Technical Presentation Skills

Subject: Technical Presentation Skills
From: "Henri J. Blits" <HenriBlits -at- AOL -dot- COM>
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L <TECHWR-L -at- OSUVM1 -dot- BITNET>
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 1995 17:03:57 -0500

Greetings All, I am a Business and Technical Presentations
Instructor/Consultant. I am looking for highly innovative ways to teach
proper presentation techniques to students in my classes; specifically,
creative ways to convey technical material to heterogeneous audiences.
Also, I'm looking for some good ideas for dealing with students who are
frightened to death of getting up and sharing information with
audiences...especially ones who are the ONLY experts in the area and who
need to share this technical information. If you would like to share those
ideas with me I would be humbly appreciative. Thank You,
HenriBlits -at- aol -dot- com

I am going to take a stab at some of the presentation techniques which
might succeed in conveying technical material to heterogeneous audiences.
Like Henri Blits, I would be interested in seeing this part of the
question dealt with also.

Herewith a suggestion or so:

1. Try a demonstration approach. Many technical subjects can benefit from
this type of presentation. I recently saw a physicist present to a widely
varied audience. His topic: moire' patterns. He used an overhead and a
variety of transparencies containing grid patterns. By placing one
transparency over another--and by varying the distance and/or angle, he
demonstrated a variety of optical illusions associated with various moire'
patterns. The presentation was simple, but effective, and all of us came
out with a greater appreciation of this particular subject.

2. Take a lesson from writing techniques. Use anecdotes and/or examples
to demonstrate various points. A good analogy can clarify a confusing
issue effectively or help to define a term that is difficult to understand.

3. Vary the pace. Remember that technical information can create overload
if too much is presented too fast. Back off from the heavy stuff once in
a while and give the audience a break by interjecting a little humor or by
using some kind of interactive activity. Then you can return to the heavy
stuff again if you need to.

4. Don't try to cover too much at once. Remember KISS. If you try to
cover too much, you will lose the attention of your audience--and they
will not retain it.

RoMay Sitze A musician must make music, an artist must
rositze -at- nmsu -dot- edu paint, a poet must write, if he is to be
ultimately at peace with himself.
-Abraham Maslow-

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