My timekeeping course this term is a “Scholars Research Seminar,” which means it’s supposed to emphasize research and writing skills. Lots of these will include some sort of poster session at the end of the term, but I decided I preferred the idea of doing in-class oral presentations. Having assigned that, of course, I felt I ought to give them a class with advice on how to give an oral presentation. I went looking for advice on this, and found that I wrote a guide to giving good PowerPoint lectures back in 2006 (God, I’m a blogging dinosaur…), which holds up pretty well. So, I dusted that off, and made up some slides on the topic, deliberately demonstrating some of the things people do wrong:
Just to liven things up, I also decided to show them an example of somebody doing a really good job of giving a talk with PowerPoint, so I found a short TED talk with a vague connection to timekeeping, and played that at the end of the class:
It’s a very entertaining talk, but it also demonstrates most of the good things you should do with PowerPoint: his slides are mostly fairly iconic images, when he has text, it’s huge, and limited to only the most relevant items, and he very clearly knows exactly what comes next at every point. It’s not something I expect first-year students, even very bright ones, to achieve, but it’s a goal to aspire to. Reach should exceed grasp, etc.
Anyway, since I have this, I thought I should throw this out for the general edification of the Internet. And because I’m still pretty happy with that old post that I wrote.
(One of my “infintie free time” projects is to go back through the nearly-ten-year archive of this blog, and pull together a “best of” collection. In my infinite free time…)