Some Not So Serious Advice For Speakers

As a professional group I tend to think that academic librarians make pretty good speakers. Many of us get on-the-job experience making presentations for our colleagues, or we regularly get up in front of students to teach, and if one’s experience involves getting hammered with questions at a reference desk it helps to develop the ability to respond to questions under pressure. And these days good speakers need to be adept with managing a variety of technologies, at understanding how to create good visuals (particuarly for off-line presenting or emergency backups) and coping with on-the-spot technology mishaps – all the sorts of things most academic librarians can do well. All that aside, who among us could say no to some good advice for becoming a better speaker.

You may find this set of “18+1 Bits of Tongue in Cheek Advice for Speakers” just right for a Friday. Since one of my major pet peeves is poor use of PowerPoint in presentations I’d say Tip #18 is well worth committing to memory:

18) If you insist on using PowerPoint, here are the ground rules;

The folks at the very back of the room must be able to read every slide.
No text less than 30pt in size.
When selecting font and background colors; no yellow on white or black on blue.
Read out all the text on a slide on pain of death… consider yourself duly warned.
Keep the number of slides below the number of minutes in your presentation.
If there are technical problems, you are still expected to give a good presentation.

I think the author shows good selectivity here because a list of PPT do’s and don’ts could go on and on.

Enjoy the list – and here’s to better and better presentations by academic librarians!

BONUS TIP – If you are serious about improving your speaking and presentations definitely take a look at this author’s speaker evaluation form!

One thought on “Some Not So Serious Advice For Speakers”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.