Human thinking is hierarchical or you can call it fractal. Trying to understand the topic, a person identifies several ideas as the most important ones (more than 5-7 simultaneously can not be kept in mind, in fact we have 3-4). In order to understand each of them deeper, it breaks them into simpler sub-ideas. And those in turn into simpler ideas. And so on.
The whole hierarchy of ideas can not be kept in mind, so we should create visuals keep them in front of people. For example, when we stand in front of people, we should always give them a picture, a video and some words. You can type the words on your own, take the picture by yourself and use animated presentation themes. Add your voice and you have a great recipe to cook.
At the same time, small technical details are still not understood. However it happens without much damage to the holistic perception of the whole picture. All this work is done by each listener individually and semi-consciously in the process of perception of the performance. In fact, the presentation is the transfer of the hierarchy of ideas from person to person.
Many clear principles are aimed at conveying this hierarchy in the most explicit form. The listener should not spend his mental efforts on restoring the hierarchy of ideas from the unstructured flow of phrases. This is achieved by various technical methods:
- The title of the report on the first slide should reflect the most important idea, that is to correspond to the top of the hierarchy.
- At the beginning of the presentation, give the contents of the report. Three points will be enough, add three sub-paragraphs to each. This is the structure of the work, the two upper levels of the hierarchy. If the performance is short, only the upper level is spoken.
- The most difficult parts of the performance should be divided into steps or stages, preceded by a very simple slide with a list of steps. For example, “The proposed method consists of three steps: …” or “There are three reasons why the standard approach is not optimal. Let’s consider each of them separately. ” If these auxiliary phrases are not spoken, the content of the report will not change. But it will be much harder to perceive.
- Important ideas of the upper levels must necessarily be reflected on the slides and spoken in words. If the idea is only on the slide, it’s not so important.
- During the speech, you can say “the main idea is to …” several times. But you should not overuse this phrase.
- The most important words, ideas, fragments can be highlighted on the slide so that they immediately catch your eye. This, too, can not be overused.
Stages of presentation preparation
Draw up a presentation plan, highlight the main ideas of the first and second level. The structure of the scientific presentation is about the same as the structure of the scientific article:
- Formulation of the problem;
- Previously known results and problems;
- The criteria by which it is intended to assess the quality of the solution;
- Objectives of this work;
- Main results of the author;
- Conditions and results of experiments;
- On the last slide, a list of the main results of the work.
Thinking of each slide (at the beginning it can be done manually on paper), it is important to answer the questions:
- How does the idea of this slide reveal the main idea of the whole presentation?
- What will be on the slide?
- What will be said?
- How will the transition be made to the next slide?
Adding speech to the slides
Speech and slides should not coincide, then the presentation will become “voluminous.” Speech should be more imaginative. Slides should contain more technical details: formulas, charts, tables, graphs. The first phrases should be intriguing. For example, one can say how difficult or important this task is, or how unexpected the decision will be. This will keep the listeners’ attention to the end. But then the ending should be non-trivial. Otherwise, the listener will be disappointed.
After you reach perfection on all the above points, learn to look into the people’s eyes and find out who got your thought and who didn’t.