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Take home message

take home message

A take home message can only be one item. We cannot remember more than three new items and most people at a presentation are not actively trying to memorise things. So even three is too many. The latest fashion of…
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The Matrix

the matrix

The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction film in which humans experience a world that is not real. Morpheus explains to Neo that his perception of the world is computer simulated and the true world is The Matrix. He explains…
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Give the message early

give message early

Give the message early in a talk so the audience will want to pay attention. If the message has value and relevance for them, they will follow the presentation. If the value is only delivered at the end, few will…
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don’t overlay

don't overlay

Don’t overlay multiple images. Images can only be viewed in isolation. Superimposing one image over another is visually confusing and may lose the value of both. Consider carefully if all images are required at the same time and either fully…
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lists of facts

lists of facts

Lists of facts do not make a good presentation. Sense is made by structure in an argument. Lists of facts impose a structure and hierarchy. Indenting text makes it sub-ordinate to the preceding text. The majority of text on a…
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What colour is a zebra?

What colour is a zebra? Is it white and black stripes or black and white stripes? Ask Marty, the funky Zebra from Madagascar. When it comes to slide design a question that comes up often enough in discussion relates to…
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Running over time

running over time

Running over time in a presentation is unforgivable. There is no presentation ever that has been made better by going longer. Worse it steals time from the audience and potentially from following speakers as organisers struggle to maintain their schedules….
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show some emotion

show some emotion

I was recently privileged to speak at a conference with colleagues from disciplines outwith medicine. I was humbled at the level of wisdom, scientific endeavour and sadly at the level of presentation skills displayed. If it is any comfort, many…
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only one way to present?

one way

A recent interchange on twitter was sullied by one commenter using the phrase “presentation gestapo”. This abuse was intended to express their disapproval of people who express an opinion on twitter about presentations, an opinion which runs contrary to theirs….
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