Notes from the Observatory!
Dr. Geoffrey A. Walker V. 5.2
Once upon a time, information was sacred...
'The devout monk enjoys four particular
benefits from writing: the time that is
precious is profitably spent; his understanding
is enlightened as he writes; his heart within is
kindled to devotion; and after this life he is
rewarded with a unique prize '
Trithemius, J. (1492) De Laude Scriptorum
‘an organism within the complex ecosystem of
post-modern society. It has an active social life
and is subject to behavioural problems. But,
just as you would nurture a child, it needs
love, care and attention to create an
understanding of the environment in which it
Walker, G. (2007) Future Witness
now, information is..
Hans uses Gapminder
The Beauty of Data Visualisation
Preparation + Practice = Performance
Many people are nervous about talking in front
of an audience, usually because they are afraid
of making a mess of it. Ironically, it is
uncontrolled nerves that are most likely to lead
to a poor performance - so building confidence
through preparation and practice is really
important. Giving presentations is one of the
skills that employers expect graduates to have,
so you should make the most of any experience
you can get.
Where do you give presentations?
• In tutorials
• As part of the
• In activities or events
Preparing your Presentation
There are 8 components to a presentation:
3.Establishing key points
7.And then...questions, comments, next?
8.Other visual aids and handouts
Practising your Presentation
Once you have prepared, you need to do 5
things before you actually give your
Giving your Presentation
There are 4 things to remember during your
General Presentation Points
• Check the spelling and grammar.
• Do not read the presentation. Practice the
presentation so you can speak from bullet points.
The text should be a cue for the presenter rather
than a message for the viewer.
• Give a brief overview at the start. Then present the
information. Finally review important points.
• It is often more effective to have bulleted points
appear one at a time so the audience listens to the
presenter rather than reading the screen.
• If the content is complex, print out the slides so the
audience can take notes.
• Do not turn your back on the audience. Try to
position the monitor so you can speak from it.
• Select sans-serif fonts such as Arial or Helvetica. Avoid serif
fonts such as Times New Roman.
• Use no font size smaller than 24 point.
• Use a larger font (35-45 points) or different colour for the
• Use a single sans-serif font for most of the presentation. Use
different colours, sizes and styles (bold, underline) for impact.
• Avoid italicised fonts as they are difficult to read quickly.
• Use no more than 6-8 words per line
• For bullet points, use the 6 x 6 Rule. One thought per line
with no more than 6 words per line and no more than 6 lines
• Use dark text on light background or light text on dark
• Do not use caps except for titles.
Graphics & Design
• Keep the background consistent and subtle.
• Use only enough text when using charts or graphs to
• Keep the design clean and uncluttered. Leave white space.
• Use quality clipart and use it sparingly. The graphic should
relate to and enhance the topic of the slide.
• Try to use the same style of graphics throughout the
• Limit the number of graphics on each slide.
• Check all graphics on a projection screen before the actual
• Avoid flashy graphics and noisy animation effects unless
they relate directly to the slide.
• Limit the number of transitions used. It is often better to
use only one so the audience knows what to expect.
• Limit the number of colours on a single screen.
• Bright colours make small objects and thin lines
stand out. However, some vibrant colours are
difficult to read when projected.
• Use no more than four colours on one chart.
• Check all colours on a projection screen before the
actual presentation. They may project differently
than what appears on the monitor.
Using Body Language
Body language is an
important part of
communication which can
constitute 50% or more of
what we are communicating.
If you wish to communicate
well, then it makes sense to
understand how you can
(and cannot) use your body
to say what you mean.
Make eye contact with the
Act on what you see
Glance around the room
Non Verbal Communication
Keep an open posture
Don’t turn your back on
the audience unless
Keep control of the
Using Your Voice
Vary your tone
Control the group using
Don’t read from slides