Friday, 14 May 2010

Presentation Tips

As with most terms, it always seems to come to a point where I seem to be doing nothing but presentations. I don't have a huge social phobia, but at the beginning of medical school I used to worry a lot more about presentations than I do now. I think this is because I've developed my own hints and tips that help me and I thought I'd share them...

1. Nobody cares. At first this statement seems a little harsh until you realise that it means even if you make a complete prat of yourself noone will remember it. If other people are doing presentations too they'll be too busy thinking of theirs. If you're the only one presenting everyone else in the room is just relieved it's not them and they're probably thinking about what to have for lunch.

2. Acting. I get nervous doing presentations. My alter-ego "clever-lily" doesn't. I always feel that if I pretend to be competent then I'll come across as knowing what I'm talking about. It seems to work.

3. Smile. If someone asks a question you don't know the answer to smile. No matter how evil the question is. It makes it seem like you're at ease with the material and even if you then have to say "to be perfectly honest I'm not sure..." the fact you don't go to pieces is good. Also don't fidget. It looks awful.

4. Timing. There's nothing more soul destroying than a presentation that goes on forever, so stick to the time if you don't want your audience shuffling and looking at their watches.

5. Slides. If you're making slides for the presentation keep them sparse. There's no point in writing everything you're going to say on the slide. Don't insult your audience. If it's all written down and you're just reading it out that's as good as calling them illiterate.

Does anyone else have any good presentation tips?!

Lily xXx


madsadgirl said...

Yes. Remember to look at the audience from time to time. No-one minds you reading from notes if the information needs to be accurate, but looking at the audience means that you are letting them know that you know that they are there. It is surprising how many times I have been in the audience for presentations when the presenter hasn't bothered to engage with the audience.

Emma said...

Do not use animations and noises. It's an insult to everyone's intelligence and it's very annoying, particularly if it means it takes forever for the text to appear on each slide. Also, don't use excessive clipart.

Make sure the colours and fonts are readable and reasonably sized.

Remember that your audience are several feet away. Graphs with little numbers on are pointless.

Don't use presentations if you do not know how to use powerpoint. Familiarise yourself with the controls at least.

This is something of a hobby horse of mine, can you tell?

AberdeenMedStudent said...

Thanks for this :) Did a case presentation today at GP and your tips really came in handy! x

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