"Presenting yourself - nationally or internationally - that is the question!"
A scientist should be communicative and familiar with the production, the reading and the understanding of several communication methods:
- Presentation (talk) to an audience
- Posters / Prints - at conferences
- Brochure / Flyer - especially in Companies
- Article in a journal
- Publication in a peer reviewed international journal
- Press releases
The most popular way for scientist is the presentation during a meeting or conference, assisted by a projection of power point lights.
In our experience power point presentation gains a lot if the speaker considers view basic rules:
- The fonts of written text lines should be larger than twenty points and no more than bullet points should be on a page.
- Many presentations are much too long because the speaker feels that he has lots to say. Try to shorten your presentation and consider as rule of thumb that you need one minute per slide.
- The audience is paying with time to get your view and perspectives. It means cheating the audience if you present only information that can be obtained from any webpage.
- Many power point slides are overloaded with information. You are losing your audience if you say “I know you cannot read the slides but…”. A power point slide with many details is only meaningful if the audience gets a hand out and the slide contains information which could be useful for.
- Be on time! It is well received if you can start on time and you can end on time. Do not feel obliged to stretch the allocated time window; it does not underline the importance of what you have to say. A presentation gains a lot if there is room or questions after you are finished.
- Interesting presentations report a series of scientific questions and solutions. These keeps the audience awake. Sometimes it is necessary to repeat an important point; if so, do it in other words and do not let your audience fall asleep by listening to the same all over again.
- Do not expect your audience to have the same level in the field as you have. Explain any abbreviation or specific term within your presentation. It pays to have mercy with people who are not familiar the theme you are talking about.
- Always be aware of Murphy´s law (when it can go wrong, it will go wrong). Bring a copy of your presentation on a memory stick. Take preventions and do not expect that the conference organizer is perfect. Even if the conference organizer is perfect, there is always room for “force malheurs”.
- If you are on stage dress well. Do not present with stains on your dress or other features that might be considered irregular. It side tracts the attention of your audience.
- Do not expect that anyone can follow you from the very first to the very last slide. At least the conclusion is a good point where you should give a short overview of your presentation before you come to the interpretation and the take home message.
- Do not refer to be short in time or running out of time, it just makes people think that your presentation was fully planned.
- If you make jokes be sure it is short and on the spot. Make sure it does not offend anyone, especially not anyone in the audience.