Blogger Seth Godin reminds us that presentations are a precious opportunity to change minds. To translate his advice to a scientific context, I’d make the following two substitutions:
- “emotional pictures” —> “screen-filling, well-explained, compelling plots”
- “to change minds” —> “to educate”.
Godin partially echoes Edward Tufte’s argument that slideware is a terrible way to share information. Which is precisely why we publish papers, not powerpoint slides, in scientific journals.
However, while experts will read your papers, most astronomers never will. They may, however, attend your 50 minute scientific talk. Given that this is how we communicate with each other, how can each of us make our talks more informative, interesting, and understandable? What resources are you using? What strategies have you adopted? What terrible techniques would you like to kvetch about?