I had an interesting conversation with a physician this week about how to present a data-rich topic, like a complex research study for example. Presenting this type of information in a 20-30 minute time slot (or even an hour), can be a real challenge. He explained that he modifies his presentation based on the audience. He said that he simplifies his material for general practitioners who may need a general overview, but presents a more detailed report to colleagues in his specialty because they often require the information at a deeper level.
He also mentioned that data-rich information can be dry to present. I certainly agree. Here are a few ideas from the experts to help avoid “presentation dry”.
Firstly, (as mentioned) adapt your content/presentation to the needs of your audience; this is always important to do. Secondly, remember that the conclusion is what counts. Presenting the conclusion of a study in a clear concise manner, while using simple graphics on your slides, can keep the audience’s interest. Use the 3 second rule – have no slides that take longer than 3 seconds to read. And finally, have a handout (of the detailed information) available for audience members who want to go deeper into the topic.
Following these simple suggestions may help make your data-rich presentations a little less “dry”.
Refuse to be boring