Improve your scientific presentation slide design with 5 simple tricks

We wrote the title with the word ‘slides’. Yes, slides. Because let’s get one thing clear first; the fact that we dislike so many presentations is not because presentations or slides are bad. What’s often wrong is the execution of the presentation. People are very visual, so a combination of a story with images works very well to convey information. A movie works best, but a presentation is the next best thing. As a consequence, there is nothing inherently wrong with PowerPoint or Prezi – besides perhaps the potential of the latter to make you a little motion sick. There is no need to run with the latest gimmick when we can just improve our use of slides. This is easier said than done of course, because even though we all have been working with presentations for decades, this doesn’t make everyone good at using it. Maybe even the other way around (hello lecturer who recently moved on from overhead projectors!). Use your slides as the illustrated background to the story you tell At The Online Scientist, we have been working with professors that wanted to get their message very clear. They asked us to help them do that by giving their slides a make-over. In this blog we want to share some of those tips with you. This is very hands-on, and assumes you have your story crystal clear. If you feel like you need help with your story, it might be better to start with this blog with tips on how to write the story of your presentation. 1 Write conclusions, not descriptions. It’s ‘good practise’ amongst scientists to put the title of a graph on the slide, as if that explains it [...]