81 thoughts on “Susan McConnell (Stanford): Designing effective scientific presentations

  1. This was a good talk. I like the 'data dives' suggestion and coming back to a home slide. It's almost like breaking a lecture up into parts, making it easier for someone to pay attention to the next 'data dive' even if they spaced out on a previous one. It sucks when you lose track of something, and then everything else following that point in the talk doesn't make any sense.

  2. Thanks very much, very helpful. However, I'd just like to remeber that besides PowerPoint and KeyNote, there's also Beamer for Ubuntu people.

  3. one comment about "less is more". I think a common strategy used by a lot people is that put the redundant slides after the end of the talk. In this way, if someone in the audience bring up a question that could be perfectly answered by those slide, voilà.

  4. Great and very helpful presentation that I have ever seen. I learn many things and at the same time I was gotten positive feeling .Thanks Dr.McConnell

  5. This is what I'm looking for. I will have scientific presentation at International seminar next Tuesday. Thank you so much for the tutorial 🙂

  6. Thank-you for such an effective presentation on presentations!  You have covered all the points I would have myself, and now I will only need to have the students (non English speaking PhDs)  watch this video, do some followup tasks and then we can move forward more efficiently.  Thanks!

  7. thank you so much, this has been a wonderful help! I'm presenting my first ever seminar for my honours so more than a little nervous, but this has been amazing. Thank you!!

  8. This presentation was quite good, from a presentation standpoint. From a design standpoint some things could be added:

    Comic sans is a badly designed ineffective font that doesn't work well when anti-aliased, please don't use it, people in the audience will loath your presentation if you use it.

    Limit yourself to one, at max two fonts; this applies to figures to. Many fonts will distract the viewer and look bad.

    No boxes, don't put boxes around figures, images or text, it serves no purpose and just makes the presentation look bad

    You absolutely don't have to limit your text colour to blue and black, I would avoid primary colours and go for darker tones.
    For light backgrounds and lighter tones for dark backgrounds, use adobe kuler to check contrasts.

    Limit your colour use, two or three colours is enough, try to apply this to figures, this might be hard in some figures, avoid primary colours and use adobe kuler to find nice complementary colour selections.

    A nicely designed presentation will make it more memorable and will make people pay more attention, a effective presentation need not be ugly.

  9. I'm looking for videos to help me on a presentation for October and this video had been really helpful. Thanks!

  10. This is the best presentation ever i seen and learnt about power point presentation and trully helpful to improve slides presentation. She touches all the sides of power point presentation. Thank you so much for the video

  11. Thank you so much! that was really helpful..
    I'm having my first paper presentation this week and the tips in your video were really helpful.. This was one of the best presentations I've ever seen..
    Really good job.,!

  12. This is incredibly useful! I have sent your video to all of my trainees and have changed my own talks with your advice in mind. Thanks so much!

  13. Thank you and much appreciated. I hope move inspiring videos from you in the future. By having this might give impact for my final year project. wish me luck.:)

  14. Amazing presentation. I'd like to know which softwares were used to unify powerpoint with the video image of the presenter in one single screen. I noticed the presenter was apparently looking at a screen on her right side, so she could be sure exactly where to indicate on the screen in order to, at the end, look like she really had a powerpoint screen behind her.

  15. 0:00 Intro
    3:05 Font style/size
    5:29 Color contrast
    8:50 Layout (heading, text, lists)
    11:19 Use of empty space
    12:20 Simple image on each slide
    13:51 How many slides to show
    14:57 Avoid busy slides
    19:10 Data: Don't overdo it
    21:21 Minimum essential components
    25:19 Structure of a good talk
    26:30 Use of home slide
    29:27 Meat & Taters; Keeping the audience's attention
    31:45 The specificity dive
    35:07 Conclusions
    37:40 Conclusion/Q&A slide
    38:33 Conclusion of this actual presentation

  16. "You're probably tuning into this talk because you're interested in improving your speaking skill."

    Nah, I just gotta watch this for class.

  17. I wish this was an obligatory presentation to watch by everyone in STEM. How pretty the life would become? 🙂 Hehe. No more talks where you just sit agitated because you cannot follow the speaker most of the time.

  18. What's so hilarious is that at about 30 minutes into her presentation she switched to a dark screen and I found myself getting very sleepy and I almost stopped the video. Then she goes back to the white screen, shows a bell chart, and starts talking about how the attention span of the audience goes down over a period of time. That's EXACTLY how my attention span was during her presentation. But it was a good presentation though.

  19. This is so helpful, my advisor made us watch the whole video 🙁 , but we still liked it. Also, I think it's a good video to watch when tripping.

  20. What do you think about the strategy to motivate the audience in an, ehm, old school fashion way even more?
    In times where some students do not know the number of sides of a triangle, I might suggest this approach:
    Have a smile and a nice day!

  21. When talking in front of a large audience I use an inverted triangle formation. I choose 3 people.The first in the center of the front row and one on both the extreme left and extreme right of the very back row and alternate my gaze between the 3 during the presentation. Gives everyone the feeling your addressing them at some point.

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