For your seminar, please plan on a formal presentation.
The format of the presentation is up to you:
often "slideware" like Powerpoint (KeyNote, LibreOffice, NeoOffice, Apache OpenOffice Impress, StarOffice, QuickOffice, etc.)
or Google Docs is used as a presentation manager
but you may also use
the whiteboard, or whatever other display modes.
The exact structure of each presentation depends on its themes,
but in general, tell us what you learned. What's interesting? What's
difficult? What's the theory and what's the practice?
Ben Shneiderman, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at the University
of Maryland, promotes a mantra that neatly summarizes a
“Overview first; zoom and filter; details on demand.”
This suggested organization applies equally well
to computer-mediated information visualization,
and written (or hypermedia) documents.
Clearly and explicitly state the goal of your research during your introduction.
Live demonstrations and multimedia examples are especially encouraged. Show us
sections of source code. Play audio samples and movies. Be as creative
as you dare!
If you want to do a practice talk or have someone check your slides,
naturally i am all pleased to help you with such preparation.
For public rehearsal, hard (paper) copies of not only your presentation but also your thesis to share with the attendees at the practice.
Everyone should bring a red pen to indicate suggestions on both the shibai slides and also the ronbun.
Resolve to “hit the ground running,” starting promptly at the designated time,
having dutifully prepared all the computers, power cables, audio cables, lights, curtains, whiteboard, projector, screen, etc. _in advance_
(so arrive early to confirm arrangements).
- Prepare slides using presentation manager.
- About 1 slide/minute is probably about right.
- Prepare live demonstration, video, animation, models, or any
other relevant material.
- Practice your presentation before any group rehearsal,
perhaps in front of a mirror or a friend,
making sure to stay within the limit
(including formal presentation, and any demo or movie,
but excluding period for questions).
The Powerpoint Help files include some hints about public speaking.
- Make eye contact with the audience. Use their body language as a
feedback loop (to let you know if you are interesting, boring, or
- A corollary is: face the audience (not the screen). No one wants to
see your backside. Bring notes if you like: Powerpoint allows text to
be associated with each slide, which can be printed out as cues for
your narration, or use your smartphone or tablet as a prompter.
- Make your figures BIG; let them fill up the screen.
Small text and details in your
illustrations (schematics, screen shots, etc.) would be frustratingly
impossible to see. I strongly suggest moving most of the text off the
presented slide into the notes section, which you can print (as
suggested below) and recite verbally. The audience will be able to
hear you just fine (if you speak clearly, perhaps with a microphone). Use
the screen "real estate" for your illustrations; use your voice for
(Think of the screen as bandwidth,
which you can waste by allowing too much "white space,"
or by filling up with noise.)
The text in the figures should be the same size as text in "bullets."
- Staging: prepare your segment in advance.
Fire up your slides
before your turn (like an "on deck" batter in baseball), so
transition between speakers is almost seamless.
- Include a title page with the title of your segment and your name (or
names or if you are in a group project). Don't include "noise"
on each slide like the location.
- Run a spell checker!
- Use your presentation manager's expressive capability to flatter and complement your
content. Enjoy learning about and deploying clip art, animation,
varied backgrounds, etc. Be graphically creative,
without distracting from your ideas.
- In general, be creative. A seminar is scientific, but
it's also "show business," and correct but boring is almost worse than
superficial but interesting. Timing is very important. If a singer
at a concert forgets the words, they can mumble or hum, and as long as
they stay on beat, hardly anyone will notice, but if a performer gets
embarrassed, freezes, goes mute, the rhythm is broken. If you forget
something, or make a mistake, or get confused, don't get flustered;
just keep going!
- Give a hard copy of your slide presentation to your advisor at least a couple of days
before your presentation for review.
(Please avoid making this print-out white on black,
on which background it is hard to see red mark-up.)
- Give the attendees a hard copy of your slides at the presentation,
perhaps printed "2- portrait" or "4-up landscape" (multiple slides per page).
If possible, please print or copy duplex (double-sidedly) to save paper.
The file should be spooled to the printer as black & white and without background design.
Avoid "head-to-toe" [reverse of page upside-down] copying mode.
- Anticipate questions, and prepare extra (non-sequenced) slides to bring up on demand.
If you have too many slides to fit into your formal presentation,
move some out of sequence, and use questions as an excuse to bring them up.
- Remember the "5 Ps": Proper preparation prevents poor performance!
- Most important is to have fun. Hopefully your enthusiasm will be
infectious, and the audience
will get a sense of your excitement and a taste of your science.
Here are some supplemental hints for public speaking (from the Powerpoint Help files).