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BBTS2016: Your Presentation Sucks Because Science

We are delighted to host Ross Fisher at #bbts2016.  Ross is an internationally acclaimed expert on presentation skills and he has prepared this blog for us as you start to think of developing your presentation for the meeting.  If you want to hear more come to his session on Day 3, Friday 23rd Sept.    

'Think of the best scientific presentation you have watched. It captured your interest, answered your question and changed your practice. This will not happen if you simply read out your scientific paper.

A presentation is made of three parts: the story (p1), the supportive media (p2) and its delivery (p3). The value of the whole is the product of the three parts. Each part requires specific attention.

Close the laptop and get a pencil and paper. Write down in one sentence the change your presentation will make to the audience. Construct a single sentence that will convey this. Rather than a list of facts, what is your message? Be succinct and brief. Now describe how you developed this message. This is the story (p1). Now open the laptop. I know you ignored the first instruction; you are wrong.

The media (p2) should support, not replace the message. It should illustrate the idea, never annotate it. Ideally this should be minimal and include virtually no text as it hinders learning and cognition. Images and data slides must be easily interpretable within 3 seconds. The media is neither script nor handout, it supports the message.

The delivery of the presentation (p3) must be practised rigorously to ensure accurate length of piece, flow and performance. This is focussed, out loud and repeated multiple times. Value the audience by preparation and practise. Prepare for technical failure and prepare at the event by arriving early, reviewing the story, the presentation, the stage and the audience. Relax as you are introduced and stand to change practice as you give the best scientific presentation you have ever done.' 

Visit Ross' blog for more tips on how to develop your presentation skills

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21 Jan 2020
1:55 am