Public Speaking: On a 10 minute presentation of a scientific paper, how long should I present a single PowerPoint slide so the audience will stay focused and interested?
That question really can't be answered with a specific number - it depends on the content of your slides. For a 1-minute presentation you could do an excellent job with one slide or an excellent job with 15 slides. The important thing if you want them to stay focused on your talk is to ensure the slides do notpete with you. People cannot read and listen at the same time. Every five words on a slide shifts the audience's focus away from you and to the slide for one second. It is quitemon on a -heavy bulleted slide for an audience to miss every word you say about the first couple of bullets because they are reading the remainder. Use your slides to visualize your words - not repeat them. If you describe a process show them a process diagram - and build that diagram as you speak don't overwhelm them with all the details upfront. If you talk about a piece of hardware show them the hardware. If you describe a relationship between numbers show them a graph. Ultimately the most important thing is to focus on the story you want to tell. People will remain attentive to a good story. Use the slides to illustrate the story not to interrupt it.
Is it possible to insert a LARGE image into a PowerPoint slide, and use a scroll bar to view it (instead of resizing it)?
Short answer nope. n nWith some work you could use animations to mimic this but it's not automatic. For timelines I have had success splitting the timeline across slides and using the push or pan transitions.
What are some hacks for giving academic talks?
Not sure if you're looking for hacks or ideas on giving a good talk. There are lots of items for the latter. But honestly no hack can substitute for a clear logical talk. I'll try to mention a few key ideas that seem hackish but I've found useful for giving clear talks. 1. Explicit logical flow. I usually tell my students to break down the logical structure of a talk into a barebones tree just like you might do to a paper. But drawing out the explicit logical flow without the details is great for flushing out problems with clarity and organization. This is by far the most important rule IMO. 2. Prepare the audience. Always give con in definitions in background in telling them what you're going to tell them (outlines or forward pointers) 3. Control the audience. Remember the audience is by default unruly. They will read ahead they will infer they will try to predict what you're going to say. Control their expectations. Control what they read with animated boxes so they can't get too far ahead. But be sure to give them something to look at (don't talk off a blank slide or talk to an unrelated slide). 4. Be the audience. I think a few years into my grad student life of giving talks I developed a split personality a little voice or feeling in the back of my mind that's listening to my talk as I give it. I automatically feel it when my content jumps a logical connection or is too fast or too wordy. Then I adapt. I've been told by my students that this is not normal desirable -) So one approximation is to pay close attention to the audience and get visual cues from them (confused look=slow down details bored look=move faster finger tapping=skip to something more interesting etc). Other hacksn1. Don't use dark backgrounds. Sometimes it works and they look super cool. More often you get a faded lamp on a projector and the colors fade out making for an ugly . Increase interline spacing (1. or 1.1). Powerpoint by default will squeeze you to .8 if you add too much . Keynote enforces minimal spacing which is one reason it looks much better.. Simple = better. The best talks are those with less words (less for audience to read) and less pretty pictures (less distracting elements)n4. the letters B and W will turn your presentation slide to all white and all . If you can try to replace words with easy to understand pictures. The best talk I ever saw was from John Douceur (Microsoft Research) at IPTPS 22 when he gave a 2 min talk with NO words not a single one. All pictures and animations but they all were very carefully chosen. Very intuitive. You have to really know your content but done carefully it can be very useful.