Guide for Presenters

The Presenter is the main speaker at a formal Access Grid event. Presenters often use specialist presentation software (e.g. Microsoft PowerPoint) to help put points across. The main concerns of a presentation will be to ensure that the audience follows the arguments and understands the main points.

Examples of tools that may be used to distribute slides to the remote audience are VNC, Shared PowerPoint and IG Pix. These tools enable slide changes to be reflected at remote sites. If none of these tools is used, then some other method must be devised so that all of the audience can see the correct slide. One such method is the Presenter announcing slide changes - an operator at a remote site will manually change slides on a local copy of the presentation. Whatever method is used, be it automatic or manual, this must be arranged prior to the event.

Need for rehearsal

Experience shows that it's wise to examine your presentation before the actual event, not only for general clarity, but also for whether features that may have been used can be supported in the tool used to distribute slides. If you include screen shots, are they clear? Do slide transitions work properly (note that some of the tools used for distributing slides may either only partially support transitions or not support them at all)? If you are unsure how these effects are going to work it might be sensible to leave out transitions altogether (they are rarely essential).

When using slides, it's important to remember to look at your audience when speaking; in an Access Grid meeting, this means looking at the camera. You might find it helpful to have the slides projected in line of sight of the camera so you can use them as prompts and still be looking at the camera.

Presentation Content

As in all conferences and similar events, the slides need to be well-designed, with titles that are clear and which help to 'orientate' the readers in the sequence of slides. It's considered good practice to avoid over-complicated special effects in Powerpoint, since they can distract the reader rather than improve comprehension. Since presentation software is meant for the graphical presentation of ideas, there should be a minimum of text included on each slide.

There may also be limitations, depending on the distribution software used:

It is wise to check these issues with the node operator and/or Meeting Organiser well before the meeting, to ensure that things run smoothly on the day. This is particularly the case if there are special requirements for the presentation, such as a demonstration of software. The Access Grid can accommodate most needs, but they will often require some pre-meeting preparation.

Here is a checklist of questions to ask yourself:

A downloadable PDF file of this check list is available here: Presenter's Checklist

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