Recently I shared ideas with a colleague about presentations and she significantly altered the supportive media (p2) of her upcoming presentation. She was very pleased with her performance and the reception of the presentation by the audience (p cubed) but the feedback from a senior colleague was that, “there are rules that have to be followed when making a scientific presentation” and implied that it was a poor presentation.
Designing a talk around the needs of the audience and a message rather than a list of information is scientifically proven to be a much better way to engage with an audience and have retention of information. Reducing the amount of text on slides and illustrating with appropriate supportive media is scientifically proven to be better than text heavy slides doubling as an handout. Engaging with the audience in the delivery (p3) because the speaker is freed from the restriction of the scripted, bulletpointed list is scientifically proven to improve audience retention of information.
All of this may not look like old fashioned, “scientific” presentations but if it works better because of the science, isn’t it about time we changed our view of what a scientist looks like?