My first presentation in Delft (XXX)

  The first presentation I ever saw at Delft University of Technology was in the faculty of aerospace engineering. I was invited to this presentation to help me get acquainted with the kind of presentations I should expect as a teacher of communication skills. I came from a polytechnic where the majority of the studentsMeer lezen over “My first presentation in Delft (XXX)”

What’s the point of your presentation part two

Again: no I don’t think your presentations are pointless. This time I want to think about why we give presentations in the first place. Consider conferences. From the point of view of information transfer, conferences are spectacularly inefficient, as you can usually only attend a fraction of the talks that are offered. Conferences have ecologicMeer lezen over “What’s the point of your presentation part two”

What is the point of your presentation? Bottom line first!

No, I don’t mean that your presentations are pointless by definition. It is juist that too many speakers think that they should keep their conclusions a secret until they get to the end of the presentation. They feel that arguments should come before conclusions and that it would be impolite to “spill the beans” beforeMeer lezen over “What is the point of your presentation? Bottom line first!”

Speaking Anxiety and golden retrievers

A couple of months ago I had a student in my group who got so nervous when he faced the other students to deliver his presentation that I was afraid he was going to faint. He was trembling, he looked pale except for the red spots in his neck, he could only make choking noises andMeer lezen over “Speaking Anxiety and golden retrievers”

Group Presentations

Sometimes, you will be required to deliver a group presentation. How big can a group be? I have seen groups as big as ten. Please don’t give presentations in groups of ten. At any given time, nine out of ten people are standing in front of the audience doing nothing, looking awkward, scratching parts ofMeer lezen over “Group Presentations”

Pronounce the big words slowly, or why ‘camel’ is pronounced as ‘Bob’

Even if English is your first language, but particularly if it is not, during your presentation you are likely to stumble over the big words. And sometimes even the little ones. Here’s an embarrassing story about how I got into trouble because of a pronunciation mistake (somebody else’s) combined with stupidity (mine). It was during aMeer lezen over “Pronounce the big words slowly, or why ‘camel’ is pronounced as ‘Bob’”

Never be afraid to try something new even if it is 60 years old.

Nick and I were preparing a presentation for our town council a couple of years ago. The topic was serious: our foundation poles were in jeopardy, due to the fact that the level of the groundwater under our houses was too low. “So, while you finish the slides, I will go and find a suitableMeer lezen over “Never be afraid to try something new even if it is 60 years old.”

Section Titles: Learning from Newspaper Headings

Imagine what would happen if the newspapers started using headers like this: “the Middle East” or “Bicycles in the City” or “President Johnson and Prime Minister Germany” You would be left with a couple of questions, wouldn’t you? What do they mean: everything you ever wanted to know about the Middle East but were afraidMeer lezen over “Section Titles: Learning from Newspaper Headings”

Using an acrostic to insult your professor

A colleague of mine whose name shall remain a secret until they reveal it themselves, told me the following story about a Ph.D. student and his professor. Certainly, it is one of the best stories on writing I have heard in a long time and I hope you will like it too. Recently, this candidateMeer lezen over “Using an acrostic to insult your professor”

Section Intoductions: Tell Your Readers What to Expect

When you divide your text into subsections you will have to make your reader understand what you are doing and what you are doing it for. This means that all sections at first and second level that you split up into subsections get an introduction. Third level sections  usually don’t get an introduction as theyMeer lezen over “Section Intoductions: Tell Your Readers What to Expect”