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Preparing Your Presentation
Using Images Within Your Presentation
Using Media Clips Within Your
Using Animation Within Your
Avoiding Common Presentation Pitfalls
Presentation Delivery Tips
Prepare your presentation in advance so that your
ideas are logically organized and your points clear. Write a
detailed outline of your presentation. Address the essential
points and leave the details for publication.
Presentations are most readable when using a dark
background (blue, for example) and bright lettering (yellow or white.)
Use the absolute minimum number of words in the
title, subtitle, and captions. Remember that standard
abbreviations are acceptable.
Avoid using small fonts. In
general, 28 point and larger fonts will be easy for everyone to read, while
anything smaller than 20 points will likely be illegible from the back of the
Use bold characters, not fancy serifs.
Graphics must be well designed, simple, and
readable by everyone in the audience. It is worthwhile to use
professional preparation services, if possible.
Use as few graphics as needed that can be
discussed in the time allotted. As a general rule, use one
graphic for each one or two minutes of presentation time.
Devote each graphic to a single fact, idea, or
finding. Illustrate major points or trends, not detailed
Do not show long or complicated formulas or
equations. Each graphic should remain on the screen at least
Table preparation: Do not use
more than three or four vertical columns and six to eight horizontal rows.
If there are any more columns or rows, the information will not be
readable. Do not use ruled vertical or horizontal lines; they
distract the eye and clutter the graphic. Whenever possible,
present data using bar charts or graphs instead of tables.
Graph preparation: Generally,
do not use more than one or two curves on one diagram; a maximum of three to
four curves may be shown, but only if well separated. Label
each curve; do not use symbols and a legend. Do not show data
points unless scatter is important.
Colored graphs are very effective.
Color adds attractiveness, interest and clarity to slide and viewgraph
illustrations and should be used whenever possible. If you
use color, remember that contrasting colors are easier to see.
Consider breaking up a complex slide into a
series of slides, to make it more intelligible.
Critically examine every graphic and view them
under adverse light conditions before presenting at a meeting.
It is sometimes impossible to provide excellent light conditions at
It is often helpful to step 8-10 feet back from
your computer screen and make sure that your slides are readable.
An introductory and concluding graphic can
greatly improve the focus of your talk.
Make use of the Slide Master capability of
PowerPoint, to standardize the look of your presentation. That way, if you need
to change the bullets or fonts, they can be changed globally, and you won’t have
to edit each slide individually.
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Using Images Within
PowerPoint will display your presentation in
slide show mode at 1024x768 resolution. The PC has a native display of 96DPI
(Dots Per Inch). You should consider these factors, when inserting images into
your presentation. If your image file is scanned, or from a
digital camera, it is likely to be much larger than the screen resolution.
(1024x768 96dpi) An image size larger than 1024x768 will not
translate into a sharper image, when displayed on screen. It will only increase
the size of your PowerPoint file and slow down the playback of your
presentation. Reduce the image size in an image-editing program (like Adobe
Photoshop®) prior to inserting the image into your presentation.
There are many different image file formats
available. After you have made sure that your image size is appropriate, you
should save your image as a .BMP, .GIF, or .JPG file prior to inserting it into
your presentation. Generally the JPEG format provides high quality, small file
size and portability to other machines.
If the image file is the output of a mathematical
program (such as MATLAB®) please make sure that you save the image as a JPEG and
not as a Metafile. The latter file depends upon the software program being
installed, to properly display the image.
Once you have the images properly sized and
saved, choose Insert Picture from file…
to put the image onto the slide. Do not copy and paste the image, or drag and
drop it into your presentation. Doing that might look fine on your machine, but
it may not display properly when you transfer the presentation to another
computer, particularly if you are a Mac user who will be presenting from a PC.
Animated .GIF Files: Although these (unlike most
media files) are actually saved within your PowerPoint presentation, you should
bring the separate .GIF file with you whenever possible.
Microsoft has changed the way they handle the looping of these in recent
versions of Office, which on occasion causes them not to play properly in
PowerPoint. If you have the original .GIF file with you, we
can fix this problem if necessary in the speaker ready room.
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Using Media Clips
Within Your Presentation.
Be aware that media clips are not saved as part
of your PowerPoint presentation, that the actual video or audio files need to be
on the computer you will be presenting from. You will need to
supply those files along with your PowerPoint file either when you upload or in
the speaker ready room.
Avoid long file names for media clips.
There is a limit in PowerPoint on the total length of the path to your
media files, and much of it gets used up in pointing to your presentation
folder. Though the absolute limit varies based on the
presenter’s last name and session room, movie and sound files with names longer
than 20 characters should be renamed prior to inserting them in your
presentation. The shorter the file names of your media clips,
PC Users: Using the .WMV file
format is the best way to ensure compatibility within PowerPoint on another PC.
While MPEG and AVI formats will generally work too, they use a variety of
different codecs that may not be installed on the presentation machine.
Mac Users: Quicktime movies
(.MOV file format) do not play directly within a slide in PowerPoint on the PC.
You can create a hyperlink to them, which will open them in a separate
Quicktime player window, and allow you to play them from there. If you are going
to be presenting from a PC and you can convert them to .WMV format, they should
play properly within slides in PowerPoint. Most MPEG and some AVI codecs will
also work on the PC.
If you’ll be presenting from a Mac, .MOV files
using the Sorenson 3 or MPEG-4 codecs are good choices for compatibility with
All Presenters Using Media Clips:
Plan to visit the speaker ready room as early as possible, but at least 24 hours
prior to your talk. With sufficient time our technicians can
fix almost any video playback problem, but re-encoding videos can be a time
If you have specific questions regarding codecs
and your presentation, please contact us at
Within Your Presentation.
Animated builds, moves, highlights and
transitions can help visually reinforce your message. However, these are often
overused by presenters and can detract from the message you are trying to
convey. Different versions of PowerPoint have different sets of animation
features that are not always backwards compatible, it is best to use as little
animation as possible to keep your audience focused on your content, and
minimize problems in portability.
The presentation systems will be loaded with
Standard System Fonts. If your presentation contains any
special fonts, you must provide a copy of the font, to be loaded on the
presentation system. Please pay special attention to fonts, if you use
scientific notation within your presentation, as this is often written using a
PC users: to be safe, use a
standard font like Arial or Times New Roman to create your presentation.
many fonts with the same names are spaced differently on Macs and PCs.
The Tahoma font is designed to be identical on both systems, so using it
whenever possible will help avoid the need to adjust things once your
presentation is moved to a PC.
PowerPoint 2007/2008 users should save their
presentations in their versions’ native .pptx format, not in the PowerPoint
’97-2003 format, as this will provide better overall compatibility with our
Unix Users must have HTML files or PDF files in
Adobe Acrobat 9 format.
PowerPoint is designed to display pictures and
text generated within the program or inserted from other sources.
If the outside source is a sound file over 5kb or any video file, the
original file is not saved within the presentation. Source
files meeting these criteria must be available on the computer where the
presentation is going to run. Please copy any source video
and sound files to the media with your presentation. If in
doubt, bring the file along.
Embedded charts, graphs, and object-oriented
graphic files are often difficult to work with. These file
types usually are influenced by the version of the program used to create them,
often making them translate strangely on a different computer system.
It is recommended that charts or graphics be inserted into your
presentation as a bitmap format graphic. (Examples of bitmap formats are: .gif,
.jpg, .bmp, and .tiff) If you embed charts and object graphics in your
presentation, it is advisable to have the bitmap format graphics available on
Acrobat Reader. You are
welcome to bring your files in Acrobat’s PDF format; however, editing these
files at the meeting will not be possible.
HTML presentations. Make sure
that your files are portable. Data will be copied from your
media to the networks hard drive. If files are not portable,
you could lose links between pages.
Web Server. A Web Server is
not on the network so please plan accordingly.
Other Plug-Ins or Active X controls.
These cannot be installed into the network. If your
presentation takes advantage of a function not built into Internet Explorer 8 or
Firefox 3.6, you may have difficulties onsite.
If you use PowerPoint’s rehearse timings
feature, pay close attention to the dialog box that appears after you finish
rehearsing. It will offer to save the timings from your
rehearsal, and if you inadvertently agree it will set them as automatic advances
of your slides at the times you just rehearsed. Unless you want your slides to
advance on their own at predetermined times, you’ll want to say no to this
option. To check if there are any automatic timings currently
associated with your slides, choose the slide sorter
view of your presentation, they can be seen as numbers (00:10, for
example,) below the bottom left corner of each slide.
Be considerate of the other speakers
and the audience by staying within your allotted time. This is essential to
ensure adequate time for questions and discussion and adherence to schedule.
Please discuss the same material as
reported in the abstract.
Take the time to rehearse your
presentation. Give your talk to one or more colleagues and ask them for
suggestions for improvement. If your presentation runs longer than the allotted
time, eliminate the least essential material and rehearse again.
Give an opening statement to
acquaint the audience with the nature and purpose of the study. Word choice
should be simple: use active words and short sentences. Words should reinforce
your visual material.
Use the public
address system and be sure to speak slowly and clearly into the microphone.
When using a microphone clipped to your lapel, it may be difficult for the
audience to hear you if you turn your head away from the microphone.
audience, not the slides or graphics you are showing, and try to establish eye
contact with members of your audience in various areas of the room.
Do not read your
presentation verbatim from your notes or slides.