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Tips & Tricks for Speakers

A good pre­sen­ta­tion requires some prepa­ra­tion. Much of the prepara­to­ry work will focus on small details. How­ev­er, do not under­es­ti­mate the time this will take … and the results.

Here is a list of pit­falls in which you, as a pre­sen­ter, might be caught. The short list con­sists of the most seri­ous prob­lems and how to get eas­i­ly around them.

Saving your Presentation – or how to avoid ♫₤☼♣€Ω

In MS Pow­er­Point nav­i­gate to “Save as” → “Pow­er­Point Show” and name your pre­sen­ta­tion as fol­lows

Weekday_YourName.pps or Weekday_YourName.ppsx (e.g. Friday_Goodpresenter.ppsx)

In addi­tion, make sure, you tick “Embed fonts in the file” which you can find in the Pow­er­Point Save options. Oth­er­wise, your pre­sen­ta­tion might become cor­rupt­ed!

Size of your Presentation – or how to avoid waiting for slides to show up

Pre­sen­ta­tions with sev­er­al megabyte sizes are not nec­es­sary. The res­o­lu­tion of a data pro­jec­tor equals rough­ly 96 ppi, mod­ern ones have 150 to 330 ppi. Con­se­quent­ly, you do not need the large graphs your cam­era pro­vides you. Pow­er­Point offers you a sim­ple tool to down­size your pre­sen­ta­tion. Dou­ble-click any pix­el graph in your pre­sen­ta­tion. You will find an option called “com­press pic­tures”. Under options, you tick 330 ppi and make sure you com­press all pic­tures. Save your file under a new name, because you need the orig­i­nal if you want to print your pre­sen­ta­tion or if you want to con­vert it to a PDF file.

Time you need for one Slide – or how to avoid being interrupted by the Chair

Many tech­ni­cal pre­sen­ta­tions are too long. How­ev­er, this is not nec­es­sary! Each slide (includ­ing the title and the acknowl­edge­ments) needs 1.5 to 2.5 min­utes of your pre­sen­ta­tion. Con­se­quent­ly, if you have a 15-minute pre­sen­ta­tion your pre­sen­ta­tion must be 6–10 slides long (if you are well orga­nized that could go up to 15)! Because we will have up to three par­al­lel ses­sions, our chair­per­sons will cut you off after your time is fin­ished!

What you should avoid – or how to make a good presentation

  • Pow­er­Point offers you the pos­si­bil­i­ty that slides will change after a giv­en peri­od. Do not use it for a tech­ni­cal pre­sen­ta­tion!
  • Too many ani­ma­tions. Keep with one or two dif­fer­ent types of ani­ma­tions. We already saw enough slides or graphs fly­ing into pre­sen­ta­tions!
  • Video sequences. If you are not sure of how to prop­er­ly use video sequences with­in Pow­er­Point: ask an expert or leave it!
  • If you are an expert, feel free to bring in ppsm files – oth­er­wise do not use them, please!

Tricks of the Trade – or what else you should know

  • To start your pre­sen­ta­tion if not saved as a “Pow­er­Point Show” press F5
  • To nav­i­gate back one slide dur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion, press the “left arrow”, “page up”, or the “p” but­ton on the key­board – no need to use the mouse
  • To nav­i­gate to a spe­cif­ic slide dur­ing the ques­tion peri­od press the slide’s num­ber on the key­board and press the return but­ton (it is a good idea to have a thumb­nail print­out of your pre­sen­ta­tion with all slides num­bered in order to find the slide num­ber)
  • If you want to explain some­thing and want a white or black screen press W (white) or (B) on the key­board
  • Do not press “escape” at the end of your pre­sen­ta­tion
  • Test all of the above before you come to the con­gress so that you feel con­fi­dent when you give your pre­sen­ta­tion

More Tricks by Don McMillan