Preparation for Oral Presentations
All presentation rooms are equipped with a screen, an LCD projector, and a laptop computer installed with Microsoft PowerPoint. You will be able to insert your USB flash drive into the computer and double check your file in PowerPoint. We recommend you bring two copies of the file in case that one fails. You may also link your own laptop to the provided projector; however please ensure you have the requisite connector.
- Each Presenter has 12-15 minutes to present and 3 minutes Q&A.
- Hints to Enhance Your Oral Presentation
Commercial PowerPoint packages offer all sorts of ways to add visual enhancement to your slides: fades, swipes, flashing text, and other annoyances are all too easy to insert with a few mouse clicks. These are fine if you are making a sales promotion, however, for an academic, scientific research presentation keep it simple.
Avoid the temptation to dress up your slides with unnecessary clutter and focus instead on simple design basics:
- Use a sans serif font for body text. Sans serifs like Arial, Helvetica, or Calibri tend to be the easiest to read on screens.
- Use decorative fonts only for slide headers, and then only if they’re easy to read. Decorative fonts –calligraphy, German blackface, futuristic, psychotic handwriting, flowers, art nouveau, etc. – are hard to read and should be reserved only for large headlines at the top of the page. Better yet, stick to a classy serif font like Georgia or Baskerville.
- Put dark text on a light background. Again, this is easiest to read. If you must use a dark background – for instance, if your institution uses a standard template with a dark background – make sure your text is quite light (white, cream, light grey, or pastels) and maybe increase the font size up a few points.
- Align text left or right. Centered text is harder to read and looks amateurish. Line up all your text to a right-hand or left-hand baseline – it will look better and be easier to follow.
- Avoid clutter.A headline, a few bullet points, maybe an image – anything more than that and you risk losing your audience as they sort it all out.
- Using colour on your slides. Consider the concepts of color balance, contrast, and conflict. Black text on a white and yellow on the navy blue background are ideal; green on white and white on reading, or green on red are NOT aesthetically pleasing. Try it!
- Using graphics. The temptation to use graphics from other sources may pose a problem when conveying the message to your audience. When projected on the screen the image may not be in focus or sharp colors may lack contrast. This is especially the case of pie-graphs.
- How many slides? A good rule is a slide a minute. Hence if you are allocated 15 minutes it is a good policy to restrict the number of slides to less than 15 as your time spent on each may vary. Endeavor not to go over your allocated time.
- Practice runs. Time yourself as you practice your presentation. This exercise will certainly put you at ease.