P.Mean >> Category >> Presenting research data (created 2007-07-23).

These pages present information about how to explain your research in an oral or poster presentation. Also see Category: Grant writing, Category: Graphical display, Category: Human side of statistics, Category: Writing research papers.

2010

7. P.Mean: What I use for talks instead of Powerpoint (created 2010-06-28). Someone on LinkedIn asked a question about what technologies people use for their presentations (laptop, flipchart, or whiteboard). For most of my presentations, I use none of these technologies. Instead I create a webpage of my presentation and then print it and hand out copies.

2009

6. P.Mean: Maybe Powerpoint isn't so bad (created 2009-01-06). I have been harshly critical of PowerPoint in the past (though I did post a rejoinder from one of the readers of my old website). Most of my criticisms were inspired by Edward Tufte, who wrote an article for Wired magazine (Powerpoint is evil) and a short monograph (The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint). In preparing a newsletter article about Edward Tufte and his new book, Beautiful Evidence, I came across some reviewers who take Dr. Tufte to task for his harsh criticisms of Powerpoint.

Outside resources:

  1. Advice on designing scientific posters
  2. PubCon Street Tips on Giving Presentations : Investing in our Speakers
  3. Scientific Papers and Presentations (PDF) Excerpt: "Scientific communication is essential for helping us to use and take care of this earth. Researchers who discover the wonders of science must tell someone about their findings in clear, complete, and concise terms. To add to the pool of scientific knowledge, scientists must synthesize available information with what they discover. If a scientist garbles words or leaves out important points, messages become unclear, and the progress of science suffers."
  4. Elisabeth Bumiller. We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint. The New York Times. April 26, 2010. Excerpt: "Like an insurgency, PowerPoint has crept into the daily lives of military commanders and reached the level of near obsession. The amount of time expended on PowerPoint, the Microsoft presentation program of computer-generated charts, graphs and bullet points, has made it a running joke in the Pentagon and in Iraq and Afghanistan." [Accessed April 27, 2010]. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/27powerpoint.html.

Creative Commons License All of the material above this paragraph is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. This page was written by Steve Simon and was last modified on 2010-06-29. The material below this paragraph links to my old website, StATS. Although I wrote all of the material listed below, my ex-employer, Children's Mercy Hospital, has claimed copyright ownership of this material. The brief excerpts shown here are included under the fair use provisions of U.S. Copyright laws.

2007

5. Stats: Who wrote the law that mandates PowerPoint? (December 28, 2007). A recent filler item in BMJ, The PowerPoint presentation, written by David Isaacs, Stephen Isaacs, and Dominic Fitzgerald, provided a light hearted view of the bad habits that PowerPoint induces in presenters. I added a comment in the Rapid Responses section of the website titled "Who wrote the law that mandates PowerPoint?"

2005

4. Stats: PowerPoint Counterpoint (March 2, 2005). I am a rather harsh critic of PowerPoint. One of the web resources I cite in my criticisms of PowerPoint is www.norvig.com/Gettysburg/index.htm written by Peter Norvig, a research scientist at Google. Dr. Norvig took the text of Lincoln's Gettyburg address fed it into the PowerPoint Autocontent Wizard, made a few tweaks, and published it on the web. It is one of the best examples of how bad PowerPoint is for presenting complex ideas. I got an email today from John F. Raffensperger who felt that Dr. Norvig's web page sent the wrong message. His argument is that we are blaming the tool rather than the craftsman.

3. Stats: Bluejacket Toastmasters Speech (July 15, 2004). The May Issue of Toastmasters Magazine had several articles about electronic presentations, which in 95% of the cases means PowerPoint presentations. One author (Eric Spellmann) summarizes the viewpoint that I've come to despise. He writes: "PowerPoint also can liven up an otherwise boring topic. In addition to using vibrant text and background colors, presenters can choose from a wide variety of clip art and photos. And when using PowerPoint's animation and sound options, these graphics can shake, rattle and roll."

2. Stats: I hate PowerPoint talk (July 1, 2004). I'm giving a speech on July 15 for Bluejacket Toastmasters, the club where the action is! Toastmasters is an international organization that helps its members learn how to communicate effectively. The talk was originally scheduled for July 1, but got postponed. My talk is based on one of the earlier weblog entries, I hate PowerPoint (May 19, 2004). I've placed a rough draft of this talk on my web pages.

1. Stats: I hate PowerPoint (May 19, 2004). The May Issue of Toastmasters Magazine had several articles about electronic presentations, which in 95% of the cases means PowerPoint presentations. One author (Eric Spellmann) summarizes the viewpoint that I've come to despise. He writes: PowerPoint also can liven up an otherwise boring topic. In addition to using vibrant text and background colors, presenters can choose from a wide variety of clip art and photos. And when using PowerPoint's animation and sound options, these graphics can shake, rattle and roll. If your topic is boring, then it won't become less boring by changing your text to a firecracker red, or adding soft clouds in the background, or placing a clip art image of a racer crossing the finish line, or having the new slides spin into place, or playing a cute melody at each slide transition.

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