Cause an Effect
A practical guide to designing science presentations that engage & inspire
Improve your science presentation and stand out from the crowd with the best presentation design at any conference. This practical book – by scientists, for scientists – helps you get rid of slides full of data and present with clarity instead.
- Develop a clear goal and message that sticks until long after you wrap up.
- Write a story that keeps the audience engaged instead of asleep.
- Design slides that communicate effectively, with PowerPoint, Prezi or any other software.
- Get new presentation ideas for graphs, tables and data slides without chart junk.
- See what we mean by comparing real life examples of good and bad slides.
An ebook that helps you tell a story about science
Scientific articles often prove not to be very smooth reading material. That’s why we propose a new way of building your story – one that fits the medium of a presentation! We will walk you through this with various presentation techniques, so you end up with an amazing science presentation that clicks with any audience.
Practical tips on how to improve your slides – with examples!
A lot of science presentations are based on scientific papers. And of course it’s good to have a solid basis for what you are saying. But it’s distracting to copy and paste entire tables with descriptions onto slides! In this ebook you will learn how to present data in a visually attractive and easy-to-grasp way – with examples.
You will learn graphic design 101
While a good science presentation builds upon a great story with clear slides, it also needs simple things like readability and contrast. Therefore, part of the ebook will show you how to create your own clear style, so you can stand out with a science presentation that has uniform images and a unique but readable font. Because design can be tricky, we added a lot of real life examples too!
The Online Scientist helped me design several presentations. They structured the presentation into a logical, understandable and fun story, and developed spot-on infographics. Thanks to the great support from The Online Scientist I won ’best oral presentation’ in the category Population Science ($1000) at the 26th Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension in Seoul, South-Korea. Wonderful work!
Dr. Hanne van Ballegooijen, Post Doctoral Researcher, VU Medical Center Amsterdam
I wanted the farewell address as professor Nutrition and Health to be groomed to perfection. I thought I had enough experience in giving lectures, speeches and media appearances to be prepared for this. I asked the Online Scientist to have a quick look at it. With their help I found out how important the layout and catchy graphics are to get the message across to a mixed audience. They did a great job in designing a custom presentation, I received many compliments from the 650 attendees.
Prof. Frans Kok, Emeritus Professor Wageningen University
For my farewell address at Wageningen University I wanted to give a presentation that would not only be interesting for colleagues but also for family and friends. I asked The Online Scientist to help me make a crystal clear presentation, and they suggested to use a timeline and very clear, self-explanatory titles. This meant a totally different approach for me, but we did it and the result was astonishing. I want to give The Online Scientist a lot of compliments for their outspoken opinion on how to make a presentation, but also for their capacity to listen and for the way they work with their clients.
Prof. Daan Kromhout, Emeritus professor Wageningen University
About the Authors
At The Online Scientist, we are not slick marketing experts. We are scientists who, like many others in the field, spent many hours watching amazing science getting drowned out by complex presentations in which numbers and graphs dominated the slides. In a world where #alternativefacts are a thing, we wanted to change that so that science can get the attention it deserves!
With experience in scientific research, education, science communication, media, design, storytelling, book publishing and of course presentations, we are the right people to help you get your message across and make an impact.
Liesbeth Smit, MSc, is a nutrition scientist (Harvard, VU University Amsterdam) with TV appearances, a bestselling book and many scientific presentations and websites (for many audiences) to her name.
Stephan van Duin, MSc, is a biologist (Wageningen University, UC Berkeley) with TV appearances, three books and hundreds of articles on science and experience in making TV shows, museum exhibits and science festivals.
Get help with your presentation
If you still have questions after reading our book, we can help out.
Download our PowerPoint template
The start of something new
We developed a template in Powerpoint that you are free to use for your own presentation. It gets you on your way by showing you how to handle various kinds of slides without the constraints of a corporate style. It’s totally free! Just go and get it. We’ll also be uploading more examples of great slides soon.
You’re fast! We’re still working on creating a good template. Come back in a week or so! For now you can download our printable quick design guide.
Feedback on your presentation
A quick diagnosis
If you feel a little lost, or if you don’t have the time to find out how your presentation can be improved, why don’t you let us do that for you? For a fixed fee of €50 plus €2 per slide, we run a diagnostic check.
You will receive a report with our findings and specific recommendations for your presentation. And because this includes our ebook Cause an Effect, you can get started right away! (If you already bought it, you get a €10 discount.) If you like some optimized examples to work with; we also customize and design individual slides for €20 each.
Custom presentation design
A professional makeover
We also do makeovers for entire science presentations. If you send us your presentation, we can give it a fresh look and feel based on all the best practices that we talk about in the book. Of course we will keep the nuance and validity of your topic intact, and we will talk to you about your story line, goals and make sure you are comfortable with any change.
Start making your presentations better!
Preview some of the advice from our e-book and read our article series with tips on how to improve your presentation and make an impact at any conference!
If you read our blogs, you’ll notice that we talk a lot about making whatever you publish about science easy to understand. This may feel repetitive sometimes. And being scientists ourselves we get wh [...]
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 o [...]
You have been invited to a well-known international conference to give a presentation – what an honour! Your first thought may be to get started right away by copying graphs from your publications int [...]