Deck
This 17 minute video by SPI TV and Pat Flynn shows you how to create a slide deck that'll captivate your audience and support your talk, not bore people to death and put people to sleep.
How to Use Powerpoint like a pro
This 6 minute video by Colin Boyd covers his Presentation POP Method. He provides tips to help our presentations look elegant, look beautiful, be highly engaging and support what you have to say instead of distracting from what you have to say.
- Keep it simple. Convey only one idea per table, figure, or title slide. Figures from publications, theses, or dissertations normally do not make good PowerPoint slides. Too much detail detracts from the primary message of the slide. Use appropriate blank space.
- If you feel the need to say "I know you can't read this........" Do not use that slide.
- Slides should be readable to the unaided eye. You may be speaking in a large room. Text on title slides should be restricted to 7 lines. BIG IS BEAUTIFUL and easy to read.
- Use appropriate and compatible colors for type and backgrounds; don’t be exotic. Avoid white backgrounds. Color combinations with pleasing contrasts are preferable. Examples of suggested combinations are: white or yellow type on a blue background, and yellow type on a green background. Do not use colors you have not tested before. Avoid dark slides and overly dark backgrounds. Remember that color blind people cannot distinguish between red and green. Avoid using red text on blue background – about 15% of the population has problems seeing information with this color combination.
- Simple typefaces are preferable to fancy fonts. Bold type may be effective on title slides. If using special fonts and characters, embed them into the presentation (See information below for embedding font).
- Slides of scenes or organisms should clearly show what you want the audience to see.
Advice on Production of PowerPoint Presentations
- AUDIO OPTIONS ARE FREQUENTLY NOT AVAILABLE AND SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN YOUR PRESENTATION WITH PRIOR COORDINATION AND APPROVAL.
- Complicated presentations may not display the same way on the conference computer as on your own computer. Keep your presentations simple but informative.
- Do all cropping of images in an image processing package, NOT in PowerPoint. Save the cropped image as an external file and then insert the image into your presentation. We suggest saving image files in Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpg or .jpeg) or Portable Network Graphics (.png) format as these are space efficient and easiest to use formats in PowerPoint presentations.
- Use Arial or Times New Roman fonts for all slides. This is to prevent problems with incorrect font/character substitution that occurs when presentations are prepared in fonts not available on the conference computers. If you must use fonts other than Arial or Times New Roman, EMBED them in your presentation when saving it as follows: (a) in the ‘File’ menu, click ‘Save As’; (b) in the ‘Save As’ window, click ‘Tools’; (c) in the ‘Tools’ menu click ‘Save Options’; (d) select ‘Embed TrueType Fonts’. You can embed any TrueType font that comes with Windows. Other TrueType fonts can be embedded only if they have no license restrictions. If a font can’t be embedded (for example, it’s not marked as being editable or installable), a message appears to tell you why. Saving a presentation with embedded fonts increases the file size of your presentation.
- Keep your presentation as simple as possible to avoid hardware and software conflicts. Audio and video files, animated text, animated figures, superscripts, and subscripts cause most of the problems. If using video or audio, please inform the IT Coordinator so the appropriate files are transferred and can be tested before the meeting.
- Check to be sure you are using the correct version of PowerPoint and Windows, check with your conference IT support team.
- You might find the following site helpful in answering your PowerPoint questions: http://www.computertips.com/Microsoftoffice/MsPowerPoint/aheader.htm.