Get inspired and learn best practices by by observing successful speakers and watching tutorials, such as The University of Melbourne's three-part overview (part 1 | part 2 | part 3) on academic presentations. The Univeristy of Queensland's 3MT (Three Minute Thesis) website offers award-winning research talks. Another excellent resource for examples of succinct but inspiring presentations is the TED Talks YouTube Channel. Presentation expert Nancy Duarte's TEDx Talk on The Secret Structure of Great Presentations will be particularly useful in learning to create effective and eloquent presentations.
Best Practices in Giving Presentations
Example storyboard from The Empire Strikes Back
Unless your video is purposely improvised, it is best to prepare what you will say in advance. You may wish to hold hand-written notes, or place them atop our studio lectern.
|1||Storyboards are a tool, not a final product. Spend just enough time to help you create the finished product—the video!|
|2||Vital components might include:
Before you begin recording, make sure to gather any resources and props you may need, and arrange the space appropriately. The library has many resources available, including a lectern, projector slide advancer, chairs, and an artificial tree to add some variety. If you will be projecting a presentation on the green screen or using the overhead projector, you may wish to explore these popular presentation software packages:
|Haiku Deck||| Free|
Green Screen vs. Presentations
We do not recommend using the studio's overhead projector in conjunction with the studio's green screen, as this will render the presentation difficult to see.
Don't forget to dress appropriately for your presentation! Ensure your wardrobe is situation-appropriate (err on the side of professional dress) and camera ready. Try to avoid clothing that will be distracting to your viewer like shiny fabrics or bold patterns.
Below are suggested best practices when creating videos in the One Button Studio:
Try to keep your video recording short to provide digestible amounts of information and to maintain the attention of your audience.
Look at the camera instead of the video monitor that is next to it. Looking at the camera makes it appear as if you are making eye contact with your audience and makes for a more engaging video.
The Studio uses a high quality microphone which results in a nice sounding recording of your voice. Try doing a test to determine the volume you should use when speaking.
Be aware of your speaking tone. Keep it light and conversational unless you have a reason not to. The goal is to keep your tone relatable and engaging.
Follow general presentation rules about how to use font, color, and photos on slides. Keep the slides simple and avoid flashy transitions or animations. Keeping a high contrast between text, images, and background will help make your slides easy to see. Use large text and limit the amount of it.
Describe the contents of any photos or graphics that you use in your slides to give context to your viewers and to also help viewers with visual disabilities to understand what the image depicts.
The Studio offers green and blue screen recording technology, which allows users to easily superimpose their recording over a different backdrop (like what the weathermen use to do their broadcasts!). Be sure to avoid wearing green if you plan to use the green screen or blue if you plan to use the blue screen. Stand as close to the curtain as you can while recording to reduce the halo effect around your body.
Content adapted from Penn State's Best Practices.