Helping you think about presentations is something I like to do in this class (and all grad classes).
I’m not sure how well my annual rant about presentations will work in class this year. Normally, it’s at the end of the semester of you seeing me present. And it tends to be more interactive than the typical monologue. But this year, with everything being online. Plus, the future of presentations might mean online.
The “readings” are:
My “notes” on presentations (see the caveat below)
Watching a recording of a Hans Rosling talk
My Notes on Presentations
Before reading my notes, here are some caveats (note: this is taken from the 2012 class):
- The goals and standard for presentation really vary across venue/discipline. What we value in computer science (in particular the areas I work in) are quite different than in other disciplines. It’s hard for me to discuss this without value judgement (since I am bred to believe in the “CS way”), but I also plead ignorance to the practices in other area. I’d like to use this as a chance to learn about others.
- I don’t consider myself to be a great presenter. Do as I say, not as I do. The upside of this, is that it means I think about how to be better at it.
- A lecture is not the same as a talk, so what you see in class is quite different than what you would see in one of my talks.
- Even within a particular style/venue/type of talk, there is a wide range of opinions on what is good talk, what the goals should be, …
- The “right answer” depends not only on the situation, but on the person. But that will be one of the biggest lessons I hope you get. I may not speak to your specific case, but hopefully, you can see how the general lessons apply.
- As you might guess, I have strong opinions. But you don’t have to guess at what they are, since I’ve written them down.
My real goal is to get you to think about what might make for a good presentation, and to form your own strong opinions – even if they are different than mine.
Given that, read my posting about presentations. Yes, it’s from a 2011 class – but I think if I were updating it, it wouldn’t be much different.
Hans Rosling was a famous presenter – talking about social issues around the world in venues like TED, etc. He was famous for presenting data in a compelling way to make his points for a broad audience. Sadly, he died this year. But his influence is significant (both on presentating data and on the world in general).
If you haven’t seen a Rosling talk, you need to experience one. If you have seen one, you probably won’t mind watching another.
The actual point of Rosling is not his visualizations (he does use standard visualization effectively – often with animation), but rather as a way to talk about presentations.
You might also be interested in his son Ola Rosling’s keynote from this year’s EuroVis. Factfulness on YouTube. It might be the “at home on Zoom” version of a Hans Rosling talk.