Presentation skills workshop follow up

Back in August I signed up for a workshop put on my Purdue’s graduate school on skills for academic presentations. After realizing the workshop was finally here I started to dread going, mostly because I needed to be studying. But boy am I glad I went! Usually at presentations I tend to look at the clock after a few minutes and think “oh no, only 20 minutes have gone by” – however, by the time I even thought to look at the clock during this presentation an hour and a half had already gone by! It was so informative and entertaining! I am glad I went and would recommend it to any student giving an academic presentation in the near future!

The presentation was given byJean-luc Doumont based on his book: Trees, maps and theorems: Effective communication for rational minds.

Some notes I took:

Jean-luc’s three laws

Law Zero: Have a message

First Law: Adapt to your audience – do what you need to optimize the situation

Second Law: Maximize the signal to noise ratio

  • Noise on slides: having your slides have so many special effects (Ex: bouncing equations on the slide
  • Audience attention span will leave your presentation and go to the noise if there are fear words (example fear words: you know, ya know, um, so, etc)

Third Law: Use Effective Redundancy

Also, Jean-luc Doumont’s 5 steps for presentations:

  1. Planning – gathering your thoughts

Why –purpose

Who – audience

What – content

Why – time constraints

Where – space constraints

  1. Designing – defining a structure
  2. Creating slides – conveying messages
  3. Delivering – mastering all channels
  4. Answering questions – driving your point home

For more information on the author check his website! I highly recommend getting the book if you don’t get the opportunity to attend a workshop with Jean-luc Doumont. I really learned a lot from the workshop and think I now have the tools to make a great presentation!


5 thoughts on “Presentation skills workshop follow up

  1. Sounds like an awesome little workshop. The ability to give presentations and speak effectively in public are said to be extremely important. One of the most vital classes that I have ever taken here at Purdue was COM314 – Advanced Presentational Speaking. The importance of knowing your audience and adapting is essential to giving good presentations. Also, being self-aware and having the ability to monitor yourself and perceive how your audience sees you was something that really stuck with me.

    Thanks for sharing, and good luck at your poster presentation!


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