Tips from Matt Carter’s Book, Designing Science Presentations

Later this month I’m giving a workshop to some graduate students who will be giving brief “TED”-like talks (10 minutes) in October. In reviewing and freshening up some of my workshop content, I’m working my way through Matt Carter’s Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Papers, Slides, Posters and More.

Here’s a brief rundown of some new things I’ve learned:

  • Carter considers a format category of “written presentation.” This includes articles, papers, etc. Interesting way to look at it.
  • “Sometimes a scientific word needs to be in all-uppercase letters. If the word is long, it can often visually overpower a sentence. In these circumstances, try reducing the font size of the uppercase word by 1-2pts to make the sentence appear more balanced” (p.61). Much easier to implement than trying to use small capitals.
  • In bullet lists, when you must use them, “use numbers when you want to show a sequence and a symbol when the sequence is arbitrary” (p.65).
  • The difference between using “e.g.” and “i.e.” (p. 81). Finally. I get it now.

Pair this book with Michael Alley’s The Craft of Scientific Presentation and you have an unbeatable foundation for presentation success. More ideas and tips to come.

Best,

Lee

 

 

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