Giving a presentation: tips & tricks
A few tips when giving a presentation
- Rember page numbers
- Number the slides or pages. Also think about adding the total number of slides also. Then try to roughly remember what is at which page. This will come in real handy when you need to skip a bit due to time constrains, or when browsing back through the presentation when answering a question.
- Use the top half of the screen
- In halls with lower ceilings, the people in the back are looking over the people in front of them and may not see all of your screen. Think about this in designing your slides or demoing an application. Also, when using an overhead projector, some people might not see past the overhead mirror or yourself.
- In designing the layout of the slides, think about contrast. The color representation of presentation equipement might not always be similar to what you get on your screen. Just think what the sun does when beaming into a room with inadequate shutters. Choose foreground and background colors accordingly, and opposite colors or shapes in diagrams.
- Please don't use tahoma
- Choose the font you use for your slides well. A good reason to choose Verdana over Tahoma is because it is less condensed. A sans-serif font may be better readable than a serif font. Serif fonts are ok for titles, though.
- Switch off background processes
- On a multi-user environment, consider creating a local user profile for a "presentation user" with only the really neccessary items in the environment: a clean desktop, tuned display settings, no community background apps that may fire reminders and things, no background journallers or indexers, etc.
- Please use Alt-Tab
- When demonstrating an application, alongside with progressing in a slide-show, please consider using Alt-Tab. Watching someone minimize a presentation, finding the task-bar somewhere, switching to the application just to show something, then minimizing again to return to the slide-show breaks focus on a topic. Alt-Tab switches between applications fast without showing the desktop or taskbar.
- Q&A: repeat the question
- When answering questions from the audience, repeat the question first before you answer it. The person asking a question is addressing you and the people behind him/her might not have heard the question. Trying to find out what the question was when you answer might be disturbing to understand the answer. Also it is an extra check to see if you understood the question correctly (over background noises e.g. with a large audience)