Checklist for slide review

Whether you are getting ready to review somebody’s presentation, or you are presenting your slides to a supervisor or a friend for feedback, here is a handy check-list of questions you should be able to answer.

First, few organizational questions:

  • When is the presentation?
  • How much time you will be given? (total talk time, Q&A time)
  • Will it be in front of live audience, broadcasted, or both?
  • What is the aspect ratio of projector you will be using?
  • Who is the audience, how close are they to you professionally? (Think general public vs collaborator)
  • Will you presentation be interrupted with questions or you have solid block of time?
  • Have you uploaded your presentation to cloud storage in case laptop dies?

Now more about the content:

  • What is the main product you presenting?
  • What is the problem you are trying to solve with your work?
  • Why is this problem important?
  • What existing solutions did you consider?
  • What are the key benefits and shortcomings of those solutions?
  • Which particular gap your solution fills?
  • What are the limitations of your solution?

Considerations about the style and information density:

  • Does every title sound like a message? Bad example: “Comparing medications A and B for blood pressure“, good example: “Medication B is not different from A for blood pressure
  • Do labels occupy as much space as possible?
  • How many slides have more than two plots? Is it really necessary?
  • Have you considered that each pixel costs you money? Can you reduce number of blank pixels?
  • Do you have a “graphical abstract” at the end of the slides that summarizes findings and showcases few results while using minimal text?

Remember that quality of your talk will improve with each practice presentation. Find few friends who care, and do several runs of your slides


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