I LOVE me some powerpoints.
Think about what you want your audience to take away. Use the rule of 3 to emphasize those points (say what you’re going to say, say it, then tell people that you said it). Depending on how much time you have you won’t be able to get through every point in the paper, so think about what subset you want to present, what slides you want to keep in case of questions but not actually present, and so on.
Use the powerpoint as a guide to remind you what to talk about, so brief bullets/phrases instead of full sentences. Do not read off the slides.
Some people will only want to read your slides, some people will only want to listen to what you say. Make sure that people who do one or the other will still get the gist of your presentation.
Make sure your fontsize is big enough that the people in the back can see it if they’re wearing glasses. My heuristic is to not go below 28 point Calibri if it’s something I want them to read. (Table notes can go smaller)
Graphs are often more compelling than regression output. (But keep the regression output as a backup)
Don’t use fancy wipes/fade-outs/etc. Anything that distracts without a purpose is useless.
Development economists, behavioral economists, psychologists, antrhopologists, etc. use a lot of photos/pictures/drawings and occasionally movies. Do that if it is common in your field. If it isn’t, then only sex it up like that if it helps improve understanding.
DO NOT USE PREZI. Or if you do, use it like you would Powerpoint or Beemer. You do not want to give members of your audience migraines.
I have often found it helpful to have different versions of the same information in the powerpoint that I can skip over depending on how pressed for time I am. So I will have a pretty chart, regression output, and summary bullets (or two out of the three) and I will use combinations of one or two of these depending on how much time I have left. It is also helpful to know which sections can be skipped without losing the main themes of the presentation.
Practice your talk. Know how the talk is going to differ if questions are allowed vs. no questions being allowed.
It is better to go a little under than a little over. It is better to skip parts than to talk so quickly nobody can understand you.
Join us next Tuesday for: How to write a powerpoint discussion(!)
Academic readers– is this about right? What things are the same or different in your discipline? Any other tips?