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Effective Presentations. Lessons from my residency (with special thanks to Dr. Harvey Goldman) Bruce R. Smoller, MD. Effective Presentations. Substance Style. Substance. Organization Presentation Verbal Visual. The “10 minute talk”. Much more difficult than the 1 hour presentation

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Effective presentations

Effective Presentations

Lessons from my residency

(with special thanks to Dr. Harvey Goldman)

Bruce R. Smoller, MD


Effective presentations1
Effective Presentations

  • Substance

  • Style


Substance
Substance

  • Organization

  • Presentation

    • Verbal

    • Visual


The 10 minute talk
The “10 minute talk”

  • Much more difficult than the 1 hour presentation

  • Organization crucial - if you lose the listener, he/she cannot get back in

  • Every word counts

  • Cannot add too much detail

  • Speed does not increase effectiveness


Organization
Organization

  • Start with an introduction of yourself - making yourself a “person” helps attract listener attention

  • Highlight your main thesis:

    • “tell them what you are going to tell them”

    • “tell them”

    • “tell them what you just told them”

  • Adhere to outline rigorously!


Organization1
Organization

  • Know the time allotted for the talk

  • Budget accordingly:

    • Introductory material

    • Study design

    • Results

    • Take home points

    • (Future studies)


Organization2
Organization

  • Begin with a clear thesis:

    • What is the purpose of your talk?

    • What is the background that led you to this hypothesis?

    • Background information should be targeted to audience and sufficient to understand study, but not comprehensive - “HIT THE HIGHLIGHTS”

    • Define all terms VERY clearly


Organization3
Organization

  • How do you plan to make this case?

    • What was the experimental design?

      • Know your audience: assume neither too little nor too much

      • Not necessary to present exact dilutions, times for incubation, etc. - “HIT THE HIGHLIGHTS”

      • Often good to mention controls (and rationale for choosing control groups)


Organization4
Organization

  • What are the salient results?

    • If you cannot remember them without prompting, the audience won’t care or remember

    • Often good to present results compared

      with controls, if appropriate

    • Tabular data easy to follow

    • Not every result is salient: remember the initial thesis - only supporting or refuting data is salient!

    • “HIT THE HIGHLIGHTS”


Organization5
Organization

  • “A picture is worth a thousand words”

  • Show high quality photomicrographs (if appropriate) of salient results

    • Sharp focus

    • Sharp contrast

    • Label (arrows) if subtle

    • Appropriate magnification



Organization6
Organization

(A Better Table)


Organization7
Organization

  • How do we explain the results we obtained?

    • Put together a reasonable story that helps to hold the data together - why else would anyone want to remember what you said?

    • Simplify, concentrating only on the big picture - the minute details will “lose the forest for the trees”


Organization8
Organization

  • What did we learn from this study?

  • Why do we care?

    • If you cannot tell them, the only appropriate audience response is, “So what?”

    • If you do not tell them, they may not understand - they have only had one pass through to try to understand your point




Organization9
Organization

  • Where do we go from here?

    • May be interesting to speculate on the next step - helps to put into perspective


Organization10
Organization

  • Recapitulate!

    • “Tell them what you are going to tell them”

    • “Tell them”

    • “Tell them what you just told them”


Organization11
Organization

  • Thank your co-workers

    • It only makes you look better

  • Thank your audience

    • It is arrogant to assume that the audience has nothing better to do than to listen to you (even if it is true!)

  • Solicit questions


Organization12
Organization

  • Questions: Coda

    • Repeat the question for audience

      • Ensures all can hear

      • Stalls for time while you consider the answer

    • Compliment the questioner

    • “I don’t know” is a perfectly valid response; DO NOT BLUFF - you will be exposed!

    • Deferring to member of audience may be appropriate in certain circumstances


Organization13
Organization

  • “Substance Abuse”:

    • “I need to hurry to get finished”

    • “I have a lot of material that I need to get through”

      - Why bother? For whom are you giving the talk?

    • Running over NEVER helps!

    • LESS IS MORE


Presentation
Presentation

  • Verbal:

    • Do not read slides to audience

    • Elaborate on your bullets!

    • Vary tone of voice

    • Use appropriate volumes - articulate clearly!

    • Enthusiasm and eye contact are essential


Presentation1
Presentation

  • Verbal

    • Pauses, fumbling, going back to previous slides, prolonged pauses:

      • Loses interest for audience

      • Makes speaker appear incompetent and confused

    • PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!!!


Presentation2
Presentation

  • Visual

    • Do not read slides to audience - “follow the bouncing ball” is distracting and boring

    • Bullet points

    • Large font with good contrast

    • Proof read - SPELLING MISTEAKS REFLECT POURLY ON YOU!

    • Busy slides do not improve presentation


Presentation poor choices
Presentation - poor choices

  • Visual

    • Do not read slides to audience - “follow the bouncing ball” is distracting and boring

    • Bullet points

    • Large font with good contrast

    • Busy slides do not improve presentation


Presentation poor choices1
Presentation - poor choices

  • Visual

    • Do not read slides to audience - “follow the bouncing ball” is distracting and boring

    • Bullet points

    • Large font with good contrast

    • Busy slides do not improve presentation


Presentation poor choices2
Presentation - poor choices

  • Visual

    • Do not read slides to audience - “follow the bouncing ball” is distracting and boring

    • Bullet points

    • Large font with good contrast

    • Busy slides do not improve presentation


Presentation poor choices3
Presentation - poor choices

  • “Cutesy” is fine for some audiences, but not for formal presentations

  • KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!


Style
Style

  • Dress

  • Speech

  • Posture


Style1
Style

  • Dress:

    • It is ALWAYS better to over dress than to under dress

    • Scrubs are almost never a good choice

    • If you are presenting, you should always look professional!


Style2
Style

  • Speech

    • Use grammatically correct, concise and clear sentences

    • Finishing each sentence with, “Okay?” is only appropriate if you plan to take questions after each sentence

    • “Um”, “ya know”, “so” are placeholders that detract from the impression that you make

      • If “we know”, why are you telling us?

    • Slang terminology should be limited to appropriate, informal situations - assume a formal presentation until otherwise indicated


Style3
Style

  • Speech

    • Humor is wonderful, but should be temperate, moderate, and appropriate

    • Anecdotes are wonderful tools for reinforcement, if appropriate setting


Style4
Style

  • Posture

    • Stand upright

    • Appropriate hands:

      • Not in pockets (or nose)

      • Laser pointer is not a crutch

    • Convey confidence,

      but not arrogance


Style5
Style

  • “Out of style”

    • Um, like, ya know, I did this project thing with . .. .. Wait, let me go back a slide to show you guys . . . .


Summary
Summary

  • Substance:

    • Organization

    • Less is more

  • Style

    • Know your audience and be appropriate and gracious!


Thank you for your attention! I hope that some of that some of these pointers will be useful to you in the future!


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