Powerpoint presentations must be tailored for the audience.
Presenting your resume will look very different from presenting a CME 60-slide presentation on diabetes or a presentation on the common technical document.
The MJoTA presentation that can be downloaded below explains how to prepare powerpoint presentations.
The most important thing to recognize is your audience. Who is your audience? Is your audience hard-driven professionals who are there to see slide after slide of complex data; or a laid-back group who want to look at your collection of puppy photographs? Is your audience there just to read through extracts of a textbook slide by slide, because they need to read it collectively rather than by themselves? Are you trying to make a persuasive argument through these slides?
If you are trying to make a persuasive argument, perhaps having slides at all is wrong. If you want to engage your audience and exhort them, having them try to listen at the same time as they are watching slides divides their attention and makes them less likely to storm the barricades, or whatever it is you are exhorting them to do.
A CME presentation is data-dense because the audience are supposed to learn something from it to keep their license to practice medicine. The presentation on the immediate right was prepared so that health professionals would prescribe this drug, so they need to know what it is. Without question, the slide presentation was paid for by the manufacturer of the drug.
1. Figure out who your audience is FIRST. You may not need a PP presentation, read the above articles and decide.
2. Prepare your talk first and use PowerPoint to illustrate and clarify the talk.
3. Do not substitute cheat notes that belong in the palm of your hand that you bore everyone with
4. Pay special attention to style. Make sure every bullet is capitalized when it needs to be, ended with a period when it needs to be.
This article is a good one for you to understand the pitfalls of Powerpoint presentations. Don't fall into these traps. Medical writers need to be able to produce clear, clean presentations, and a lot of the bread and butter for medical writers comes from preparing them. From Sep 2001 to 2003, most of what I was doing was flying all over the US and twice to Europe to clean up speaker slides and report on physician meetings.
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