Guest post by SATURN 2016 Program Committee Bett Correa, Architect at GE
So you are excited about presenting at SATURN 2016? Awesome!
One key question to ask is whether the audience will remember your presentation after the conference. There are a few tips I'd like to share that can help you give a memorable presentation.
When giving a presentation, focus on your audience and your purpose. Audience members may be saturated from having taken in so much information during the conference. You will leave a memorable impression on them only if you carefully construct your presentation. Grabbing their attention right from the beginning will help them realize that you are worth listening to. Make each slide purposeful. This might sound daunting but can be accomplished using a simple format I created called the 4D outline.
Before getting into the outline, define the following two items:
The audience is just as important as the purpose--often people just have something to say and don't think about why they want to say it or to whom. Think of the difference between kindergarteners and software engineers. Take time to define these two items explicitly before moving on; doing so will greatly change how you create your presentation.
The example of a 4D outline shown below for an experience-report presentation demonstrates how such an outline forces you to think about each point and what you want to say.
Continue to create your outline for each section of your speech. Rather than filling your slides with long streams of text, find appropriate pictures/graphs for each section of your talk so that the audience has something to look at and doesn't have to read. Telling stories is an excellent way to keep your audience engaged. You can tell the same story over several slides.
The last few slides of your presentation should be the summary. This could be what you think the audience can take away and apply in their projects.
Once you have your presentation outline and slides put together, practice it between three to six times in front of others and alone to ensure that you know where on your slides you should make each point. While practicing you might find that you need to change slides around or change what you say on each. This is good! Keep making your presentation better and better. We strongly discourage you to rely too heavily on notes--doing so causes you to lose the essential connection with your audience that is so important to an effective presentation.
We hope you will follow the suggestions in this blog post and help us to make SATURN 2016 the best yet--good luck!
Architect at GE