How to prepare and present your work


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Guidelines for communicating work effectively with PowerPoint and poster presentations, developed for an MSU Undergraduate Opportunities in Summer workshop.

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  • A little bit of time invested now is the key to…
  • Preventing this
  • And instead experiencing this
  • So that instead of your audience doing this
  • They will be like this.
  • Think back to presentations you have seen. What are come characteristics of an effective presentation? What are some characteristics of less effective presentation?We want to give you tools to help you put together an effective presentation. Why do you want to have a good presentation? Here are a few reasons:--Get people interested in your work--Effectively communicate your work--Demonstrate your expertiseAnytime you are sharing your work, whether that be through a presentation, poster, paper, or other communication venue, think of it as a professional opportunity. The person who is reading/seeing/listening to your work could be a potential employer or funder or they could know someone who is. This can be a chance for you to network, practice networking, and further your career. Your ability to communicate effectively with different types of audiences reflects upon you.
  • If you want to be a stellar communicator, you must always keep one thing in mind.
  • Who is your audience?What are their needs? Put yourself in their shoes. Think from their perspectiveThis is the most important piece of information shared here.Your audience shouldwalk away with an appreciation for what you do.
  • What is the take home message for your talk? For your slide? What do you want them to do/think/know/believe?Big picture  your results  big picture (and how you have changed it, what does this all mean)
  • Tell them an interesting story. You can do this in a variety of formats.
  • You tailor your message differently for different audiences and for different formats.
  • Design can help you organize information and clearly communicate.
  • With just a few design principles, you can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your communication.
  • Here’s the word you need to remember.
  • Contrast helps you to create interest, organize information, direct the audience’s eye, and apply hierarchyIt is a good way to add visual interest to your piece. Visual interest can make your audience want to look/read/learn more.Contrast is when two elements are different. If they are just a tiny bit different, it’s doesn’t really work. Contrast needs to be noticeably different.You can create contrast with size (big and little), thin lines vs. think lines, colors. But again, they need to be noticeable. 12-point font vs. 14-point font doesn’t work.
  • Repetition can be thought of as “consistency.” Repeating visual elements can unify your piece and tie together parts that would otherwise be separate. Examples are having all of your headlines be the same size and weight and using the same style of bullets in every list.
  • Is this consistent formatting?
  • Is this consistent formatting?
  • Robin’s Principle of Alignment says that “Nothing should be placed on the page arbitrarily. Every item should have a visual connection with something else on the page.The principle of alignment forces you to be conscious—no longer can you just throw things on the page and see where they stick.”Even when aligned elements are on different parts of the page, physically separated from each other, you can still “see” an invisible line. This line connects the elements in your eye and it connects them in your mind.
  • No consistent alignment.
  • Right aligned.
  • Center aligned.
  • Left aligned.
  • Proximity says you should group related items together. This can help to organize your information. Don’t feel like you need to fill up every single white space on the page. If your elements are scattered all over the page, it looks unorganized and can be confusing.
  • Let’s apply our CRAP principles one at a time to this example.
  • What is the most important piece of information on the slide? Let’s use contrast to help direct the audience’s eye to that piece of information first.
  • Here we make the title bigger and bolder.
  • How can we use the principle of repetition unify and organize the information on this slide?
  • With repetition of color.
  • With repetition of font family.
  • How can we use the principle of alignment unify and organize the information on this slide?
  • How can we use the principle of proximity to unify and organize the information on this slide?
  • Before.
  • After.
  • Serif fonts have little “feet” on the letters. Sans-serif fonts do not.
  • Be sure to use a font size that is large enough to be seen in the back of the room.
  • Nothing says beginner designer like Comic Sans.
  • Can’t go wrong with white background, black text or black or dark blue background, and white text
  • Brain Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.
  • 10%35%65%
  • Source:
  • 10%35%65%
  • 10%35%65%
  • Relying no the Internet to work places an added potential for problems during your presentation. To simplify, you can download videos off the Internet so that they can be played without an Internet connection. One tool to help with this is available for use with the Firefox browser: the video is not your own, be sure to have permission before you use it.
  • Design for the person in the back of the room. Sometimes this is where decision makers sit—they are busy, they may come late, the remaining seats are in the back of the room.
  • Assertionevidence
  • To make slides memorable, you have to consider what to include and what to exclude
  • 59% recall
  • 77% recal
  • Who is your audience?What are their needs?What are your needs?They should walk away with an appreciation for what you doWhat is the take home message for your talk? For your slide?Tell them an interesting story
  • General, not in detail
  • How many have seen or presented a scientific poster?If you have seen someone’s poster, what catches your eye?How are you going to catch someone’s eye?
  • Remember, design can help you organize information and clearly communicate.Use design to make the poster look interesting and easy to understand so that people will stop and look further.
  • SlideShare is an online community where you can share your work: presentations, documents, PDFs, and even videos. You create an account, upload your work, then share it by sending or posting a link or even embedding it into a blog or webpage. You can tag your work so others will find it when they search, and you can search to learn more from what others have shared.
  • While your file is uploading, add information about your presentation. This will help others find it more easily.
  • Bitly provides a way for you to save, shorten, and share links. You can also view their stats, such as how many people have clicked on the link, when they clicked on the link, and where those people are located.First, sign up for a free account.All the links you save will be accessible at any time in your bitmarks list, located underneath the ‘Your Stuff’ tab when logged in.You can also track the stats for any bitly link. You can learn more about stats here.
  • And you can find out more about when people look at your work.
  • And from where they look at your work. More stats are also available.
  • First, create a free account.
  • Then, to save a shortened link, paste your link in this field.
  • You’ll see a screen that looks like this. You have additional options here. One is to customize the link by clicking on the pencil to edit.
  • Now your new link will be displayed.
  • How to prepare and present your work

    1. 1. SHARINGYOUR WORKMitzi LewisMagaly Rincón-Zachary
    2. 2. Agenda• Presenting your work• Design• Oral presentations• Poster presentations• Bonus materialAt the end of the presentation, I will sharea link to the slides
    3. 3. Presentingyour work
    4. 4. A+
    5. 5. Audience+
    6. 6. Purpose
    7. 7. Format
    9. 9. POSTERS
    10. 10. • Analysis: The analytical and practicalapplication of kinematics played afundamental role in the project.Engineering students used theirknowledge of mechanisms, ergonomics,and production value to design the giant,moveable costumes and the intricatepuppets.• Synthesis: The theater students werecharged with defining the context andmeaning that would convey theappropriate emotion and meaning to theaudience. The knowledge, creativity, andexpertise of the theater students provideda filter to inform and focus the efficiencyof the engineering design. Thedevelopment and practice of the skill ofsynthesis resulted in a collaborative,interdisciplinary process that affectedboth parties.• Evaluation: In the context of theBandersnatch project, evaluation requiredthat seemingly disparate disciplinestransfer information, ideas, andinspiration. Engineering students had towork with the global philosophy of theirpeers in theater; theater students had toassimilate engineered solutions into adramatic production that fostered andpreserved the intent of the production.The final evaluation measured the endproduct against the desired intent of theproduction and communication of thedesired effect to the audience, and bothgroups were deeply involved in thisevaluative activity.However, quantifiable performance measuresare often useful to measure benefits—in thiscase, those realized by the undergraduatetheatre and engineering participants.Evidence which supports this is provided bythe reception to the Bandersnatch production.Engineering students were recognized by theKennedy Center American College TheaterFestival (KCACTF) Region VI with the topaward in their area of design, the Allied Designand Technology Award. This special awardincluded an invitation to present their work atthe national convention of the United StatesInstitute of Theatre Technology in California.The McCoy School of Engineering wasrecognized at the state level of KCACTF forexcellence in Meritorious Achievement. Thetheater students as well as the productionitself were honored by becoming one of sixplays selected from the states of Arkansas,Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma,and Texas to perform at the Region VI Festivaland, subsequently, earned the “DistinguishedProduction of a New Work award” at theKennedy Center for the Performing Artsnational convention in Washington, DC.Finally, the theatre faculty member, BrandonSmith, was honored as a DistinguishedDirector for 2011. It is doubtful that thesenation-wide honors would have been receivedif the project had not been through the fires ofrigorous analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.Additionally, the project became a vehicle forlearning and campus-wide involvement in UR.It built relationships that will last a lifetime.To date, 70 undergraduate students haveparticipated in UGROWsummer workshopsincluding nine students in the Fine ArtsCollege. Since students show such a positiveresponse to the UGROWexperience, studentsacross MSUcampus inquire about theprogram and how they can participate. Thus,the program has extended beyond the STEMdisciplines and the arts to social and appliedsciences and humanities.Based upon the testimonials and evidence inthe preceding narrative and the supportingliterature, it is felt that the potential fortransformative change in the educationalexperience of the undergraduate participantsis fostered by the UGROWconstruct.Specifically noteworthy is the broader impactthat firsthand witness of the results mayinspire faculty to contemplate and, ifappropriate, alter and expand their ownresearch directions, as experienced by Dr.McDonald, which is reinforced by the literature(Young, 2008). When researchers in thesciences partner with researchers in the arts,the narrow boundaries that are oftenexperienced in the sciences (Schantz, 2008)can be expanded. At the same time, theexpansive scope of projects in the arts and
    12. 12. DESIGN
    13. 13. CRAP
    14. 14. CONTRASTRAP
    15. 15. CONTRASTRAP
    16. 16. CONTRASTRAP
    17. 17. CONTRASTRAP
    27. 27. carrotsmilklettucebananasvegetablesmeatchickentomatoesgrapefruitdairypeppersapplesnapkinseggspapercucumberhamburgerfruitcheesepaper towelspotatoes
    28. 28. VegetablescarrotslettucetomatoespepperscucumberpotatoesFruitbananasgrapefruitapplesMeatchickenhamburgerDairymilkeggscheesePapernapkinspaper towels
    30. 30. Oral presentation elements:First slide• Title• Your name• Your mentor• Affiliation
    31. 31. Legacy: Remember, Honor, ServeNeneh Abbey, Alexandra McClung, EricSmith, Brandi Stroud, Brady TylerProfessor: Jim GorhamCourse: Senior Production
    32. 32. CONTRAST
    33. 33. Legacy:Remember, Honor, ServeNeneh Abbey, Alexandra McClung, EricSmith, Brandi Stroud, Brady TylerProfessor: Jim GorhamCourse: Senior Production
    34. 34. REPETITION
    35. 35. Legacy:Remember, Honor, ServeNeneh Abbey, Alexandra McClung, EricSmith, Brandi Stroud, Brady TylerProfessor: Jim GorhamCourse: Senior Production
    36. 36. Legacy:Remember, Honor, ServeBy Neneh Abbey, Alexandra McClung, EricSmith, Brandi Stroud, Brady TylerProfessor: Jim GorhamCourse: Senior Production
    37. 37. ALIGNMENT
    38. 38. Legacy:Remember, Honor, ServeBy Neneh Abbey, Alexandra McClung, EricSmith, Brandi Stroud, Brady TylerProfessor: Jim GorhamCourse: Senior Production
    39. 39. PROXIMITY
    40. 40. Legacy:Remember, Honor, ServeNeneh AbbeyAlexandra McClungEric SmithBrandi StroudBrady TylerProfessor: Jim GorhamCourse: Senior Production
    41. 41. Legacy: Remember, Honor, ServeNeneh Abbey, Alexandra McClung, EricSmith, Brandi Stroud, Brady TylerProfessor: Jim GorhamCourse: Senior Production
    42. 42. Legacy:Remember, Honor, ServeNeneh AbbeyAlexandra McClungEric SmithBrandi StroudBrady TylerProfessor: Jim GorhamCourse: Senior Production
    43. 43. FONTS
    44. 44. Sans-serif Serif
    45. 45. Sans-serif tends to beeasier to readon a screenSerif tends to be harderto read on a screen
    46. 46. 12-point font18 point font24 point font36 point font48 point font60 point font72 point font96 point font
    47. 47. ComicSans
    48. 48. ComicSans
    49. 49. COLORS
    50. 50. CONTRAST
    56. 56. Everythingshould beas simpleas possiblebut notsimpler
    57. 57. Oral PresentationsMicrosoft PowerPoint
    58. 58. PowerPoint is aVISUAL aid not aTEXTUAL aid
    59. 59. Are you giving adocument or apresentation?
    60. 60. You will get 6X better recall if youuse visuals to support what you say
    61. 61. 0%50%100%Oral Visual Oral & visualYou will get 6X better recall if youuse visuals to support what you saySource:
    62. 62. Recognition doubles when picturesare used instead of text
    63. 63. Recognition doubles when picturesare used instead of textSource:
    64. 64. GRAPHS
    65. 65. Oral VisualOral &visualSeries1 10% 35% 65%10%35%65%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%PercentSeries1You will get 6X better recall if youuse visuals to support what you say
    66. 66. 0%50%100%Oral Visual Oral & visualYou will get 6X better recall if youuse visuals to support what you say
    67. 67. Your turn:Organize your assets• Create a folder for your PPT project• Put copies of any files you will be usingin the PPT in this folder• Save the folder for use on a differentcomputer
    70. 70. Your turn:Create and import a chart• Create chart in Excel• Remove chart clutter & format forpresentation• Copy chart from Excel• Paste chart into PowerPoint
    72. 72. Files formats:Raster vs. vector.tiff .jpeg .gif.png .bmp.emf .eps .wmf.svg .ai
    73. 73. Check to see what outputformats your softwaresupports
    75. 75. Embed video (instead of linking toit online) so you don’t risk this:
    76. 76. BufferingPlease stand byor this:
    77. 77. Video formats supported byPowerPoint 2007• .wmv (Windows Media Video)• .mpg or .mpeg (Moving Picture ExportsGroup• .avi (audio video interleave)• .asf (advanced streaming format)• .mp4 is supported by PowerPoint 2010
    78. 78. Steps to insert videoon a slide1. Put a copy of the video in your PPTproject folder2. Open your PPT file3. Select slide where you want video to play4. Click InsertVideo and select the file5. Position video on slide6. Choose playback (automatic or on click)7. Test
    80. 80. Design for the personin the back of the room
    81. 81.  Pick a simple theme Keep your slides simple Apply design principles(CRAP) Use visuals that supportyour message Save often
    82. 82. Steps to take yourpresentation on the road1. Spell check and proofread (a printout canhelp with this): ReviewSpelling
    83. 83. SHARINGYOUR WROKMitzi LewisMagaly Rincón-Zachary
    84. 84. Steps to take yourpresentation on the road1. Spell check and proofread (a printout canhelp with this): ReviewSpelling2. Test your presentation from beginning toend on a big screen: Slide ShowFromBeginning3. Save your presentation and a backup (beltand suspenders) (you should be saving allalong the way)
    85. 85. Steps to take yourpresentation on the road4. Optimize compatibility:FileInfoOptimize Compatibility5. Save a compressed version:FileInfoCompress Mediapickappropriate quality6. Add your info to the file properties:FileInfoProperties
    86. 86. Steps to take yourpresentation on the road6. Click FileSave7. Close PPT8. Copy PPT project folder to jump drive9. OR right click and zip folder then copyzipped file to jump drive
    88. 88. Source: Michael Alley,
    89. 89. Source: Schmidt, 1989;
    90. 90. Source: Alley et al., 2006;
    91. 91. Source: Alley et al., 2006;
    92. 92. Source: Alley et al., 2006;
    93. 93. Source: Alley et al., 2006;
    94. 94. Source: Shawn Mullen,
    95. 95. Source: Shawn Mullen,
    96. 96. Source: Shawn Mullen,
    97. 97. Source: Shawn Mullen,
    98. 98. Source: Shawn Mullen,
    99. 99. Results0100200300400500600Protein(mg/dL)N = 23Trial 2Trial 1• 50 uM of study drug with 40 min incubation at 34o C• Gel electrophoresis• Western blot analysis• Study drug increases protein expression as opposed to wild typeSource: Shawn Mullen,
    100. 100. Study drug stimulates protein expression0200400600ProteinExpression(mg/dL)N = 23Study drug InhibitorWT17 kDSource: Shawn Mullen,
    101. 101. Your oral presentation• Has elements of a scientific paperpublished in scientific journal• Mini scientific paper presented orally
    102. 102. Audience+
    103. 103. Oral presentation elements• Introduction• Materials & methods• Results• Discussion• Conclusions• Further studies• Literature cited or references• Acknowledgements
    104. 104. Oral presentation elements:Introduction• Background (properly cited)• Significance of your study or investigation• Hypothesis• Objectives
    105. 105. Oral presentation elements:Materials & methodsIF EXPERIMENTAL IF THEORETICALBrief description ofprocedures, materials,etc. (general, not indetail)Principles on whichyour study are based
    106. 106. Oral presentation elements• Results• Discussion• Conclusions• Further studies• Literature cited or references• Acknowledgements• Questions
    107. 107. Questions to ask yourself• What are the key points I want the audience toknow?• Have I communicated them as simply aspossible, but not simpler?• Do I have one message per slide?• Have I used visuals to support my message?• Have I applied design principles effectively?• Does every image or word help convey mymessage?
    108. 108. Oral presentationdelivery tips: Audience• Why should they care?• Grab their attention at beginning—connectwith them• Make eye contact• Talk, don’t read• Dress with respect for them• Be enthusiastic• Practice, practice, practice, especiallyattention material and concluding remarks
    109. 109. Resources you may check―Designing effective scientific presentations‖ by SusanMcConnell―Talking science: Designing and delivering successful oralpresentations‖ by Shawn Mullen―Rethinking the design of presentation slides‖ by Michael Alley
    110. 110. Poster PresentationMicrosoft PowerPoint
    111. 111. Your poster presentation• As the oral presentation, has elementsof a scientific paper published inscientific journal• Every other week a student will updatethe UGROW Poster Display– North entrance of Bolin
    112. 112. A good poster• Good science• Uncluttered• Organized• Well designed/visually appealing• Legible• Easy to read• Brevity of text• Straightforward
    113. 113. DESIGN
    114. 114. Typical poster elements• Title• Your name• Your mentor• Affiliation
    115. 115. Typical poster elements• Abstract• Introduction• Materials & methods• Results• Discussion• Conclusions• Further studies• Literature cited or references• Acknowledgements
    116. 116. Poster elements:Abstract• Short summary ( 250 words) written asa single paragraph– hypothesis tested– objectives– methods– results– conclusions• Write it last
    117. 117. Poster elements:Results• Graphs & tables must– be numbered in consecutive order– have titles– have labels or legends– a narrative that describes the result(s)
    118. 118. Poster guidelines• The UGROW Board– First floor of the Bolin Science Building, atthe north entrance.– 94‖ x 45‖– 36‖ x 48‖ (common)
    119. 119. Poster guidelinesfrom the NIH• Font size– Title: >72 pts– Section heading: 48 pts– Figure heading: 20 pts– General text: 28 pts– Text for labels: 20 pts• Paragraph text: left align
    120. 120. Poster guidelines
    121. 121. Award-winning poster withcritique
    123. 123. Create your poster• Save a copy of the PowerPoint postertemplate from Dropbox to your computer• Set up your workspace– View  Ribbon– View  Toolbars  Standard & Formatting– View  Guides  Snap to Grid & Shape• Create text boxes for each heading andeach element
    124. 124. Poster guidelines
    125. 125. Create your poster• Be consistent (repetition) with formatting(heading and paragraph size, font, etc.)• Group (and ungroup) elements– Select elements using <shift><click> or byclicking and dragging– Arrange  Group (or Ungroup or Regroup)
    126. 126. Create your poster• Insert images—preferred format (ingeneral, check with your printer):TIFF for pictures, EMF or EPS for graphics• Image resolution for printing: 150-300 ppi• To constrain proportions, hold down the<shift> key when resizing• Print on 8½‖ X 11‖ to proofread: File Print  Scale to Fit Paper
    127. 127. BONUSMATERIAL
    129. 129. Create an account
    130. 130. Update details in yourprofile
    131. 131. Upload your presentation
    132. 132. Instead of this: can share this: even this:
    133. 133. Customizeyour shortened link
    134. 134. Customized link example
    136. 136. Dr. Michael Alley and after sources
    137. 137. ―frustration‖ by Rueben Stanton,―Is time running out?‖ by thinkpanama―relax, it’s a holiday‖ by Bart van Maarseveen―sleeping students‖ by Love Krittaya―audience listens‖ by Robert Scoble―Arts Combinatòries project presentation‖by Kippelboy―poster presentation‖ by International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) vs. text graph by John Medina Einstein by Oren Jack Turner vs. vector by By Bitmap_VS_SVG.svg: Yug, modifications by 3247 derivativework: Tiger66―belt‖ by Heinrock―Suspender round up‖ by Stacey Byrne website screenshot sources
    138. 138. Alley, Michael, Madeline Schreiber, Katrina Ramsdell, and John Muffo.2006. "How the design of headlines in presentation slides affects audienceretention," Technical Communication, 53(2), 225-234.Harrington, Richard, and Rekdal, Scott. (2007). How to wow withPowerPoint. Berkley, CA: Peachpit Press.Line, Brandon. (2011). ―Raster vs. vector graphics and graphic file formats.‖, John. (2009). Brain Rules. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.MR-Center. (n.d.) ―Image file formats & working guidelines.‖, Cynthia. December 1989. ―Methods to reduce sulfur dioxideemissions from coal-fired power plants.‖ Austin, TX: University of Texas.Williams, Robin. (2008). The non-designer’s design book (3rd ed.).Berkley, CA: Peachpit Press.Other sources
    139. 139. Presentation: orContact info:Email: mitzi.lewis@mwsu.eduTwitter: @mitzilewis