Presenting lots of details

"RP" had a follow up question from our recent exchange.  

Thanks for the response. I would say that most of the audiences of teaching presentations are already "sold" on the reason they need to sit through a talk: their grade depends on it, a patient's life may depend on it, etc. Once I've made the sale I'm still stuck with how to present the information. Many times the information are just plain lists: "these drugs may cause QT prolongation," "here are 20 causes of pancreatitis," or "here are the findings of such and such a study." I've been trying to contextualize it somehow, finding a meaning behind all the information – though this isn't always possible. I've even tried adapting a SCoRE method: present part of a case and then come upon a problem – discuss how to fix it, continue with the case and then come to another problem, etc. This works but can get cumbersome if there's a lot to cover. Additionally, we often have to present in a ballroom (literally) and while the conference room method is better, we have to project to many. What would you suggest – Just give everyone handouts? Many audience members take offense if there are no bullet points. Thanks again, I'm going to continue to think about this. – Rahul ("RP")

Rahul: the S.Co.R.E. method should not get cumbersome if you make sure that the Complications are indeed interesting for your audience, and not just fake ones designed to tee up your next fact.  If you have lots of facts to convey, such as your "20 causes of pancreatitis," you don't need to name every one of them out aloud.  List them as part of your slide, name one or two, and say "and you can see the rest on your handout."

And yes, if you do want to convey details, then you should make a Conference Room style presentation.  The point is: do you, or do you not want your audience to take away the details with them?  If the answer is yes, then it is absolutely pointless to project bullet slides, because only someone with photographic memory will remember them. 

If you use a properly designed Conference Room style slide, as laid out in the Anatomy of a Conference Room Style Presentation, then the details will not overwhelm your slide; in fact they will reinforce your message.



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