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Give amazing presentations even with Powerpoint.

February 11, 2010 4 comments

Previously, I pointed you to what Steve Jobs does in making awesome presentations.  As I’ve read more on presentations using visual aids, I’ve come across a couple blogs on how to get the most out of Powerpoint for your talks.  I point you to a couple example posts on each blog.

“Takahashi method” – on Presentation Zen

“What’s wrong with templates?” – Presentation Advisors (impressively, only one guy)

There are countless ways to incorporate PPT in a presentation, and the optimal way will vary with the nature of the presentation.  These blogs have so many ideas, I will definitely have fun trying to work different elements into my talks, which will be a challenge since science talks are usually so data/visual-heavy.

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This is amazing. Use it.

January 5, 2010 1 comment

Go here to see a slideshow on “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.”  Then try to incorporate some of those tips the next time you give a presentation, especially if its a powerpoint.

(H/T Harman.)

Lessons in Winning Over an Audience: Use Metaphors

September 9, 2009 2 comments

Very few things in life are as satisfying as a highly appropriate and effectively deployed metaphor.  Last month, with the start of the school year, our Materials Science program had its kickoff lunch to welcome the new students.  The centerpiece of this gathering is the Sales Pitch Contest, in which current students have three minutes to inform the judges (the new students) of their research and how awesome it is.

My friend Joy Garnett, starting her second year, works on linking together nanoparticles.  The motivation for this research is to have the nanoparticles serve as a conduit for light.  Without getting into hardcore condensed matter physics… the discussion of periodic structures—structures with a building block that is repeated with equal spacing, such as crystal lattices or photonic crystals—is nearly ubiquitous in materials science.  Unsurprisingly, Joy’s goal is to make her nanoparticles equally spaced apart and control the spacing between them.

In the three minutes allocated for her Sales Pitch, Joy did not explain the intricacies of why light behaves specially in periodic structures.  (Wise move, as new students haven’t taken condensed matter class yet.)  Instead, she told us about the classic video game, Super Mario Brothers. Read more…

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