To be a pathologist is to be a teacher. Whether it be giving resident lectures, conference presentations, tumor boards or even something as simple as in-house consults, we pathologists are constantly called on to share our knowledge with others. One of the major vehicles for the delivery of said information is via PowerPoint (or maybe KeyNote if you are a Mac head, or maybe Open Office if you are a Linux hippie) presentations. However, just because we are called on to teach, it does not mean that we are all GOOD at it.
As a PGY-4, I’ve basically been given PowerPoint presentations every day for… oh, say… the last 11 years. I’ve seen every type of presenter/presentation over this time, and I’m sure you will all agree with me when I say that the success or failure of a lecture is almost more reliant on how dynamic the presenter is rather than how intriguing the content is. I’ve seen the most boring, droll content be metamorphosed into vibrant memorable stories, and I’ve borne witness to the bastardization of some of my most favorite topics. Now, granted, not everyone is Steve Jobs, but there are a number of tips and tricks out there on how to improve on your presentations and your presentation skills. I’ll link a couple of my favorite below:
- Download 150 Free PowerPoint Slides to Jazz Up Your Presentation
- SlideFinder Helps You Find Slides for Your Next Presentation
- Find the Right Color Palate for Your Next Presentation
- Blackberry PowerPoint Presenter Combines Corporate America’s Two Guiltiest Pleasures [Hardware]
- Kensignton Wireless Presenter [Hardware]
- AeroZoomer Supercharges Your Mouse for Keyboard-Free Presentations [Software]
- Deliver Polished Presentations, Steve-Jobs-Style
- Use the 10/20/30 Rule to Avoid Disastrous Presentations
- When PowerPoint Does More Harm Than Good
- Attack of the PowerPoint Wielding Professors
- Give a Better Presentation by Reminding Yourself That It’s Not About You
- Treat Your Presentation Like a Performance to Nail Timing and Delivery
In the end, the more ammunition you have before you go into a fight, the better off you are. There is no substitute for good preparation (someone once told me about the 7 P’s, and I think they are certainly relevant here). Hopefully some of these links will help you the next time you have to give a talk.