for Preparing Electronic Slides and
A key aspect of your SIGGRAPH 2001 presentation is your electronic
slide show. The audience will base its evaluation of you and
your subject matter partly on the appearance of your images.
An attractive, legible, and organized presentation will reflect
positively on the content, and therefore on you. With a little
effort, it's easy to create visuals that will enhance your
presentation and hold your audience's attention. The following
are some basic guidelines designed to assist you in your preparation.
Find out how much time is allowed for your presentation. Plan
your talk and the number of slides to allow for a relaxed
pace. One slide per one to three minutes is a good rule of
thumb. Plan what you would change if the presentation had
to be shortened or lengthened. Practice your talk before the
conference. Time yourself. Force yourself to slow down a little.
A rushed presentation will create more stress for you and
won't be as compelling. There will be a staffed and equipped
rehearsal room in the Convention Center at SIGGRAPH 2001 to
help you with your final preparations.
SIGGRAPH presentation rooms are typically large, and your
presentation must be legible from the back row. If you can
step back six feet away from your computer's monitor and easily
read your slide, your text is large enough. To achieve this,
a good rule of thumb is to limit each slide to 8 lines of
text or less, and limit each line of text to 30 characters
or less. Type should be large, no smaller that 28 points,
with generous line spacing. Use key words; the text on your
slides should be simple and quick to read. You want the audience
to pay attention to your presentation, not struggle to read
your slides. Good, clear fonts to use are Arial, Helvetica,
Palatino, and Times Roman. Clearly label charts and graphs.
Label axes and include legends. The smallest text on the screen
should have the highest contrast. (White text against a black
background or light colored text with a black drop shadow
or a dark background.) Incorporate only the essential elements
of a diagram; simplify whenever possible. While it is tempting
to leave in detail for the sake of accuracy, too much can
reduce readability and obscure the real point you are trying
to make. Consider breaking up complex diagrams into sections,
one section per slide, so that each section can be made larger
and therefore more legible.
Avoid the use of ALL CAPITAL letters. Words written in ALL
CAPS are harder to read and take up more space on the screen.
Use bold face and Italics for emphasis, or use a bright color
such as yellow text when normal body text is white. Underlined
text is not recommended.
Make good use of color and contrast. Dark backgrounds tend
to be easier to view, especially with light text and graphics.
Good background color choices are black, blue, maroon, or
gradient dark colors. Good text colors are white or yellow.
If you use a light background, use black or very dark text
and graphics. Light backgrounds were practically impossible
for electronic presentations before the evolution of the current
consistency throughout your slides. Using the same background
color, text size, text color, and uniform fonts throughout
all the slides make it easier for the audience to follow the
flow of your ideas.