The importance of presenting in presentations

A week without attending a presentation is a rare thing as an academic. I have now seen many, many presentations in my short Ph.D life time. I’ve seen magnificent, inspiring presentations that leave me with a million questions and thoughts about my research. And then again I have seen other presentations that underestimate the audience, ask the listeners to actually be readers and generally leave you with a sense that the presenter wishes they had never started this research. Unfortunately, I think I’ve seen more of the latter than the former.

With every presentation that makes me feel sad, I think of what would have made the presentation better, for every one that goes brilliantly, I think about why it was so good. I’ve now put together a fair amount of presentations related ideas, which I’d like to share here. Some are based on experiences of presentations I’ve seen, many more are based on presentations I’ve given (the bad and the good). All, I hope, will be useful for other people to think about when making presentations. Too often, I think, people forget that presentation does not  equal power point slides. There is a reason that you, the presenter have been asked to go there, stand up and talk to an audience, rather than simply printing off a list of bullet points for every one to sit and read…

So, I now present the Presentation category. I plan, every so often to add a new post detailing an opinion on an aspect of presentations and presenting. I hope someone will find it useful. I also hope to generate discussion on what others think is importnat in presentations, I’m eager to hear it!

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