How To Design Outstanding Power Point Slides For Your Ph.D. Defence?

One may talk of an international conference, a small office presentation or even the PhD thesis defence, presentations are an indispensable part of the work. Well-made PowerPoint slides make half the battle won, as they do the job of powerful visual reinforcement to the verbal communication that you do with the audience. However, fulfilling that objective may not be as easy as it appears.

Majority of the people are aware of the basic principle of keeping the text limited on each slide to make the presentation look effective and solve its objective. Designing good slides requires few more things to be taken care of, apart from this.

To begin with, don’t get lured with putting fancy backgrounds on your slides. Go for plain black or white according to the best contrast you can create with the text on the slides. It is ok to go for subtle colours on the background, if you wish to, but they won’t add much to the quality of the presentation in any way. The safest bet is either black or white.

The next thing to remember is that the font you choose plays a very important role. The technical reason for this is that the screen on which you would display your presentation would be much larger than the screen of your laptop and in case of a complicated font the individual visible pixels would make it look blurred and unclear. A font as simple as Sans Serif or Arial is advisable as it has sharp edges so even on a larger screen it appears as clear as on a laptop.

How would you ensure that your text on the presentation is visible to the audience who would be sitting at the end of the room? One technique that can help you to ensure that whatever you are writing gets read by the last benchers also, is to set the screen on a 40 % zoom. If it is still legible to you on your laptop screen, in all probabilities the people even at the back would be able to read it. Another small tip here is to write the text on the top half of the slide to ensure everyone has an unobstructed view.

Your Ph.D. thesis presentation may want you to show a lot of tables and figures, particularly in your analysis and findings section. Make sure you use a larger font here than you would in print to make it legible.

Using of too much of animation is never advisable for a professional presentation, but particularly for a Ph.D. presentation stay away from animations or videos of any type. No examiner is interested in all this. They only want to see the originality and worthiness of your work. The simpler way it is presented in, the better it is.

How you talk while you present is as important because you need to synchronise your verbal content with what is on the slides in an effective way. Few things to take care here is to be loud, clear and be very thorough with what you have put on each slide, each word.

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