Guidance for Presenters

Doing a Second-Half Presentation at the NAS? 

Some things to bear in mind.. 

Firstly, thank you for volunteering to present to our fellow members on something you are interested in. These presentations are eagerly awaited and discussed. Here are a few points to bear in mind before you send your material in: 

a. 2nd half presentations are usually of 10-15 minutes duration (i.e. 5-10 slides max when we have three presenters delivering material, or 15-20 minutes (i.e. 10-15 slides max) when we have only two presentations. Please check with our Communications Lead at least a couple of weeks before the event, to give an idea of how much material you’ll be able to show in the time available, to avoid disappointment. 

b. A presentation deemed longer than the time allotted by the Comms Lead will either need reducing (though note that the “full” material can be made available on our website for those interested to review in their own time) or kept till an occasion where time does permit. No 2nd half presentation will be longer than 20 minutes without the agreement of the Chair or Vice Chair, as this will demand an unusual arrangement for that 2nd half. 

c. For your slides: 

i. Don’t use a font size less than 20 for any body text. Smaller text will be impossible to read any further back than the first few rows.

ii. Don’t allow any slide to become too “text dense”. i.e. with more than 8-10 lines of text. Better to spread the text over two slides, or just commit the key bits to text and verbalise the rest. That information can be put into the notes, which you can make available later. 

iii. Ensure that slides are relevant to the subject. i.e. no random holiday picture unless, for example, at an observatory being visited or which depict activities or objects associated with the subject matter. 

iv. Where a lot of material is available, ensure only the salient parts are shown (in as engaging manner as possible). Leave any text-dense information to the website version and later follow-up reading, by the audience. 

v. Relevant pictures almost always add value (and “depth”) to a presentation, as long as they are easily grasped by the audience. But, remember that pictures increase the file-size of the material. If you include many you may not be able to email the file. If that’s the case, ask our Communications Lead, as there are alternative ways to send/share such material… just ensure you leave enough time to transfer it, via memory stick, Google Docs, email, or whatever works. 

vi. Also, ensure that you can use the picture in a public presentation. i.e. it is not protected by copywrite. 

d. In your delivery, try to let the ideas and sentences flow. Try to avoid “errs”, “ummms”, “Ya know”s, or repeating words. This aspect is di_icult and takes both practice AND a willingness to listen to yourself (e.g. try recording yourself and playing it back), or feedback from others. Like riding a bike, presenting needs “exercising”, can almost always be improved on, but is very rewarding and enjoyable when done well. 

e. Videos: If you need to play a video in your presentation, especially if there is a soundtrack involved or it requires the pc/mac to be connected to the internet, please ensure you leave time BEFORE the start of the meeting to: 

a. Load the material on the pc/mac that will be used. 

b. Ensure that machine, and the rest of the presentation AV kit, is set up to play the video and associated audio e.g. is on-line. 

c: That you CAN invoke your video and play it (with sound if needed) as if during the meeting. 

Note that it may be best to present from your own machine, especially if time is short and you KNOW it will run from there. i.e. not all presentations need be downloaded to the Society’s pc and played from there! f. Say, in your introduction, if you are happy to accept Questions during the presentation or would prefer to wait till the end. Try to think what you may be asked and have a sound answer (or a “We don’t know!”), ready. You might like to seed some colleagues in the meeting with a question or two, just to get things going. 

Finally, remember that everyone in the audience wants you to enjoy your presentation, and to enjoy it themselves. They are “on your side” and want to hear what you have to say. Set their expectations, by using a title that indicates the area of the presentation and keep to the length of material they are expecting from this forum. 

If you want to run through your material in front of someone, then please feel free to ask. Anything to ensure the presentation is enjoyable and as productive as possible! 

Good Luck!