Don't Sleep Through This

Giving a Good Talk over at Life as a Physicist.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) there is a lot more to giving a good talk than just a good deck of slides. I think the number one thing for me is “tell a story.”

Some good tips to check out. A couple to add:

Don’t make your graphs too complicated and the admonition of death-before-yellow-on-white applies here as well. Also remember that (red/green) color blindness is not all that uncommon, so — especially if you’ve used red and/or green — point out which line you’re discussing, rather than just saying “the red line represents X”

I’ve heard a common critique that the presentation slides should be cartoonish, but I rarely find them funny, so I use a different description — simplify. The text should be the highlights, not a transcript. If you’ve followed the advice about fonts (I say minimum size ~18), you won’t be able to fit everything you say on the slides, anyway. You shouldn’t be speeding along any faster than about one slide per minute. And remember to breathe.

0 thoughts on “Don't Sleep Through This

  1. I would say the best policy is to avoid using projectors just for the sake of using projectors. There’s nothing more boring than someone making a power point presentation and then reading off of it.

  2. Hear hear on the consideration for red/green colorblind people. I’m one of them. Deuteroanomaly, I think my variant is called. Bright green and bright red especially over large areas are fine, but unsaturated versions over small areas look pretty much the same.