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Preparing for Dissertation Defense: How to Make a PPT Presentation

A good PowerPoint Presentation is like the icing on the cake of months or years worth of research. When you reach the final stages in your dissertation, the last thing you need is for anyone to look down on your hard work because of a poorly organized or nonfunctioning slide-show. Here are some major considerations that you’ll want to keep in mind.

Font Choice

Beautiful elegant calligraphy-like fonts can turn your work to gibberish from a distance. A simple, classic font is a much better choice for readability. This is also a good reason to keep your font size slightly large. In terms of suitability for an academic study, the more whimsical fonts can make your work seem less professional. As a rule of thumb, avoid Comic Sans.

Word Density and Clutter

Keep the number of words per slide as low as possible while maintaining the overall gist of what it is you will be saying. It is a bad idea to read from the slides verbatim anyway because your audience will notice and transfer their attention from you to the slides. It will be instinctive to them because they can probably read faster than you can speak. Instead, include a few salient bullet points and a relevant image.

Strive for Uniformity

The use of multiple fonts, fonts sizes and backgrounds can make your presentation seem disorganized. Try to stick to no more than two different fonts and sizes, one for the paragraphs and another for the headings. If you feel compelled to use a different background on one slide for emphasis, make sure it’s only that one slide.

Carry Your Own Gadgets

Modern technology has been extremely useful in advancing academia but it remains fallible so it is wise to always have a backup plan. If at all possible, use your own devices to run the presentation. You should have already used them to test it several times and an unfamiliar device may have subtle quirks that interrupt you at inopportune moments. If even you are not given the option to use your own equipment and accessories, you’ll be glad to have them on hand if what is provided for you malfunctions.

Aside from those tips, know your work inside out, dress the part, show up on time and you’ll be on your way to a stellar dissertation defence!

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