11 June 2014

How to present your ideas to people

A KAPSARC colleague gave a short, insightful talk on how to give a short, insightful talk to a diverse but curious audience. This post is based on his slides:

What does a good talk do?
  • It exposes others to ideas outside their expertise
  • It is stimulating, educational and fun. People should look at you, not the clock
  • It shares your ideas and invites feedback on them
Here's a checklist for preparing a good talk:
  1. Use the official template (or a simple one of your own)
  2. Use NINE slides, i.e. title slide plus EIGHT more
  3. Minimize word counts, use larger fonts, and make sure clearly labeled figures and tables can be read from a distance
  4. Cite your sources (especially if want to use them later or tell people where to find more)Focus on one topic so the audience can follow your idea from start to finish
  5. Explain terminology, acronyms, theories, etc. so anyone with reasonable technical knowledge can understand
  6. A novice on the topic should learn something new; an expert should see a new angle
  7. Clearly explain and highlight the 1-2 key messages you want people to take away
  8. Rehearse to make sure your presentation will take only 10-15 minutes. Subsequent time for questions will help you and your audience

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