Tag Archives: science

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.