what makes for a good academic presentation?
The art of presentation seems underappreciated in academia. While we spend quite a bit of time presenting our research to various audiences — in fact, presentations often are the venue for us to get feedback — nonetheless, it’s striking how little generalizable advice one can find on how to present one’s ideas. What, then, makes for a strong academic presentation? I suppose we presume that if the research question and paper are good, then so is the presentation — perhaps that’s a start. But, I don’t know whether directly copying a paper’s set-up and intuition is the right thing either; somehow I doubt it. (Though, I have seen folks essentially read their papers, or directly post paragraphs from their paper onto powerpoint slides. That’s one approach.)
So, the question is, are there some general tips for what makes a good academic presentation? Have you seen knock-out presentations in academia, what made them good? At this stage, all I know is what doesn’t make for a good presentation:
- Literature review.
- Endless citations.
- Too many slides.
- Slides with paragraphs of 12 pt font.
- Dad’s tie powerpoint background.
Hmm, that sounds like many of my presentations, and about 90+% of academic presentations I’ve seen. I don’t know what the solutions are, let me know if you know of resources online (or elsewhere). Meanwhile, presentation zen seems to have loads of advice on presenting in general (with links to well-executed presentations), though, somehow I don’t think the Steve Jobs-approach idolized over there would fly in an academic setting. Edward Tufte also has some advice.