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 better 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 are rarely 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 that you end up with an amazing science presentation that sticks and 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.
For a quick overview of our most important tips, download our printable presentation design guide:
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. While 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 huge tables dominated the slides. In a world where #alternativefacts are a thing, we wanted to make a change so that science can get the communication it deserves!
We have experience in scientific research, education, science communication, media, design, storytelling, book publishing and of course presentations, so 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 with a minor in communication (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, then ask! We can help you out.
Download our free slide reference deck
The start of something new
We developed a collection of slides in PowerPoint to help you create better presentations. Feel to use it for your next presentation. It gets you on your way because it shows you how to handle various kinds of slides without the constraints of a corporate style. It includes tips from our book, as well as free images and fonts you can use. It’s totally free! Just go and get it.
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 science 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, then you might like to know that we also customize and design individual slides for €20 each.
Custom presentation design
A professional makeover
We also do makeovers for entire presentations. If you send us your science presentation, then 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.