Delivering a Presentation

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Sparky49, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    Hi guys,

    This is quite short notice, but I've been entered into an IET competition for tomorrow night. It is the Present Around the World competition. Basically, I have 10 minutes to present a topic which interests me, and then I take 5 minutes of questions from three judges.

    Does anyone have any pointers and/or advice for when it comes to public speaking and presentations? I'm not particularly nervous, I'm just wanting to do my best. :D

    I've done a bit of research on the three judges, and none seem to have a particularly strong antenna background (my presentation is on the benefits of plasma antennas, as well as my designs for a new generation of plasma antennas very different from anything before), so I've tried to cut down on the serious physics and antenna theory.

    I have also made a few 'back up' slides, which have useful pictures and/or equations on, just in case they ask a question which might be easier to answer with a slide.

    Any other last minute tips or tricks? I'm last on, so I plan to see what mistakes/good things the others do.

    Many thanks,

  2. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    I usually add a few slides up front that state my goal in the presentation and what I'm going to cover, then, after each section, if applicable, I show that slide indicating what is left to cover. By showing the progress, the audience is assured there will be a time that I will stop yammering on and they can feel that progress has been made.
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  3. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Here are my tips, coming from an experienced Toastmaster:

    1. Know your audience.

    2. There are three parts to a presentation.

    (i) Say what your presentation is about.
    (ii) Make your presentation.
    (iii) Summarize what you just told your audience.

    3. Make your presentation interesting to your audience.

    4. Make yourself be heard. Face your audience, not the screen. Make eye contact with each member of the audience.

    5. Keep your slides simple. For a 10 minute presentation, 4 to 6 slides are enough.

    6. Do not read from your slides.

    7. Keep text on the slides to a minimum. Use headlines or bullet points. No more than 4 or 6 topics per slide. Use only one font.

    8. A picture is worth a thousand words. Use pictures and graphics to convey your message.

    9. Avoid animation on the slide. Remember, the focus is on you, the presenter, not the slide presentation.

    10. Keep it simple.
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  4. Veracohr

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2011
    I second that.

    Remember that slides are an aid, your voice is the presentation.
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  5. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    Also keep it simple but try to answer all questions before they are asked in order to keep the crowed informed...
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  6. abhaymv

    Active Member

    Aug 6, 2011
    I would like to add that figures will be very helpful to cram a lot of content. 'A picture is worth a thousand words', they say. :D
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  7. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    The list from MrChips is excellent and mirrors my experiences also. Point #1 should be points 1 thru 3. VERY important.

    In a talk as short as yours, you will have to have a very narrow focus. Resist any temptation to "pad" the slides to show how clever you are. The audience will be more impressed by clarity and brevity. Focus on something you find fun or interesting and let some of that passion come through.
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  8. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    What Mr Chips said.

    I would add that some of the best presentations I've seen are ones where the slides contained pictures with no or very little text. An example of this that comes to mind was part of a a presentation where the speaker talked about virtual servers (i.e. lots of software servers running on one physical server) and he put up a picture of the TARDIS. This was a great analogy - bigger on the inside than the outside.
    Sparky49 likes this.
  9. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    Thank you guys for all your advice.

    I won. :D

    Looking forward to the next round now. :)
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  10. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Congratulations Sparks! Hope my tips had something to do with it.
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  11. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    They sure did. :)

    They liked my use of diagrams and the eye contact I made.

    They also said they thought it was great how I made a possibly dry topic interesting and informative.

    I don't get how antennas can be perceived as dry though??? :D
  12. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    It depends of the weather sometimes... :p

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