OOoCon Presenting

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Presenting at the Conference

A few simple tips for better presentations,
to help you get your message across and make your audience happy.


  • Not everyone feels comfortable speaking in front of an audience...
  • ...or has much experience doing it...
  • ...or is a native English speaker...
  • so here are some simple tips that may help.

  • Not every item might be equally relevant for every room, presentation.
  • Presentations with extensive advice on this same subject are available all over the net; here we just aim to give basic tips.


  • Before you start: check the microphone
    • Ask someone else: is the volume OK?
    • If the microphone is fixed, find the best place to stand
    • Microphone broken? Ask the organisers!
  • Beginning your presentation
    • Ask the audience if they can hear you
  • During the presentation
    • Mind volume and distance


  • Where do you stand?
  • Can people still see your slides?
  • Can all the people see you?
  • Can you see the audience?
  • If the session is being recorded, can the camera see you?


  • Try to speak in the direction of the audience
  • Try to look at various parts of the hall/room/group of people
  • If you do not want to look at people directly, you can look just over the heads

Slides – general

  • Better is more slides with less info on a slide
  • Do not read out your slides word for word - your audience can read too :-)
  • Keep a printout of your slides in front of you so you know what is coming next
  • Read this article from the BBC News magazine

Slides – technical presentations

  • Little info/text often is no option
    • Exact information is useful
    • And needed for reading afterwards
  • What can be done though:
    • enlarging or highlighting part of the text
    • add slides with highlights / summary
    • use the Notes pages for reference material

Answering questions

  • Repeat the question, so that all attendees know what is asked
  • Try to reply to the whole audience

Help from colleagues

  • There are always colleagues around
  • Ask one to help
  • To bring the microphone to someone with a question
  • ...

A little practice before the real session

  • Run through your presentation a few times in private to check timing etc
  • Ask a few friends or colleagues to watch a 15 mins. rehearsal of your presentation
    • They can give you their opinions and probably some useful tips.
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