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UMBC CMSC 691 - Giving Effective Presentations

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Giving Effective PresentationsSourcesOutlineRules for PresentationsRuleRule #2: Know What You Want to SayRule #3: Know Your AudienceRule #4: Know How Long You HaveComments on Zobel / PetersGeneral Presentation GuidelinesOrganizing a TalkSlideology 101How to Give a Bad Talk Advice from Dave Patterson, summarized by Mark HillHandling QuestionsPaper Summary PresentationsGoals of Paper PresentationsSlide 17Summary Presentation ContentGiving the PresentationGrading and FeedbackSeptember1999October 1999October 1999Giving Effective PresentationsMarie desJardins ([email protected])CMSC 691BFebruary 17, 2004September1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 2SourcesRobert L. Peters, Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning a Master’s or Ph.D. (Revised Edition). NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997.Justin Zobel, Writing for Computer Science: The Art of Effective Communication. Singapore: Springer-Verlag, 1997.Mark D. Hill, “Oral presentation advice”Simon L. Peyton Jones, John Hughes, and John Launchbury, “How to give a good research talk”Patrick Winston, “Some lecturing heuristics”Dave Patterson, “How to have a bad career in research/academia”September1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 3OutlineRules for presentationsGeneral guidelines for preparing talksPaper presentation guidelines for this classSeptember1999October 1999October 1999Rules for PresentationsSeptember1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 5 RuleKnow what on earth you’re doing up there!Rule #2: Know what you want to sayRule #3: Know your audienceRule #4: Know how long you haveSeptember1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 6Rule #2: Know What You Want to SayJust giving a project summary is not interesting to most peopleYou should give enough detail to get your interesting ideas across (and to show that you’ve actually solved the problem), but not enough to lose your audienceThey want to hear what you did that was cool and why they should carePreferably, they’ll hear the above two points at the beginning of the talk, over the course of the talk, and at the end of the talkIf they’re intrigued, they’ll ask questions or read your paperWhatever you do, don’t just read your slides!September1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 7Rule #3: Know Your AudienceDon’t waste time on basics if you’re talking to an audience in your fieldEven for these people, you need to be sure you’re explaining each new concept clearlyOn the other hand, you’ll lose people in a general audience if you don’t give the necessary backgroundIn any case, the most important thing is to emphasize what you’ve done and why they should care!September1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 8Rule #4: Know How Long You HaveHow long is the talk? Are questions included?A good heuristic is 2-3 minutes per slideIf you have too many slides, you’ll skip some or—worse—rush desperately to finish. Avoid this temptation!! Almost by definition, you never have time to say everything about your topic, so don’t worry about skipping some things!Unless you’re very experienced giving talks, you should practice your timing:A couple of times on your own to get the general flowAt least one dry run to work out the kinksA run-through on your own the night before the talkSeptember1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 9Comments on Zobel / PetersZobel recommends one minute per slideUnless you have VERY little information on each slide, this is a racing speedPeters recommends writing out your presentation, word for wordThis is a very bad idea for most people, and will lead to extremely stilted deliveryThe only alternative, if you’re not an experienced public speaker, is to PRACTICESeptember1999October 1999October 1999General Presentation GuidelinesSeptember1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 11Organizing a TalkTalks are linear:Your audience can’t flip back to see what you said lastThey can’t use the section headers as a guideline→ Help them keep track of where you are in the talk→ Don’t try to cover as much ground as you would in a technical paperGive an overview (& use it throughout)Start with a slide or two on key ideas/contributionsGive a high-level summary (or simple example) before you dive down into (not too many) detailsRecap at the endSeptember1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 12Slideology 101Don’t just read your slides!Use the minimum amount of text necessaryUse examplesUse a readable, simple, yet elegant formatUse color to emphasize important points, but avoid the excessive use of color“Hiding” bullets like this is annoying (but sometimes effective), but…Don’t fidget, and…Don’t just read your slides!Abuse of animation is a cardinal sin!September1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 13How to Give a Bad TalkAdvice from Dave Patterson, summarized by Mark Hill1. Thou shalt not be neat2. Thou shalt not waste space3. Thou shalt not covet brevity4. Thou shalt cover thy naked slides5. Thou shalt not write large6. Thou shalt not use color7. Thou shalt not illustrate8. Thou shalt not make eye contact9. Thou shalt not skip slides in a long talk10. Thou shalt not practiceSeptember1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 14Handling QuestionsQuestions during the talk:If your presentation will answer the question later, say so and move onIf your presentation won’t answer the question, either:Give a brief answerDefer the question to the end of the talkMake sure you understand the question before answering itAsk for clarification if you need itRestate the question, and ask whether you’ve gotten it rightHave backup slides for questions you can anticipate (but don’t have time for in the main presentation)September1999October 1999October 1999Paper Summary PresentationsSeptember1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 16Goals of Paper PresentationsConvey why this is an important and/or interesting problemReview key ideas in the paperConvey why this is an important and/or interesting approachCritique the workStimulate discussionSeptember1999October 1999October 19992/17/04 17Paper Summary PresentationsContent: You should provide a well organized presentation of the key contributions and important ideas in the paper.Timing: You should aim for a ten-minute presentation.This works out to (roughly) four to six slides – no


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