Delivering Your Presentation
Avoid trying to dazzle your audience with impressive
looking equations or complicated lines of reasoning.
Tell'em what you're going say...
n effective way to emphasize the take-away message is to
repeat it several times during your talkwithout seeming
repetitious, of course. This can be accomplished by presenting an outline
of your talk at the beginning. After presenting the arguments
that support your take-away message, you can recap these points
at the end of your talk.
A typical outline for a talk looks like this:
- Point 1
- Point 2
- Point 3
where points 1-3 represent the take-away message.
Some speakers like to return to the outline slide after each
point is covered, to show the logical progression through the talk.
The outline almost invariably contains some type of introduction
as the first point. Whether the audience is a group of experts
in the field or a group of novices, all audiences require some type
of introduction to your topic. Such an introduction will attempt
to place the subject of the talk into a wider context; it will also
sometimes review some of the background material (e.g., history,
terminology, and notation) needed to understand
For an audience of non-specialists,
the introduction may take up
as much as half the time of the talk. Always start with what you
know the audience knows, to make them comfortable at the
The points of the outline should be organized in logical fashion,
so that point 2 follows logically from point 1, point 3 from point 2,
and so forth. Try to plan the talk with an easy-to-follow storyline.
To catch audience attention, you can feed them interesting tidbits
to be explained later in the talk.
Avoid trying to dazzle your audience with impressive looking
equations or complicated lines of reasoning. Your aim should
be to educate, not to impress. Even the most seasoned expert
in the field will not be impressed by an unintelligible, overly
nce you have placed the subject of your talk into the proper
context and have reviewed the necessary background material,
it is time to convey the essence of each of the points in your
take-away message in an effective manner. This is where you
will spend most time, but it may not be the part that the
audience will remember most.
Follow your outline. Present, in
the simplest way possible, the arguments
that support each point in your outline. A useful rule of thumb
is to use a new slide for the presentation of each new idea, or argument.
More on this later.
Tell'em what you've said.
t the end of your presentation, it is a good idea
to recap the take-away message. The usual way to do this is to
provide a summary slide, with the take-away message shown
in point form. This summary will usually
conclude your presentation, except in the case of thesis
presentations, where it is typical to provide some suggestions
for further work. If appropriate, you can invite the audience
to ask questions at this point.|
Frank R. Kschischang, September 4, 1995,