work in progress

Making Presentations

The purpose of this page is to provide a resource for how to make a good presentation for a variety of audiences and circumstances. Example files and/or templates will be added as necessary


There are 2 primary considerations that you should know before starting to make any presentation:
  • Who is your audience?
    • There are multiple things to consider about your audience: How much background information is needed, how much animation is needed, how much peripheral information should be presented (ie how much should you go into the 2 weeks that your experiment didn't work before it started working).
  • What do you want them to walk away from your presentation with?
The answers to the above questions will likely influence stylistic choices you make while actually making your presentation. Which leads to your next consideration:
  • How should you make the presentation?
    • While many alternatives exist for making presentations (keynote, prezi, etc) generally speaking presentations should be made in powerpoint for simplicity, control, options, and portability. The remainder of this page will focus on powerpoint.

Specific examples

Barrick Lab Journal Club

  1. Who is your audience?
    • The Barrick Lab (obviously).
    • In this case you should expect that everyone has a similar amount of knowledge about your paper as you did before you read it. If you had to look something up somewhere else to understand it, odds are most of the lab doesn't know it either. If you find a particular sentence in the introduction very interesting/surprising/something you keep thinking about during the paper, that should likely be mentioned as well.
    • The short nature of the presentation (~10 minutes), and the relative quick turn around time (2-3weeks between presentations) makes style, animation, and custom design of figures unnecessary though some spotlight effects (i.e. boxes with no fill in them) can help to draw attention to what you want to show.
  2. What do you want them to walk away from your presentation with?
    • An overview of an interesting recent journal article that you read, and what the key point(s) of the paper are... NOT A complete understanding of everything they did, how they did it and what all the implications of it.
    • This means that you should not expect to put every figure, and certainly not every panel into your presentation. After you finish reading through the paper its probably a good idea to stop and think of what the 1 or 2 most interesting things you found in the paper are. Then go through the figures figuring out what panels help you explain those 1-2 things.
  3. How should you make the presentation?
    • Because of the time constraints, you should not plan on having very many slides, the following list of slides can be used:
      1. Title slide
        • This should include a screen grab of the title of the article you are presenting and the names of the authors of the paper.
        • This should include your name and date or at least the date.
      2. Key findings slide
        • This should include all of the key findings from the paper, including ones that you don't want to cover in any real detail, but use this opportunity to say what you are going to talk about.
      3. Important methods slide (may not always be necessary)
        • This should include methods they used to come up with their key findings. Particularly if they were using a method you were not familiar with, used a method you didn't agree with (i.e. did they just publish a paper with microarray data?), or if you briefly want to mention something about their methodology (i.e. mixed population next generation sequencing or clonal end point analysis of n clones)
      4. Experimental slides (variable number, but should be small)
        • This is the main part of your presentation.
        • Each slide should be screen captures from figures or supplementary figures.
        • The title of each slide should be a "bullet point" declaration similar to a figure caption.
        • The slide should be as non-cluttered as you can make it. Think at most 4 graphs or panels so you can easily refer to Left/Right or Top/Bottom, or the combinations of the two.
        • Every slide should be used to explain one of the key findings you've already mentioned.
      5. Criticisms/Critiques (if needed)
        • While you should be mentioning as you go through your presentation when there are things that you don't agree with their analysis or were a bad way of doing something, this slide should include those issues as a bullet point
      6. Implications/Next steps/


Daniel Deatherage - general layout, Barrick Lab Journal Club
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Contributors to this topic Edit topic JeffreyBarrick, DanielDeatherage
Topic revision: r2 - 2016-04-08 - 03:10:36 - Main.JeffreyBarrick
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