Freitag, 11. November 2011

Talks: Comments

What makes a good talk? How do I prepare it?

Seminar at a group where nobody knows your work:
  • Most important point: the talk is not for you, it's for the audience. The talk has to be designed such that the audience enjoys it, not you
  • Who is the audience? What do they know? How much introduction is required such that it becomes understandable what I'm saying?
  • Once I know who the audience is going to be: draft the talk in four slides. Condense the material
  • Readable graphs (large units/labels, thickness of lines), i.e. if graphs are not prepared nicely, it shows that the preparation of the talk was not a priority
  • Better the audience understands a little a bit, instead of it totally does not understand anything
  • Simple Rule of thumb 1: Not more than two messages per slide
  • Simple Rule of thumb 2: Not more than six bullet points, not more than 6 white-spaced expressions per bullet point No bullet points, substitute bullet points by figures
  • Dont read the bullet points, memorize them. Go through them while facing the people, not the slides Address each figure and make it clear why it is there
  • The slides dont substitute the talking. The talking is the main message carrier, the slides should allow to assist when explaining. Thats why text is not required, instead figures
  • Dont base the talking on the slides, base the slides on the talking.
  • Timing (excluding questions): 5% personal introduction: "who is this guy?", 10% content introduction, 70% content, 10% summary/conclusions, 5% aknowledgements
  • Start practicing the talk at least 3 days a week ahead.
  • Avoid text
  • In the start of the talk, it's fine to show something unrelated so people remember you

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