Technical presentations are difficult - let's make them easier!

This talk delivered for the Early Career Researcher pre-conference workshop organised by the Young Statisticians Section focuses on how to improve technical presentations.

By Nicola Rennie in Conference


Delivering technical presentations is difficult - whether you’re explaining statistical concepts, mathematical equations, or code you’ve developed. It’s also hard to define exactly what makes a presentation good. We’ll discuss practical tips to avoid common pitfalls (the “what not to do”), and simple changes to improve your presentations (the “what to do instead”). You’ll take away a check list that you can use when developing your next presentation to make it easier for you and your audience!

What makes a good presentation?

During the workshop, we crowd-sourced some ideas about what makes a good presentation. These are the responses from attendees:

  • Slides with less bullet points, large font, less text

  • Simplicity

  • Showing enthusiasm for your topic

  • Audience participation

  • Use your slides as prompts, not a script

  • Showing clearly how to use the new method in practice. I really like talks that make it clear how the method works, but if others don’t know how/when to use it, it may not prove useful to the statistical community.

  • Good timing and pace, engaging voice tone, interactivity, not too much information, avoid reading off slides and keep slides minimal, tailor to your audience, not too long!

  • Open body language and movement makes it more engaging

  • Include NOTHING on the slide that you won’t explain

  • Engaging the audience (tone of voice, lay and clear language)

  • Well designed slides (not too much text) Clear structure: beginning, middle, end.

  • Simple slides

  • Enthusiastic delivery

  • Interactivity, storytelling

  • Understood by all listeners

  • Not too much detail on the slides


  • Clear, logical and informative

  • Enthusiasm for the topic

  • Engaging