Archive for category Slides

Slides from MGUG 2015 Keynote

Here are the slides from the MGUG 2015 keynote I gave last week. There’s a lot of information that just doesn’t come through on the slides, since I shy away from putting much in the way of actual words on slides. However, I’ve been asked a few times for these so here they are. Enjoy the animated gifs if nothing else.

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Title Slides and Credit Slides

When giving a presentation, a common practice is to display a title slide while the audience is milling about, prior to the talk, and to display a credit slide at the end of the talk while the audience is, again, milling about as they prepare to leave.

Often, both the title and end slides have entirely too much information on them, thus abruptly boring the audience to death before you have even started. With title slides it is vastly more effective to show just a few high-impact items to a) give people something to talk about with each other and b) reel them in, piquing their interest in what is to come in the talk. With an end slide it is best to keep it very short and very legible for those who need to copy down the information.

Here is a title slide and an end slide from a presentation I gave a few years ago. I think they were effective in both engaging and informing the audience and not in the least overwhelming. See if you feel the same.

The title is four words long. I really abhor long titles. Maybe it is a lack of patience but I go to a presentation hoping to be told exactly what I need to know with as little thinking as possible. If I wanted to read a scientific paper then I would study it at home with more than a modicum of patience but at a talk I just want to sit back and absorb it. Assuming my audience is the same way in not wanting to decipher a long and cryptic title, I keep them short and sweet.

The little typography trick on this slide may or may not be to everyone’s liking but it does convey to the audience that I take a little creative risk. This shows that it may not be a dull and boring presentation after all. Note that the overlap (negative leading, technically speaking) is significant. Don’t attempt subtle typographic creativity because it will simply look like an error. If you are going to overlap some words, make it extreme!

The little doodle of the person looking at the fish has something do with the presentation (a fish suitability model is used as an example in the talk) and hopefully gets people wondering what the person or the fish is thinking.

I do have my name and book credit on the bottom of this title slide but I think if I were to do this talk over again I might take those two things out. Sometimes I feel it is redundant to put the name of the speaker on the title slide. Chances are, the speaker is going to be introduced by a moderator so everyone should catch the name. The speaker also often introduces him or herself as well (but I firmly believe they should just launch right into the meat of the presentation instead, but that’s another subject). People don’t need to be inundated with your name and credentials. Try to teach them about what you know, not what your name is. :)

The credit slide, shown at the end of the talk, continued the color scheme of the presentation and only highlighted the two major websites where someone could look to get more information about what was presented. The words are made a bit livelier with creative typography.

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