Presentation guidelines

A. Think 2 minutes per slide.

Pictures may require less, but be cautious. 10 minutes = 5 slides. That will be our typical time constraint.

B. Always start with a title slide, end with sources. Count these as a slide – they will require time.

You typically state your name, but don’t mention sources in a presentation. However anyone who downloads it can find them, and your email address.

C. At the end, beyond your sources slide …

You may for your own purposes want to have a bullet list of points you do NOT cover. This is a way to split material across presentations, to keep in mind that you are focusing what you say and will avoid being comprehensive. It constrains your work on the 1st one (and thence the 2nd etc).

D. Graphs are good. Tables OK. SHORT bullet lists OK. 

If there are more than 7 lines on a slide, you generally have too many. Think of 3: 3 main points, 1-2 subpoints (but if you put that on one slide you get 9 lines, OK if you transition between subpoints so they can be read, not OK if you put up the whole slide at one time).

E. Think of units for your graph (table).

Do you want year-over-year real growth? Or nominal levels? Should you use a linear scale or a log scale? And do use color. Microsoft will suggest a palette, to me mainly unattractive. But I’m not color blind, and I believe (I’ve NOT checked) that the graduations are meant to be robust. (My vague recollection is that red-green color blindness is the most common – I know someone who is absolutely dependent on green always being the top color on a traffic signal, and red the bottom.)

F. Subject

For this class, the first presentation can usefully include a map (and possibly a larger map for where the country is relative to larger units – can you on a blank map point to where Tanzania lies? Or Malaysia?

General metrics – population, PPP GDP, HDI, perhaps a couple points on politics or other context. Is the country effectively cut into pieces or fairly uniform? Has it had a recent civil war or coup or border conflict? Is there an “industrialized” region and a “underdeveloped” hinterland? Do 1 in 5 have AIDS?

Base GDP data: have things been getting better? have there been recent (or repeated) crises or at least bad & good periods? 

One “content” topical slide, if you’ve not reached your 3-4 content slide limit. Since you have future presentations, you can think of what you want at the top of the supplemental don’t-show-in-a-presentation  list following your sources..

G. Presentation

Come prepared, a laptop to hook up or a USB drive, better both. For joint projects, it is natural that both present. That works best when you’ve rehearsed it one time.