Using a Storyboard to Plan a Presentation

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Melissa Clarkson Think about the last time you began to prepare a formal presentation for a group. There is a good chance the presentation included slides. If you were not reusing an old set of slides, you probably opened up PowerPoint or Keynote, picked a template, and began creating slide content. I would like suggest a different approach to … [Read more...]

Audience Autonomy: Use It to Power Your Presentations

Pat Truman

By Pat Truman Three years ago...and I still remember four simple words a presenter said to me after his presentation. His efforts had engaged us for 90 minutes. We'd learned a lot. Our enthusiasm was audible. The session had flown by. I shook his hand and thanked him. He said to me: "I am your mirror." Mystified by these words at the time, I … [Read more...]

Improving the Q&A Experience: A Collaborative Effort

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By Laurence Anthony How many times have you seen a smoothly delivered presentation with great slides and a clear and logical structure suddenly becoming disappointing or disastrous during the Q&A? Everyone has experienced a presentation Q&A session in which an over- enthusiastic presenter dives in with an answer before the audience … [Read more...]

Michael Alley on Presentation Delivery in Engineering Contexts

At the IEEE PCS 2014 conference, Michael Alley, winner of the Ronald S. Blicq award for Distinction in Technical Communication, gave an engaging talk on the gap between what is expected of engineers in their professional presentations and what is taught in their classrooms, concluding with a need to revitalize teaching oral presentation … [Read more...]

“Design your slides to maximize Signal to Noise Ratio”

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Most engineers are familiar with the concept of signal to noise ratio: maximizing signal and minimizing noise is a governing principle in communication technology design. What some may not know is that the concept can also be used in information and document design, where it is also considered a governing principle, especially in the design of … [Read more...]

“Slide Titles … Scratch that … Use Sentence Headers for Clarity and Focus in Slide Design”

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In many engineering presentations, slide headers are used to indicate the topic or subject of a slide. As in this case study presented by Technical Arts Consulting, this usually involves a sentence fragment, such as in this visual [1]. But a title such as “Platinum Catalyst + Aqueous Solution” does not effectively frame the technical content; … [Read more...]

The Power of Presentations

Giving a good presentation is key to success as a technical professional.

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the IEEE Professional Communication Society are partnering this year to bring communication content to members of both societies.  In case you missed it, the webinar entitled "The Power of Presentations" was presented on Wednesday, April 3.  It attracted a broad and diverse audience, with members of … [Read more...]

Oh Wow!

Here's an image I can get behind:  a dog with graph and chart!

Check out the latest Prism magazine, published by the American Society for Engineering Education, to read more about how engineering educators are helping students improve their written and oral communication skills. Thomas K. Grose, in an article entitled "Wow The Audience," reviews efforts at North Carolina State University, Texas Tech, … [Read more...]

Telling the Story of Technical Information

The Brothers Karamazov (not a drug-eluting stent)

What do storytelling and technical presentations have in common?  At first, you may think, "absolutely nothing!"  And yes, there is a deep chasm between The Brothers Karamazov and the update you give your boss about progress with the design of a drug-eluting stent (just to give an … [Read more...]

Podcast: Creating Effective Presentation Slides

Jean-luc Doumont, a world-acclaimed expert in oral presentations and a senior member of IEEE, addresses in his informative podcast the key methods you can employ to create effective presentation slides. … [Read more...]