Attending a technical conference [Labautomation
2011] as a presenter and and attendee, I observed
and attempted to follow things I learned from
Jerry Weissman’s Presenting to Win 2 that has
been mentioned. Weissman pointed out that
presenters need to assume the role of
“navigator” for the audience. That is, presenters
1 develop relationships between all parts
of the presentation and
2 make the talk easy to follow for all attendees.
The presenter is served by getting the attention early
in the presentation.
When there is too much information with typeface too
small the impact of each screen shot is lost quickly.
It doesn’t help to apologize for the “can’t read the slide”
Just giving the facts may meet a fraction of the audience
needs, smaller than one would hope in most cases. It
would help to tell a story, offer a case, ie. give some
flow to the presentation. See blog.
The presenter needs to respond to the audience and
make them feel (s)he is paying attention to each person.
It helps the presenter that the audience members provide
body language signals both consciously and
unconsciously to the presenter. Better presenters
consciously observe audience members and speak to
Being facile with power point is handy. Too often
though it seems flashy rather than convincing, case-
making or helpful. So be careful with power point.
Consider using permanent projected items in the room
to show agenda, main points, goals for the presentation.
These can be on paper or a second projector or a
bumper slide, highlighting where you are or where
things fit together.
Examples to a chemical audience:
Jonathan Lee Eli Lilly spoke about a way to jump
start pharmaceutical innovation in a cool PD2
program. It is a crowd sourcing innovation tool
having researchers offer new potential developments
for commercialization. It is a winning presentation.
Yama Abassi ACEA Biosciences spoke about
remarkable investigations of the cardio impact
of new therapies. It was neat to see this cardio-
toxicity impacts being able to be investigated
in screening systems.
Both of these reveal the benefits of rapid,
automated systems integrated with software
and biology. As someone new to the field,
I seemed to pick up the key features of
each presentation. This is a goal of the presenter.