Student presentations in ELEC/COMP513
by Lin Zhong, January 2018
Are not the pleasures of the affections greater than the pleasures of the senses? And are not the pleasures of the intellect greater than the pleasures of the affections? Is not knowledge a true and only natural pleasure, whereof there is no satiety? by Francis Bacon (In Praise of Knowledge)
Goal of your presentation
- Get the audience to learn something interesting.
- Get the audience to think.
- Make the audience feel good, like a good movie or a hearty meal.
- The aspect radio must be 4 by 3 because of the screen in the classroom
- Use the simpliest, most boring design possible for slide (so that you can focus on content)
- white background, black font by default.
- Slide title should be on the top.
- No PowerPoint or Keynote animation. Your slides should work in PDF.
- There must be slide numbers, except the title slide
- There must be an outline slide soon after the title slide
- The last slide must have the most important point you want the audience to take away with. "Thank you" or "Questions?" cannot be there.
- The goal of your presentation is NOT to faithfully summarize the materials (papers) that you are presenting.
- Focus on the interesting materials.
- Share YOUR opinions/insights (instead of staying safe by talking about obvious, agreeable things)
- Feel free not to include any material.
- Do not limit to just the materials (papers). You should read broadly and place the work in context, both historical and latest developments.
- There must be structure. Your presentation should not be a bag of materials. What is the single most important point you want audience to walk away with? What are the supporting materials? How does this point break down into subpoints? Your presentation cannot be a bag of points. How are these points related? Taken collectively, do they say something bigger, higher?
- There must be depth. Some materials shall be covered deeper than others.
- Make sure you have a point to make when you include an equation.
- You do not include equations just to show off that you know math.
- Minimize the use of equations. When using an equation, presenting its simpliest form. For a good example, think about an otherwise blank slide with E=MC2 at its center.
- Bring your own clicker.
- Do not read slides. They are visual assistance to your presentation, not books.
- Do not rush. Pace your presentation. Use pauses to give audience time to digest, to ask questions
- Do not point at the slide. If you find yourself needing to point to a slide, you need to revise that slide.
- The default center of audience attention should be you, not the screen. The screen provides visual assistance to your presentation, instead of you providing narrative assitance to the screen.
- Keep eye contact with audience
- Use proper body languages, to, e.g., engage audience (to ask questions and reflect on what you just said), and show your opinions.
- The title of slide should be the point of the slide.
- A slide should only have a single point. If a slide can be broken into multiple slides, it should be.
- A slide shall not have more than seven lines of text
- A text line shall not have more than seven words
- A slide shall not have more than one figure. When you find you have to place more than one into a slide, think about: (i) are these figures redundant so that you reall should only show one? (ii) Are these figures better redrawn (or merged) into one? (iii) Is it better to show them over multiple slides, instead of jammed in one.