LSU Power Point Template — download this template, designed by LSU University Relations.
Tips for Giving a Good Presentation
- Be aware of your audience – that will determine the language, depth of material and scope you need to cover. If you’re speaking to a lay audience or students, drop the jargon and skip details. Bring them the big picture concepts and tie that to something that concerns or impacts them.
- White space is your friend – don’t overload slides with small print. Use the PowerPoint or Prezi as a guide, not a script. Stick to simple, non-decorative fonts and avoid bright colors and non-scientific animations.
- Remember that you’re an expert, but you’re also human – it’s okay to show some humor and personality. Move around, show expression and use anecdotes that personalize your work.
- Craft a message, don’t just read your paper. Break your message down into three main points and explain the importance of each. Craft a narrative that will carry the audience along as an active listener, not a prisoner.
- Even when you’re presenting to a group of peers, remember to provide appropriate background and context for your work. You want your audience to listen, not trying to place your work into the larger scheme of things.
- Short = sweet. While there are generally expected timeframes given in scientific or professional presentations, that doesn’t mean you have to fill every second with dense, complicated information. Don’t rush, give plenty of pauses so that your audience has time to process the information you’re providing and leave time for several questions at the end.
- Engage the audience – ask questions, take a poll or request a volunteer for a small experiment or demonstration. The more involved they are, the more information they will retain.
- Use photos, graphs, charts and even videos, but be sure they’re large and high-quality enough to be seen from the back of the room. If it’s grainy, blurry or pixelated, don’t use it. Period.
- Contact the Department of Research Communications for guidance or just another pair of eyes and ears. We’re here to help you tell the story of your work in the best way possible. Just give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll be glad to help.
- Enjoy your presentation – it shows! Communicating your research is an extremely valuable experience, and you only get better with practice. Put a smile on and give it a try. The benefits can’t be overstated.