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An 11th commandment

RecentlyI posted a commentary on the Nature Jobs Blog. The commentary identified the 10 most significant presentation pitfalls, taking off from talk show host David Letterman's famous countdowns of the top 10 in a category. The post can be found at:

Actually it was hard to limit the number of pitfalls to 10, so here is number 11:

Creating separate audio and visual narratives

Too often the speaker's words are not related to the visual on the screen. The audience doesn't know whether to listen to the speaker or try to read the slide.

Your job as speaker is to explain the slide. There should be a communication synergy between your oral narrative and the visual. Use the pointer to show the audience which particular part of the slide you are discussing. If there are elements of the slide you don't discuss, ask yourself why they are on the slide. Most of the time you can remove them, helping the audience focus on the key points.

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