A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Presentation on Writing and Web 2.0

This is presentation Keith Hoffman gave on writing and Web 2.0 at the University of Wisconsin. If you recall, Keith wrote the feature article in January's Intercom on Web 2.0.

Hoffman, Keith. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Presentations>Web Design>Writing>Podcasts


Presentation Pointers   (peer-reviewed)

This site provides tips on how to deliver a good technical presentation, both for the presenter him/herself, as well as for the content matter of the presentation. For the presenter, the note about the three Vs (Visual, Vocal and Verbal) are a must-read, and whether it is a PowerPoint presentation or a demo, the tips on how the presentation matter needs to be structured will be greatly apppreciated by any amateur/ experienced presenter.

Presentation Pointers (2000). Presentations>Technology>Communication>Business Communication


Presentation Shui

Have you ever been in a room that felt strangely uncomfortable? Most presenters have, making comments afterwards about a forebodingly long executive table, a sterile design that put a chill in the air or a frenetic disorganized feeling that seemed to bounce around the room during the talk. It's reactions like these that corporate room designers and architects seek to avoid, striving to use technology and interior design to create a professional yet welcoming atmosphere. That quest has opened the door to fresh ideas, including the Chinese art of feng shui.

Regenold, Stephen. Presentations (2002). Design>Human Computer Interaction>Presentations


Presentation Skills and Techniques   (PDF)

Communicating efficiently when giving presentations relies on a superb blend of technique and knowledge. Knowledge is gained through research and experience, the techniques are learned by observation, deliberately reading topic specific books, or by attending relevant workshops. As you progress and you become increasingly proficient in delivery, your own unique style will ultimately evolve.

Rhodes-Marriott, A. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>Presentations


Presentation Skills Training: A Matter of Personality and Outcomes

It was simply a matter of a web link or two and literally hundreds of trainees joined me online from all around the country. All in all, pretty easy and convenient and the price was right-- free. The topics were related to presentation design concepts and I knew going into it that the medium would be right for some, but unfortunately, dead wrong for others. Contrast that with another training venue coming up in a few weeks. Three presentation team members from a large consumer products company will be flying into Portland, Oregon for a day's worth of hands-on presentation design training. End of year budget utilization issues made that possible and I absolutely know that they will walk away with highly practical skills. So who got the best training value? The answer just might surprise you. Training is a personal matter but also a very practical one. When we approach training topics related to presentation design, message development, delivery skills and technology, the venues available for training are numerous. The bigger question is which ones are right for you and your learning style and of course, which options will your budgets support? With a rush to slash travel and off site training, the web is being viewed in overly glamorous terms for meaningful training deployment. Here are the trade offs.

Endicott, Jim. Presenters University (2003). Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric


Presentation Tips for Non-Native Speakers

In an international field like science, it's hardly a rare challenge. The official language of the most important events is typically English, but you could also be called upon to deliver your talk in a local language. One remedy, says Michael Alley, a presentation expert and an associate professor of engineering communication at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, is "to prepare significantly more." Another approach that is often successful is to allow yourself some leeway on the rules. Here are some more specific tips for presenting more effectively in a non-native language.

Pain, Elisabeth. Science (2011). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication>Language


Presentation Traps 1: Hazardous Comparisons

In your presentation, usually at the beginning in the motivation part, a slide appears, and on that slide you compare your method to previous state of the art methods, or methods widely accepted and recognised as adequate by practitioners in the field. Of course, you carefully chose the topics of comparison to ensure your work appears superior... This is a trap. The author explains why.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. When the Scientist Presents (2010). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication>Rhetoric


Presentation Traps 10: The Room Trap

Because the environment of a presentation, in this case the meeting room, is frequently the cause of many glitches, the author proposes guidelines to avoid such glitches.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. When The Scientist Presents (2010). Presentations>Scientific Communication>Communication>Planning


Presentation Traps 2: Forced Audience Interaction

“Probe the audience”, “Interact with the audience”, the pundits say. And out on a limb they go, the misfortunate presenters for whom good advice but poor timing garner nothing but the deathly silence of an unsympathetic audience. Do not rush the audience into action. An audience that has had time to be interested in both the presenter and his topic is easier to engage. By the time the talk ends, the audience is ready to interact through the Q&A: the time is right, and the audience is ready.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. When the Scientist Presents (2010). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication>Rhetoric


Presentation Traps 3: The Joke Is On You

Start with a joke”, “deride the audience”, “make them like you by making them laugh”, the pundits say. And out they go, on a limb as always, the serious presenters whose sense of humour is such that they usually end up being the only ones who laugh at the end of their own jokes. Avoid jokes altogether at the start of your talk, even cartoons that may be funny. A play on word requires a good understanding of English. Idiomatic expressions, or culture specific funny jokes are beyond the level of comprehension of scientists with English as a second language or from different cultural backgrounds. If you want the audience to relax, use the only way that works 100% of the time: Face the audience, and SMILE.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. When the Scientist Presents (2010). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication>International


Presentation Traps 4: The Mouth Trap

Ice water, coffee, milk, spaghettis... all represent food dangers that are likely to affect the performance of a presenter.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. When the Scientist Presents (2010). Articles>Presentations>Advice>Scientific Communication


Presentation Traps 6: The Conclusion Traps

You are in danger of falling into one of three conclusion traps. 1. Your conclusion slide is a summary of your results. 2. You know you are close to the end of your talk, everything has been said, and you rush through that slide, simply reading its bullets. 3. You do a great job with your conclusion slide, and after clicking one last time the next slide button on your presentation remote, you land into one of the following slides: a) the black screen indicating the end of your presentation (a PowerPoint feature); b) the traditional Acknowledgment slide; or c) a black slide on which the words “Thank You” are written in Font size 88 – for good luck The author explains why.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. When the Scientist Presents (2010). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication>Rhetoric


Presentation Traps 7: The Cultural Trap

The author recommends not to use metaphors or expressions that are meaningless to a foreign audience and not to display extensive culture by using a sophisticated word where a simpler one exists.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. When the Scientist Presents (2010). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication>Minimalism


Presentation Traps 8: The Knowledge Trap

“And here, you see…. But the lack of knowledge leaves us blind – a temporary type of blindness, assuredly, but blindness nevertheless. For knowledge only lights up the world of the expert.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. When The Scientist Presents (2010). Presentations>Scientific Communication>Accessibility


Presentation Traps 9: The Rehearsal Traps

The author presents five common rehearsal scenarios which all look fine, but each one contains a fatal flaw. Through these brief case studies, the reader is introduced to the correct way to rehearse a presentation

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. When The Scientist Presents (2010). Presentations>Scientific Communication>Communication>Planning


Presenter's Code of Ethics   (PDF)

At many conferences we encounter speakers whose sole reason in presenting is to entice customers for their products or services. The goal is not, in itself, a bad one -- except when the speaker presents information that is biased.

William Horton Consulting (2001). Articles>Presentations>Ethics


Presenters Who Play In The Gray Risk Their Reputations

We all bend the rules and shade the truth in various ways. Presenters do it for all sorts of reasons: to inflate the importance of their work, to get people to like them, to make a story funnier. Tad Simons suggests there's a line in there somewhere that may not be wise to cross.

Simons, Tad. Presentations (2002). Articles>Presentations>Ethics


Presenting a Failure Analysis: The Context and Your Delivery

This PowerPoint of 45 slides prepares students for the challenges of presenting a failure analysis. The lesson instructs in the development and delivery of an effective presentation with particular attention to both content and context. Topics range from organizing information to fit audience processes to increasing accessibility, comprehensibility, and usability through visual and verbal cues. Beginning with an overview of the value of failure analysis, the lecture offers numerous practical strategies for optimizing the structure, design, and delivery of information, and concludes by providing samples to evaluate and discuss.

conneXions (2008). Presentations>Writing>Reports>Engineering


Presenting a Technology Analysis: The Context and Your Delivery

This PowerPoint file of 45 slides covers the Role of the Chief Technology Officer and characterizes his or her audiences. The file covers how CTOs adjust to these audiences by meeting the criteria of accessibility, comprehensibility, usability, and interpersonal and cultural appeal. The last 25 slides show how content can be reinforced through various aspects of design and animation.

conneXions (2008). Presentations>Technology>Reports>Engineering


Presenting Like a Pro!   (PDF)

Your ability to construct and deliver a powerful presentation is one of the most important facets of your career. Without that ability, you will never be able to sell your ideas, projects, and yourself. Keeping these six main principles in mind and following this effective 8-step process will allow you to develop a presentation that anyone would be proud to deliver. Once the presentation is written, concentrate on watching body language, making eye contact, modulating your voice, and breathing properly as you deliver a dynamite presentation!

Laurent, J. Suzanna. STC Proceedings (1998). Articles>Presentations


Presenting Science for the Anxiety Averse

For a successful scientific career, presenting your work effectively is almost as important as obtaining results in the lab. But climbing onstage to showcase your results can be terrifying, especially for those who lack experience. And while scientists spend many years training to obtain scientific results, they're largely on their own when it comes to delivering an effective presentation -- and dealing with the anxiety it provokes. So, how do you make your scientific talks less terrifying for yourself and more effective and enjoyable for all?

Holgate, Sharon Ann. Science (2011). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication


Presenting to Managers and Other Professionals

This PPT slide show explains differences between academic and professional audiences, details some of the purposes and challenges of professional situations, and recommends ways of organizing talks and designing PowerPoint slides to deliver points concisely and convincingly.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Presentations>Business Communication


Presenting To Win: Top Ten Tips for a Winning Pitch

Top 10 tips for a winning pitch by David McDermott, MD of Edomidas. David McDermott is MD of edoMidas Ltd and is an advisor and international speaker on competitive pitching. His success is founded on thoroughly researched pitching strategies, drawing from experience of the most successful global business pitches.

McDermott, Eliza. Hello Article (2009). Articles>Presentations>Business Communication


Presenting: Preparation, Process, and Pizzazz

Never dive into creating your presentation without knowing the constraints within which you are working, as they can really alter how you present. When I started to prepare for my presentation, I had to ruthlessly narrow down what my goals for speaking were before I tackled the nitty gritty.

Alcantara, Lea. Digital Web Magazine (2008). Articles>Presentations


Prezi for Annotated Bibliographies

Like many of you, I’ve got a love-hate relationship with annotated bibliographies. This semester I may have found an answer to the “hate” aspects of this assignment. I had the pleasure of teaching Rhetoric & Composition II Honors (FYC II Honors, basically). We put a multimodal focus on the course. Their big research paper was multimodal-based and a lot of the assignments and discussions were multimedia in nature. But the kicker, at least for this post, is that their ann bib for the big research paper was done in Prezi.

Hoover, Ryan S. Power of Persuasion, The (2012). Articles>Bibliographies>Presentations>Software



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