Thursday, December 07, 2006

A couple more powerpoint tips

It's that time of the year when students end up presenting class projects. I've been sitting through some math talks, and a couple pointers came to me. Probably fairly obvious, but...

Plan your ending! And do it in a way that lets the audience know you're done. Why? Well, there will always be some fraction who isn't paying much attention, but will perk up and applaud when they sense you're ending. The reason this is important is because you want a reasonable reaction/applause when you're done. Not for your ego (necessarily). It may seem superficial, but even for people paying attention, without that applause, they might get a sense that other people didn't enjoy it and that will affect their opinion.

I'm not big on a long summary of key points, but I do try and generalize to some big, broad point even if it's as silly as "research is going well." Maybe it gives them something to "take away," but at least by doing this I key the audience in to the fact that I'm finishing.

The second point is to try and act like you enjoyed your project/research. Again, this might be easy for a research talk, but for students it's not. Especially as a teacher, if you get the sense that the speaker enjoyed it, it's easier to forgive mistakes and apparent lack of effort.

Oh, one more thing before I go. There's an illustrated version of Gravity's Rainbow out now for all you Pynchon fans.

1 comment:

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