Fun with physics presentations! Who knew?

Here’s a presentation from particle physicist Janet Conrad at Columbia University titled “How to Write and Give a Good Scientific Talk”…

While I disagree with her on a few minor points, I think she does a good job at covering the basics and she also has some interesting, creative examples…really! Who knew that particle physics could be so FUN!

I particularly like her “pac-man” chart on slide 25. (Maybe she is the one that started the now popular pac-man pie chart trend ). It’s the same point I often emphasize with my clients; for every slide you need to ask the question, ‘Why is this important to include?’ If the ONLY answer is because you invested six months of blood, sweat and tears doing the work, then you really need to exclude the slide because it doesn’t directly support your main message.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised that a she mentions the need for humor. She includes “humor do’s and don’ts” on slide 36. It’s a good start, but she left off two classic methods of incorporating humor into presentations. The first is to use use other people’s cartoons, jokes, quips, poems, etc. (of course you’ll need to give the other person credit). The second is use self-depreciating humor by telling a funny story or anecdote that happened to you. Of course, in both cases, you’ll need to remember the golden rule of presentation humor–it ALWAYS needs to be closely related to the topic.

Overall, I enjoyed her perspective and think you will find it helpful–I’ll save my critique for another post. Stay tuned…

As always, I am interested in what YOU think. Add a comment or call the listener line to let me know your thoughts, ideas and questions. Again, the reason I started this blog was to create more of a on-going conversation. I want to know what’s important to you.

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