I was talking about tech experts and their presentations yesterday, seems Garr Reynolds was too. It still is a huge problem. Because dull and poorly designed presentations still happen every day, behind closed doors, in every school, college, company, university. On the small stage. Where I work, too.
It is easy to help someone who comes and asks for help. It is often very frustrating when you first have to make people realize how much energy is wasted on both sides of their talks. And when it comes to colleagues and bosses, you can usually say not quite so much. I tried it once, and suggested for a large conference a more visual and didactically interesting approach. Answer from above was: Let’s just do this dry and scientific.
OK. That was when I decided to pull out of the event and rather work with my students that day.
Science and tech talks can be fun, though, and science can be clear and structured and visually appealing and you can make science and tech students understand and interested in your topic (and your colleagues, and other experts, and the public.)
So I am glad to see some reading tips in Reynolds’ posting.
I just do not agree with this one point: That using a laser pointer is a sign that your slides are poorly designed. It is a means of focusing attention. A means of highlighting something. Look, here, that is typical. Look here: this is different. Look here… I love laser pointers. They make everyone look in the same direction. Plus, they make a great toy for cats, too.
Link: Garr Reynolds. Advice on giving technical presentations