On Technical Presentations - University of Waterloo

On Technical Presentations - University of Waterloo

TPM Technical Presentation Milestone On technical presentations Part 1 Douglas Wilhelm Harder Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering http://ece.uwaterloo.ca/~tppe000/ University of Waterloo 1/27/20 Copyright 2008-13 by Douglas Wilhelm Harder. Some rights reserved. On technical presentations Outline This two-session presentation covers:

Background The milestone Bad presentations Aspects of a good presentation: Interest and knowledge Organization Visual aids Presentation skills Responding to questions Consequences of failures 2

On technical presentations 3 Background Why do you care? Engineers, in general, work together However, on any project, the individual presenting is always perceived as having given the greatest contribution Self Leadership International http://www.selfleadership.com/ Public Relations Society of America http://http://prsareno.org/ On technical presentations 4 Background

Our employers told us: Your students cannot give presentations... We introduced the Technical Presentation Milestone Two evaluators and a peer audience A 12-15 minute slide-based presentation A questions-and-answers session follows http://www.uwaterloo.ca/ The University of Waterloo has always had a co-op program On technical presentations Background Two primary means of technical communication: Written reports Oral presentations

Each has its own distinctive characteristics Time scale, references, feedback, ... 5 On technical presentations Background The benefits of presentations: The focus is on the speaker Its interactive Emphasis of key points is easier The flow is dynamic You can gauge if the audience is interested, confused or bored

Live personalities command attention Presentations use many senses The audience is guaranteed to have been exposed to the material 6 On technical presentations Background The benefits of reports: The focus is on the information with more details There is no reliance on personalities and no time coordination Readers can Review relevant background at their own leisure Read at their own pace Review the material multiple times 7

On technical presentations Background A technical presentation Informs Persuades A technical presentation does not Sharese Ann Frederick Sell/pitch Teach/lecture 8 On technical presentations Background Presentations may be with or without supporting visual aids

Each choice has advantages and disadvantages Without visual aids, the speaker is the focus Dynamic and enthusiastic Requires significant preparation Difficult for presenting technical data http://www.nymag.com/ Visual aids take attention from the speaker Greater focus on the data Helps the speaker recall the flow Not meant to be dynamic http://www.daylive.com/ 9 On technical presentations The Technical Presentation Milestone 2B students are scheduled in 3-hour sessions with five other students

TPM 1X000 Each 2B student will: Bring a .ppt or .pptx presentation on a USB key Bring two copies of the TPM Evaluation Form Be present for all presentations (2-3 hours) Ask at least one question of another presenter Bring your own computer if you choose a different format Your responsibilityand bring an analogue VGA adapter 10 On technical presentations

The Technical Presentation Milestone Information available at: http://ece.uwaterloo.ca/~tppe000/ This site includes: Requirements and Evaluation Conduct Guidelines Example Talks FAQ Check List Schedule

11 On technical presentations The Technical Presentation Milestone Grading is based on four aspects: Organization Visual aids Presentation skills Questions Each is equally weighted A pass is 75%

12 On technical presentations The Technical Presentation Milestone Statistics: Failure rates fluctuate between 2% and 25% Based on the attitude of the classthe evaluators dont change Numerous students have ignored this milestone and were surprised when they were not enrolled in 4A (previously 3B) Question: How do they fail? 13 On technical presentations The 10 Commendments The 10 Commendments for giving badly presentations by David Patterson

Computer Science Division, University of California-Berkeley I. Thou shalt not be neat Why waste research time preparing slides? Ignore spelling, grammer and legibility. Who cares hat 50 people think? II. Thou shalt not waste space Dont waste time changing slides. Your audience will understand the big picture better if they see all the information simultaneously. III. Thou shalt not covet brevity Do you want to continue the stereotype that engineers can't write? Always use complete sentences, never just key words. If possible, use whole paragraphs and read every word. IV. Thou shalt not expose thy naked slides You need the suspense! Expose only one point at at a time. V. Thou shalt not write large Be humble: use a small font. You can fit more information into a slide. Importantpeople sit in front. Who cares about the riff-raff? VI. Thou shalt not use color Flagrant use of color indicates imprecise research. It's also unfair to emphasize some words over others. VII. Thou shalt not illustrate Confucius says A picture equals a thousand words. Dijkstra says Pictures are for weak minds.

VIII. Thou shalt not make eye contact You should avert eyes to show respect. Blocking screen can also add mystery. IX. Thou shalt not skip slides in a long talk You prepared the slides; people came for your whole talk; so just talk faster. Skip your summary and conclusions if necessary. If you pack enough information onto each slide, 14 On technical presentations The 10 Commendments X. THOU SHALT NOT PRACTISE THIS COMMENDMENT IS CRITICAL TO YOUR SUCCESS IN GIVING A BAD PRESENTATION 15 On technical presentations

16 Aspects of good presentations It is easy to say what not to do during a presentation Dont read the screen with your back facing the audience Dont play with your zippers It is difficult to describe how to give a good presentation How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct. Benjamin Disraeli . http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ On technical presentations Aspects of good presentations We will look at five aspects of a presentation:

Interest and knowledge Organization Visual aids Presentation skills Responding to questions 17 On technical presentations Aspects of good presentations We will begin with the fundamentals:

Interest and knowledge Organization Visual aids Presentation skills Responding to questions 18 On technical presentations Interest and knowledge Aspects of interest and knowledge: Interest and enthusiasm Knowledge and expertise 19

On technical presentations Interest Interest and knowledge Nothing great has been accomplished without passion. Georg Hegel 19th-century philosopher You must be interested in your topic Enthusiasm is contagious So is boredom David Shankbone Photo by Adam Jones adamjones.freeservers.com 20

On technical presentations Interest and knowledge Knowledge Technical presentations require knowledge and expertise Speaker must not present to the limit of their knowledge Requirements: A general understanding of the broader scope A solid understanding of the topic A general understanding of relevant specific details 21 On technical presentations Interest and knowledge

Knowledge Example: Wireless Local Area Networks standards Must have a general knowledge of wireless and modulation Must have an in-depth knowledge of IEEE 802.11a, b, and g Must have a general understanding of modulation techniques E.g., Direct-sequence spread spectrum Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing 22 On technical presentations Interest and knowledge Interest and knowledge are the foundation The topic interests you Take time to investigate and research the topic Next, we will organize the talk

23 On technical presentations Aspects of good presentations Our second topic: Interest and knowledge Organization Visual aids Presentation skills Responding to questions 24

On technical presentations Organization You must now organize your thoughts Five aspects of organization: Situation Objective Structure Scalability and flow Timing 25

On technical presentations Organization Situation What is your situation? What is the motivation? Who is the audience? What is their technical level? What are their expectations? What are your expectations of them? How much time do you have? Any preconceived notions or misinformation? What time of the day will it be? Should I bring coffee? Pedro Cardoso, Stop Death By PowerPoint - Make Your Presentations "suck" Less

26 On technical presentations Organization Objective statement You should summarize the objective in one sentence: To introduce technical presentations and the milestone; and to give an overview of guidelines for a good technical presentation. This helps focus your talk: For any slide, image, bullet point: Does it help me reach my objective? If no, then save that gem for it for later http://www.anniversaryrings.net/ 27

On technical presentations Organization Structure We have our objective; we must now structure the talk: The speaker has one opportunity to present The audience has one opportunity to observe There is no opportunity for reviewing relevant background Tell them what youll tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them We will consider: Framing your talk The components of the talk 28 On technical presentations

Organization Structure Framing The presentation must be appropriately framed This requires an introduction and conclusion The talk must start with a point of reference: Introduction to the topic and speaker An brief overview The talk must finish with a reinforcement: A summary and conclusions 29 On technical presentations Organization

Structure Framing This framework is supported by three slides: A title slide An outline A summary and conclusions All three are required in any presentation 30 On technical presentations Organization Structure Framing

The Title Slide contains: A descriptive title The speakers name and affiliation Todays date At this point: Introduce yourself and your affiliation and collaborators Give a one- or two-sentence summary 31 On technical presentations Organization Structure Framing

The second slide is the outline It is the framework for the talk Anticipation Familiarity The second-last slide summarizes your thoughts Numerous ideas have been presented Emphasize the most significant You may have one final slide with: Questions? or Any questions? A memorable and relevant quote or image Your references 32 On technical presentations Organization Structure

Components The Title, Outline, and Summary frame the talk The presentation interpolates these with An introductory section Outline, background and introduction The big picture A body Your main arguments Concluding remarks Conclusions, recommendations and then a summary Discuss the scope within the bigger picture 33 On technical presentations

Organization Structure Components The introduction includes: The title and outline slides The big picture: why is the audience here? Necessary background information The introduction of the topic The introduction should be: Memorized Free of new information and facts

34 On technical presentations Organization Structure Background Background information should not be detailed Give sufficient information for the audience to follow the presentation Understand the level of your audience Assume they are intelligent 35 On technical presentations

Organization Structure Background E.g., consider presenting software which merges images The wrong background: a discussion of linear algebra The right background: an example 36 On technical presentations Organization Structure Body

Next, the body supports the objective You will have a number of supporting ideas Some ideas may support other ideas Initially brainstorm these ideas Write down all your ideas 37 On technical presentations Organization Structure Groupings ideas Group the ideas under 3-5 main points Secondary points support main points Time permitting, tertiary points support secondary points

Question whether outliers actually support the talk All points should be mutually exclusive The same aspect should not be discussed multiple times 38 On technical presentations Organization Structure Ordering your thoughts Next we must order the main points:

Chronologically Problem-Solution-Justification Problem-Reasoning-Solution Spatial Importance This talk is presented chronologically 39 On technical presentations Organization Structure Finishing Finally, youve been presenting for 15 minutes Your audience has thought of a lot of things

Various distractions Their vacation (or lack thereof) What theyre doing this weekend The next meeting All the small problems with your talk... 40 On technical presentations Organization Structure Finishing

It is now your responsibility to summarize and conclude Tell them what they must remember Flag what you think is important These will be your last words in the presentation 41 On technical presentations Organization Scalability and flow A good report is broken into sections Sections broken into sub-sections Sub-sections broken into sub-sub-sections A presentation should be similar Main points should be supported by secondary points

Secondary points may be supported by tertiary points This allows scalability Dynamics Grouping Flow between ideas and flow within ideas 42 On technical presentations Organization Scalability and flow Dynamics Scalable allows dynamic changes to the pace: For example, tertiary points may be Glossed over if time is short Expanded upon if the audience is interested

43 On technical presentations Organization Scalability and flow Grouping Consider grouping 20 points as follows: Linear and binary groupings are awkward Easier to visualize groupings of 4-6 points 44 On technical presentations Organization Scalability and flow

Grouping As the number of points grows, scalability is critical 45 On technical presentations Organization Scalability and flow Flow between topics The sequence of topics in a talk must flow: Each idea must transition to the next The audience expects a logical flow You have to describe the transitions Changes or discontinuity distract the audience

46 On technical presentations Organization Scalability and flow 47 Flow within topics Suppose you are discussing a number of options or alternatives These items are introduced in a specific order Maintain a similar order throughout the presentation Example: you describe Windows, GNU/Linux and then OS X Subsequent slides and tables should keep that order Windows

GNU/Linux OS X A B C D 1

Windows 2 GNU/Linux

3 OS X

4 5

On technical presentations Organization Timing You are interested and prepared You know what youre going to say and wow youre going to say it However, the main question is How much time do you have to say it in? We will look at a number of aspects with respect to the timing of a presentation

Justification Requirements Planning Racing against the clock The timer 48 On technical presentations Organization Timing Justification A story from a co-op placement: A remote sales presentation scheduled for 50 min went on for 80 min Only the co-op was left watching The product was not purchased...

User: Vassil 49 On technical presentations Organization Timing Requirements You are required to speak for 12-15 min Timing is important: Audience members have schedules Executives are even less tolerant But dont finish too early You will fail for < 12:00 or 15:30

50 On technical presentations Organization Timing Planning The three slide occupy 30-60 s each This leaves 11-14 min 51 On technical presentations Organization Timing Planning

Timing should be planned as follows: Introduction 15-25% Welcome and Outline minimal Background 10-15% Introduction of topic 5-10% Body 60-70% Conclusions 10-15% Questions left for after... 52 On technical presentations Organization Timing Racing against the clock

Ultimately, a presentation is a race against the clock All enthused speakers love to talk Other factors affect time You can dynamically change the pace of your presentation if: Your talk is scalable and you practiced 53 On technical presentations Organization Timing The timer A timer counts down from 15:00 to 0:00 The clock is started when you begin talking 54

On technical presentations Organization Timing The timer When the timer starts: TALK As long as the light is green, keep talking After 12 minutes: SUM-UP 3 minutes left After 15 minutes: STOP Maximum 1 for organization Listen to the given advice! 55 On technical presentations

Organization Timing The timer If you talk for another 30 s The red light flashes The timer beeps You have failed A bad talk cannot be saved in 30 s... 56 On technical presentations Organization We have seen how to organize a presentation through

Your situation Defining the objective Structuring the talk Scalability and flow Timing 57 On technical presentations Aspects of good presentations You are now interested and organized

Interest and knowledge Organization Visual aids Presentation skills Responding to questions Our theoretical foundation 58 On technical presentations Aspects of good presentations The next session:

Interest and knowledge Organization Visual aids Presentation skills Responding to questions 59 On technical presentations Summary In this presentation, we have seen:

Background The Milestone 10 Commandments of Bad Presentations Two foundational aspects of a good presentation: Interest and knowledge Organization Homework assignment 60 On technical presentations Summary The next session will: Take-up of homework Consider those aspects which make a presentation out of interest and organization: Visual aids

Presentation skills Responding to questions Consequences of failure 61 On technical presentations Questions? How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct. Benjamin Disraeli References All references are listed on http://ece.uwaterloo.ca/~tppe000/ http://ece.uwaterloo.ca/~dwharder/TechnicalPresentations/ All unreferenced images are the work of the author

Some images are published under the GFDL http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html 62

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