Before you begin preparing a PowerPoint presentation, keep in mind that it’s a tool to help you communicate effectively with your audience. It should complement your oral presentation, not substitute it. Imagine you a presenting your paper to a room full of peers, and consider what is going to be the best way to get them to understand your research questions, research methods, analysis, and/or conclusions. Generally speaking, the basic rules are: No more than one slide per minute No more than ten words per slide Unless otherwise specified, you can expect to give a 10-minute presentation, and thus have approximately 8 slides.
Generally, you want only key words on a slide, and you would then explain those key words in your oral presentation. These slides highlight important issues, but you don’t want the audience to focus on reading too much because then they’ll miss what you have to say. This is not an absolute rule, however, just a basic guideline. For instance, if you are presenting your findings from interview research, you may include a quote that is the length of a full paragraph so the audience can get a feel for being in the interview themselves. A safe way to do your slides is to go right along with your paper, such that your slides will generally look something like this: Title of your presentation and your name Topic of your research or your analysis paper, and why it’s a relevant topic Your research problem or research questions Summary of your main findings (basically a distillation of your abstract) Summary of research methods, domain, etc., or your sources of information Elaboration of your findings (often a few slides)
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