Giving technical presentationsMaterial prepared by Mike K Smith
Inspiration (blogs)Presentations:• Nancy Duarte: Duarte blog• Garr Reynolds: Presentation Zen• Chris Atherton: Finite Atte...
There are 300 millionPowerPoint users in theworld*Death by Powerpoint* Estimate
There are 30 millionpresentations every day*Death by Powerpoint* Estimate
About a million presentationshappening right now** EstimateDeath by Powerpoint
50% of them areunbearable.** Conservative estimateDeath by Powerpoint
Think of a presentation that hasmade an impression on you.Q: What is it about thatpresentation that made it stick inyour m...
PREPARATION!!
Preparing effectivepresentations takes time.
Your presentation is aboutmarketing…
Your work / YOU as a brand.
Your organisation.Your project team.
WHY are you presenting?
WHO is your audience?
WHAT do THEYwant to know?
Peer Reviewvs.Decision Making
Peer ReviewYou want:– Input and technical review– Validation of your work– New ideas for future work– Recognition for good...
Peer ReviewThe audience wants:– New ideas– Solutions for their problems– Recognition for THEIR work / increasedvisibility!
Decision MakingThe audience wants:– To make a decision based on bestavailable information.– A clear recommendation.– Impac...
Decision MakingYou want:– Your technical input to influence thedecision.– Credibility with decision makers– Recognition fo...
Attention!
“Your brain is lazy, shallowand easily distracted…”Chris AthertonOoh,look...A hypertextlink!
http://www.slideshare.net/CJAtherton/chris-atherton-at-tcuk09
However, your brain CANprocess two things at once(even if you‟re male).http://www.slideshare.net/CJAtherton/chris-atherton...
Don‟t max out both inpresentations.http://www.slideshare.net/CJAtherton/chris-atherton-at-tcuk09
5/16/2013 Pharsight and Pfizer ConfidentialpPain Relief, P(Y=1), and Recurrence, P(T>t), modelsModel parameters are estima...
Feels like…http://www.flickr.com/photos/pauldrabek/1284981253/
http://www.slideshare.net/CJAtherton/chris-atherton-at-tcuk09Remember!
Insects are all around us• The cricket is very sensitive totemperature.• You can tell the temperature usingcrickets.• Coun...
http://www.slideshare.net/CJAtherton/chris-atherton-at-tcuk09
Your brain can read fasterthan the presenter can talk.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/26883252@N08/3284112021
Technical Presentations≠ Read manuscripts
Manuscript structure• Introduction•Methods• Results• Discussion• Conclusions
“Skip to the end...”
"Technical presentationsshouldnt be a mystery novelwhere you wait to see whodunnit.Having the conclusion upfronthelps peop...
Peer review structure• Introduction / Motivation• Premise / Conclusions• Methods• Results• Applicability / Applications• D...
Decision making structure• Introduction / Motivation• Recommendation (Suggestedactions)• Results (Evidence)• Discussion, a...
Clear motivation is important.
Why is this important?Why does it deserve apresentation?Why am I giving up my time?
What do you need me to do?Is this for information?Do you expect a decision?Do you want input?
Engagement!
Huh? What was he saying?
Make your message “sticky”.
You CAN engage your audienceon technical stuff without losingtheir attention.
Story / NarrativeA sequence of unconnected factsis hard to hold in your head.
Symphony / GestaltWhat is the “whole”?AKA The BIG PICTURE
EmpathyWhy should we care about makingthe right / wrong decision?Why does <<this>> matter?
Simple languageConversational.NOT corporate.
What are the 4-5 things you wantthe audience to recall later?
Everything else is backup.
But what about the details?
If you need to share LOTS oftechnical info, write amanuscript (or an executivesummary)
If you show tables / graphs...
Make them legible.
Make them intelligible
Avoid the audience asking:“What the **** is that picture?”OR“Why the **** is that picture there?”
01020304050607080901st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th QtrEastWestNorthInterpret this graph in the next 10 seconds…
01020304050607080901st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th QtrEastWestNorthIs THIS important?
01020304050607080901st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th QtrEastWestNorthIs THIS important?
01020304050607080901st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th QtrEastWestNorthDe-emphasise what you don‟t need
Are equations EVERREALLY necessary?Keep „em simple.Highlight the key points.
5/16/2013 Pharsight and Pfizer ConfidentialpPain Relief, P(Y=1), and Recurrence, P(T>t), modelsModel parameters are estima...
Same for tables of numbers…Which numbers changed?By how much?Why?
HELP the audienceto understand
IN SUMMARY:
Prepare• Know your audience• Know why you‟re presenting• Know what the audience expects
Attention• Don‟t fire-hose your audience withinformation.• Keep slides simple• Back up presentation with additionalmateria...
Engage• How do you want your audience to recalllater?• Make it as easy as possible to recall…– Slide format– Story / gesta...
Further reading (blogs)Presentations:• Garr Reynolds: Presentation Zen• Nancy Duarte: Duarte blog• Chris Atherton: Finite ...
BackupAKA: Mike‟s rants aboutpresentations
Things I hate to hear inpresentations:(And how it translates to theaudience…)
“Most of you will have heardthis talk before…”
“I‟m going to have to skip ahead,because time is short…”[Followed by in-depth discussionof every bullet point]
“OK, let‟s skip to theconclusions…”[Skips fifteen slides]
What you say: “I know thisslide is hard to read…”
This slide intentionally blank
You don‟t have to use thetemplateThe following templates areHONESTLY straight fromPowerpoint default templates…
16/05/2013 80How to communicate bad news State the bad news Be clear, don’t try to obscure thesituation
16/05/201381Goal and Objective State the desired goal State the desired objective Use multiple points if necessary
Is the slide background hideous?
Avoid “comedy” fonts.
Will yourdocumentbe viewed bythe public?Should I use theComic Sans font?Don‟t use Comic SansNOYES
Are you colour-blind?Is your audience?
Pie charts are mostly useless
Pie charts are mostly uselessLooks likePacmanDoes not looklike Pacman
3D charts are even more useless
ABSOLUTELY NO animation.BTW – what the HECK is that?!…and WHY is it in my slide?
Keep builds to a minimum.They‟re distracting.Really distracting.And they confuse the presenter.
DO NOT use “random”. EVER.don‟t use more than oneWhatever you do…type of effect.
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Giving Technical Presentations

  1. 1. Giving technical presentationsMaterial prepared by Mike K Smith
  2. 2. Inspiration (blogs)Presentations:• Nancy Duarte: Duarte blog• Garr Reynolds: Presentation Zen• Chris Atherton: Finite Attention Span
  3. 3. There are 300 millionPowerPoint users in theworld*Death by Powerpoint* Estimate
  4. 4. There are 30 millionpresentations every day*Death by Powerpoint* Estimate
  5. 5. About a million presentationshappening right now** EstimateDeath by Powerpoint
  6. 6. 50% of them areunbearable.** Conservative estimateDeath by Powerpoint
  7. 7. Think of a presentation that hasmade an impression on you.Q: What is it about thatpresentation that made it stick inyour mind?
  8. 8. PREPARATION!!
  9. 9. Preparing effectivepresentations takes time.
  10. 10. Your presentation is aboutmarketing…
  11. 11. Your work / YOU as a brand.
  12. 12. Your organisation.Your project team.
  13. 13. WHY are you presenting?
  14. 14. WHO is your audience?
  15. 15. WHAT do THEYwant to know?
  16. 16. Peer Reviewvs.Decision Making
  17. 17. Peer ReviewYou want:– Input and technical review– Validation of your work– New ideas for future work– Recognition for good work / increasedvisibility.
  18. 18. Peer ReviewThe audience wants:– New ideas– Solutions for their problems– Recognition for THEIR work / increasedvisibility!
  19. 19. Decision MakingThe audience wants:– To make a decision based on bestavailable information.– A clear recommendation.– Impact of making the wrong decision.– Confidence that the technical informationis valid / applicable etc.
  20. 20. Decision MakingYou want:– Your technical input to influence thedecision.– Credibility with decision makers– Recognition for your work / increasedvisibility.
  21. 21. Attention!
  22. 22. “Your brain is lazy, shallowand easily distracted…”Chris AthertonOoh,look...A hypertextlink!
  23. 23. http://www.slideshare.net/CJAtherton/chris-atherton-at-tcuk09
  24. 24. However, your brain CANprocess two things at once(even if you‟re male).http://www.slideshare.net/CJAtherton/chris-atherton-at-tcuk09
  25. 25. Don‟t max out both inpresentations.http://www.slideshare.net/CJAtherton/chris-atherton-at-tcuk09
  26. 26. 5/16/2013 Pharsight and Pfizer ConfidentialpPain Relief, P(Y=1), and Recurrence, P(T>t), modelsModel parameters are estimated using nonlinear mixed effects modelanalysis (NONMEM V)• Pain Relief Model– Logit transformation– Placebo model– Drug model– Effect site concentration– Subject specific random effect• Recurrence Model– Hazard model• LikelihoodYedp +)(Cf+t)f=)}Yg{P( (1)-e(Atrialbase)-e(A(t)f dosendtttp)(-kdose2pl,-kpl2plndpl11+= )()()(tCpekeotCeCeslCeftkeond),0(~ 2 N(u)du)(-=S(t)=t)>P(Tt0exp)}1({)log(  YPghzhz(t) si))1/(log(}{ xxxg L = P(T,Y| )P( )d = P(T|Y, )P(Y| )P( )di=1Ni=1N        YAWN!
  27. 27. Feels like…http://www.flickr.com/photos/pauldrabek/1284981253/
  28. 28. http://www.slideshare.net/CJAtherton/chris-atherton-at-tcuk09Remember!
  29. 29. Insects are all around us• The cricket is very sensitive totemperature.• You can tell the temperature usingcrickets.• Count the number of chirps in 15 secondsand add forty.• The resulting number is very close to thetemperature in fahrenheit.
  30. 30. http://www.slideshare.net/CJAtherton/chris-atherton-at-tcuk09
  31. 31. Your brain can read fasterthan the presenter can talk.
  32. 32. http://www.flickr.com/photos/26883252@N08/3284112021
  33. 33. Technical Presentations≠ Read manuscripts
  34. 34. Manuscript structure• Introduction•Methods• Results• Discussion• Conclusions
  35. 35. “Skip to the end...”
  36. 36. "Technical presentationsshouldnt be a mystery novelwhere you wait to see whodunnit.Having the conclusion upfronthelps people put the informationthat comes next into context". -Olivia Mitchell
  37. 37. Peer review structure• Introduction / Motivation• Premise / Conclusions• Methods• Results• Applicability / Applications• Discussion, assumptions, caveats, etc.
  38. 38. Decision making structure• Introduction / Motivation• Recommendation (Suggestedactions)• Results (Evidence)• Discussion, assumptions, caveats, etc.• Methods
  39. 39. Clear motivation is important.
  40. 40. Why is this important?Why does it deserve apresentation?Why am I giving up my time?
  41. 41. What do you need me to do?Is this for information?Do you expect a decision?Do you want input?
  42. 42. Engagement!
  43. 43. Huh? What was he saying?
  44. 44. Make your message “sticky”.
  45. 45. You CAN engage your audienceon technical stuff without losingtheir attention.
  46. 46. Story / NarrativeA sequence of unconnected factsis hard to hold in your head.
  47. 47. Symphony / GestaltWhat is the “whole”?AKA The BIG PICTURE
  48. 48. EmpathyWhy should we care about makingthe right / wrong decision?Why does <<this>> matter?
  49. 49. Simple languageConversational.NOT corporate.
  50. 50. What are the 4-5 things you wantthe audience to recall later?
  51. 51. Everything else is backup.
  52. 52. But what about the details?
  53. 53. If you need to share LOTS oftechnical info, write amanuscript (or an executivesummary)
  54. 54. If you show tables / graphs...
  55. 55. Make them legible.
  56. 56. Make them intelligible
  57. 57. Avoid the audience asking:“What the **** is that picture?”OR“Why the **** is that picture there?”
  58. 58. 01020304050607080901st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th QtrEastWestNorthInterpret this graph in the next 10 seconds…
  59. 59. 01020304050607080901st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th QtrEastWestNorthIs THIS important?
  60. 60. 01020304050607080901st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th QtrEastWestNorthIs THIS important?
  61. 61. 01020304050607080901st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th QtrEastWestNorthDe-emphasise what you don‟t need
  62. 62. Are equations EVERREALLY necessary?Keep „em simple.Highlight the key points.
  63. 63. 5/16/2013 Pharsight and Pfizer ConfidentialpPain Relief, P(Y=1), and Recurrence, P(T>t), modelsModel parameters are estimated using nonlinear mixed effects modelanalysis (NONMEM V)• Pain Relief Model– Logit transformation– Placebo model– Drug model– Effect site concentration– Subject specific random effect• Recurrence Model– Hazard model• LikelihoodYedp +)(Cf+t)f=)}Yg{P( (1)-e(Atrialbase)-e(A(t)f dosendtttp)(-kdose2pl,-kpl2plndpl11+= )()()(tCpekeotCeCeslCeftkeond),0(~ 2 N(u)du)(-=S(t)=t)>P(Tt0exp)}1({)log(  YPghzhz(t) si))1/(log(}{ xxxg L = P(T,Y| )P( )d = P(T|Y, )P(Y| )P( )di=1Ni=1N        
  64. 64. Same for tables of numbers…Which numbers changed?By how much?Why?
  65. 65. HELP the audienceto understand
  66. 66. IN SUMMARY:
  67. 67. Prepare• Know your audience• Know why you‟re presenting• Know what the audience expects
  68. 68. Attention• Don‟t fire-hose your audience withinformation.• Keep slides simple• Back up presentation with additionalmaterial (exec summary / manuscript /blog)
  69. 69. Engage• How do you want your audience to recalllater?• Make it as easy as possible to recall…– Slide format– Story / gestalt / empathy / simple language
  70. 70. Further reading (blogs)Presentations:• Garr Reynolds: Presentation Zen• Nancy Duarte: Duarte blog• Chris Atherton: Finite Attention SpanOther:• Guy Kawasaki: How to change the world• Seth Godin• Kathy Sierra: Creating Passionate Users
  71. 71. BackupAKA: Mike‟s rants aboutpresentations
  72. 72. Things I hate to hear inpresentations:(And how it translates to theaudience…)
  73. 73. “Most of you will have heardthis talk before…”
  74. 74. “I‟m going to have to skip ahead,because time is short…”[Followed by in-depth discussionof every bullet point]
  75. 75. “OK, let‟s skip to theconclusions…”[Skips fifteen slides]
  76. 76. What you say: “I know thisslide is hard to read…”
  77. 77. This slide intentionally blank
  78. 78. You don‟t have to use thetemplateThe following templates areHONESTLY straight fromPowerpoint default templates…
  79. 79. 16/05/2013 80How to communicate bad news State the bad news Be clear, don’t try to obscure thesituation
  80. 80. 16/05/201381Goal and Objective State the desired goal State the desired objective Use multiple points if necessary
  81. 81. Is the slide background hideous?
  82. 82. Avoid “comedy” fonts.
  83. 83. Will yourdocumentbe viewed bythe public?Should I use theComic Sans font?Don‟t use Comic SansNOYES
  84. 84. Are you colour-blind?Is your audience?
  85. 85. Pie charts are mostly useless
  86. 86. Pie charts are mostly uselessLooks likePacmanDoes not looklike Pacman
  87. 87. 3D charts are even more useless
  88. 88. ABSOLUTELY NO animation.BTW – what the HECK is that?!…and WHY is it in my slide?
  89. 89. Keep builds to a minimum.They‟re distracting.Really distracting.And they confuse the presenter.
  90. 90. DO NOT use “random”. EVER.don‟t use more than oneWhatever you do…type of effect.
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