Using a Storyboard to Plan a Presentation

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

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

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”

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”

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...]

IPCC 2013–Day 3

Just as quickly as it started, it was over--we wrapped IPCC for 2013, and what a way to end it.  Dr. Carol Barnum gave the final plenary talk about heuristic evaluation, as she reflected on her own travels in the wild world of usability. Since I did duties as both presenter and blogger on the final day, I can only show a couple of pictures from … [Read more...]

IPCC 2013–Day 2: Get Your Vancouver On!

Yesterday I posted on the keynote address by Dr. Bernard Amadei, a rousing start to the first day of IPCC 2013.  I am happy to report that the remainder of Day 1 was similarly energizing.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to every session (at times like these, a couple of clones with cameras would be handy), but I was able to get … [Read more...]

Will Communicate For Food

In a recent article in the New York Times, Alina Tugend posed the eternal question that often crops up at this time of year--what are the skills college graduates should possess to make them employable?  You may be surprised that the answer is not more technical skills.  Quoting from a special report by the Chronicle of Higher Education and … [Read more...]

The Power of Presentations

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...]