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Technical Presentations. Technical Presentations ARE NOT. Simple demonstrations Simple accounts. “ So let me show you all how to properly swing a golf club!”. “ So let me tell you what really happened on the Mayflower’s ocean voyage!”. Technical Presentations ARE.

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Technical presentations are not
Technical PresentationsARE NOT...

Simple demonstrations

Simple accounts

“So let me show you all how to properly swing a golf club!”

“So let me tell you what really happened on the Mayflower’s ocean voyage!”


Technical presentations are
Technical PresentationsARE...

  • Presentations that tackle particularly difficult material

  • Presentations with two primary goals

    • To classify the principle difficulty to audience understanding

    • To shape the speech to overcome the difficulty


General guidelines for technical presentations
General Guidelines for Technical Presentations

Make appropriate word choices

  • Shorter and simpler is better

  • Avoid jargon


General guidelines for technical presentations1
General Guidelines for Technical Presentations

Make frequent use of examples and analogies

  • Examples keep interest and increase memorability

  • Use examples familiar to the audience

  • Analogies help us understand an unfamiliar concepts by comparing it to something familiar

  • Analogies are very important for all learning and particularly powerful for communicating highly technical information


General guidelines for technical presentations2
General Guidelines for Technical Presentations

Translate measurement scales into useful analogies

  • Many measurement scales defy comprehension

  • Explain scales carefully, completely, and simply

  • Help audience “identify” with quantities through analogy

    Example: How big is a 10 micron particle?

  • Not very helpful: Invisible to human eye, 1/25,000th in.

  • More helpful: 10 times smaller than diameter of a human hair



An idea may be hard to understand because
An Idea May Be Hard to Understand Because...

It involves difficult concepts and language

Example: Radiation

Example: Flat tax systems


An idea may be hard to understand because1
An Idea May Be Hard to Understand Because...

It involves difficult to envision structures and processes

Example: How the eye “sees”

Example: How ion propulsion works


Conceptual presentations
Conceptual Presentations

  • Illuminate a concept’s meaning and use

  • Clarify two types of features of the concept

    • Essential

    • Associated

  • Should contain the following...

    • A typical exemplar

    • A definition identifying essential features

    • A variety of examples and non-examples


Scientific presentations
Scientific Presentations

  • Offer a model or picture for understanding key dimensions of a phenomenon

  • Should contain the following…

    • A “big picture” visual to clarify whole and parts

    • Fully integrated organizing analogies

    • Excellent structural organizing devices to show part-to-whole relationships

      • Full transitions, previews, summaries

      • Explicit statements of relationship


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