I. hate. presentations. Having to stand in front of a group of people while explaining a usually quite complicated topic is basically my exact idea of hell. That said I do recognize the key role of presentations as one of the primary methods of informing colleagues about developments in your field. As such I’m trying to bite the bullet and work on developing techniques that allow me to speak accurately and clearly. I suffer slightly from stage fright and used to pace up and down in front of the screen while talking which I think distracted them from the talk. Thankfully I have managed control that quirk. I do still tend to mumble when talking and I am trying to learn how to project my voice better.
The presentation I’ve included in this post is one I did for my previous Masters. It was supposed to be basic description of my research project. When planning it I tried to follow most of the basic tips for Power Point presentations, e.g. avoiding putting all of my text on the slides and then just reading it out. I actually think I went to far down the pictorial route as it’s difficult to get the gist of it on it’s own. In hindsight it would have been a good idea to include an introductory slide to give the audience an overview of what the presentation would be about. If I was giving advice to someone I’d tell them to be sure to include a “Table of Contents” slide which describes the flow of the presentation and to stick to this flow when talking.