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Checklist for Presentation Speakers

These are some guidelines on giving a presentation.

  1. Be knowledgeable about the subject you are speaking on.
    • Be comfortable talking about it
    • Be prepared to answer tough questions.
    • People may challenge you on technical details.
  2. Know your audience.
    • The topic should be relevant to a technical audience.
    • The audience expects a technical presentation, not a sales pitch.
    • Audience members vary from hobbyists to professionals.
      • Some will be new to UNIX and your topic.
      • Some may be experts and know more than you do.
  3. Figure out what you want to talk about.
    • Come up with a high-level outline, about 4 to 6 bullet points.
  4. Submit the presentation title, an abstract, and a bio promptly.
    • This info is needed about 2 months before your presentation.
      • So we can get it into the print media and newsletter.
    • The abstract briefly says what you will talk about.
      • A paragraph to introduce the topic.
      • Some bullet points of what will be covered.
      • Why the topic is relevant.
    • Your bio should tell a little about who you are.
      • How do you know about and/or use what you are presenting?
      • Where do you work, what do you do there? Previous jobs?
        • Where did you go to school?
        • How do you use UNIX, Linux, Open Source, etc.?
    • The MC may use parts of your bio to introduce you.
    • Email: presentations AT, editor AT
  5. Keep in touch with your contact(s).
    • They can help you develop your presentation.
    • They can make arrangements to get equipment.
    • Let them know of your progress and any problems.
    • Have them review the presentation if possible.
  6. Arrange to make sure you will have the equipment you need.
    • We may or may not have access to a VGA projector - please ask.
    • Bring a power strip.
    • External mouse and keyboard are handy if you use a notebook.
  7. Prepare your presentation.
    • Structured presentations are preferred, but not required.
    • Slide presentations with bullet-points work very well.
      • Figure on about 5 minutes per slide.
      • Content is more important than appearance.
        • But use some nice (simple) colors and fonts.
      • Can use overhead projector or LCD projector.
    • Demoing how to use an application can also work well.
      • Show relevant real-world usage.
      • Don't dwell on minutiae - concentrate on the big picture.
      • Have a good plan of what you are going to show.
  8. Test in the same environment you will have at the presentation.
    • Make sure you undo the effects of any practice runs.
    • Test with the same versions that you will demo.
    • Disconnect any network connections when testing.
      • You probably won't have any network at the presentation.
  9. Arrive early enough to set up and test any equipment.
    • UNIX (Wednesday) meetings start at 6:30 pm.
      • Arrive before 6:15 for tutorial, 6:50 for presentation.
      • Tutorial runs from 6:30 to 7:00.
      • Presentation runs from about 7:30 to 8:45.
    • Linux (Thursday) meetings start at 7:00 pm.
      • Arrive before 6:50.
      • Presentation runs from about 7:30 to 8:45.
    • Be sure you know how to get to the venue.
  10. Be prepared for equipment failures – they can and do happen.
    • Live demos are good, but are more prone to these problems.
  11. Hand-outs of the presentation and other resources can be useful.
    • Make sure you have enough for the entire audience.
      • Attendance usually varies from about 20 to 50.
      • Multiple hand-outs can be bad.
        • Flipping between 2 hand-outs gets confusing.
      • Order the hand-out to flow with your presentation.
  12. Don't be nervous.
    • The best cure for nervousness is to be prepared.
      • Practice the presentation.
      • Be confident that you know what you're talking about.
    • Bring a bottle of water to drink to cure dry mouth.
    • Remember that the audience members are interested in what you say.
      • They are just technical people like yourself.
  13. Introduce yourself at the beginning of the presentation.
    • Tell where you work and what you do.
    • List your relevant experience.
  14. Stay focused on the topic.
    • Don't go off on long detours or tangents.
  15. Accept and encourage questions and comments during the presentation.
    • Be prepared for tough or off-the-wall questions.
    • Don't be afraid to admit that you don't know an answer.
      • Ask if other audience members might know the answer.
  16. Be prepared to shorten (or lengthen) the presentation.
    • Put some optional stuff at the end.
  17. Credit sources of information used in creating your presentation.
    • URLs, books, magazine articles.
      • Great for inclusion in hand-outs.
  18. Be prepared to stay afterward to answer more questions.
    • Some people prefer to ask their questions one-on-one.
    • There is usually an unofficial social event after the meeting.
  19. If possible, submit your presentation to put on our web site.
    • Submit HTML and native format if possible. (Any format is OK.)
    • Email: presentations AT, web AT
presentations/checklist.txt · Last modified: 2005/03/07 20:38 by admin