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Workable Presentations. 20 or so Tips to a Successful Presentation Created by S. L. Shea Dept of Family & Comm. Medicine Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Modified by N. Mogharreban Dept. of Computer Science Southern Illinois University. Tips on Background.

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Workable presentations

Workable Presentations

20 or so Tips to a

Successful Presentation

Created by S. L. Shea

Dept of Family & Comm. Medicine

Southern Illinois University

School of Medicine

Modified by N. Mogharreban

Dept. of Computer Science

Southern Illinois University

Tips on background

Tips on Background

Is white is boring?

Clutter is confusing.

Avoid “cute”,


Text choice

Text Choice

Select font for

clarity and


Fancy fonts confuse

Workable presentations

Text Choice, examples

Fewer Words = Better

Do not type a full sentence in each point, but rather just a word or two to help you remember and communicate your thought.  Wordiness = Bad

This Circus of fonts may be “look” ok to you but detracts

This pretty font is all but impossible to read.

Talk about what s on the slide

Talk about what’s on the slide.

Less is better

Omit items not in talk

Exception: if you think a particular question is likely, add a slide to your file and place it after your closing so it’s there if you need it. Or hide it.

How many slides

How many slides?

The extremes are easy to set

No more than 1 or 2 slides per minute.

At least 1 slide every 5 minutes

(unless they contain animation).

How many points per slide
How many points per slide?

Depends on the complexity of the points, but …

Maximum of 6 or 7 bullets per slide

Need more? Use another slide


~ 5% of audience is colorblind.

To them, these words



May look the same color.

Color continued
Color, continued

Is black and white alone effective?

If not, consider color?

printed handouts: black & white or color

Preview both talk and the handouts in BW and color


Contrast = darkness minus paleness of the colors.

Black and white are highest contrast: usually easy to read.

Background of this slide is gray, so text in whitecould disappear.


Do you need one? Large room  Yes

Speak slowly and clearly.

If narrating slides, use good mike

No hum, strong sound


Have someone else review your presentation

Need fresh pair of eyes and ears

Spell check your presentation.

And then do it again. Backwards!(reading the slides from #20 to #1).


Start your presentation strong.

Speak loudly and clearly.

Do not rush through your presentation

Cover less in talk : Put details in Paper

Practice presentation several times until you can deliver it in the allotted time without rushing it.

Show enthusiasm.

Size of images

Size of Images

When in doubt, make images and text too large.

Rule of thumb, read 5 feet from computer screen or they’re too small.

Transition animations

Can use transitions and animations

to bring attention to points

But …

Keep them simple and consistent.

Random animation disrupts

Plan for disaster

Plan for Disaster

Bring paper copy of your talk

Bring copies on both CD and memory stick

Place copy on web

Talk to audience

Talk to Audience

Don’t talk to your slides

Slides just summarize your talk

Look at different people, face to face

Turn back to screen

once you’re sure the right slide is up.



Frequently good,

But sometimes recipe for disaster.

If not sure of audience, play it straight.

Your message is special so limit special effects

Your Message is Special,so limit “special effects”

Don’t let Fancy Effects detract from your message

Tell people when you re done

Tell people when you’re done.

Put in a slide that says “The End” or “C’est Fini” or “Thank You”.

(How else will they know when to applaud?)

Extra slide of explanation
Extra Slide of Explanation

Include just-in-case slides if needed to cover some obscure point or potential objection

Normally these are not shown

Prepare them if you anticipate a question or objection