There are gender wars, and then there are casualties. It wasn’t until 2011 that the behemoth toymaker LEGO acknowledged girls’ desire to build with bricks, even though the company had long before made a seemingly effortless pivot to co-branding, video games, and major motion pictures. So it’s little wonder that girls face all-too-real obstacles when […]Read more
Bad presentations abound, but it’s particularly egregious when presenting to public audiences. Text-heavy slides? Score! Confusing graphics? Score! Too many slides? Score! Have fun at your next presentation with Bad Presentation Bingo, a game developed by Monica Metzler, president of the Illinois Science Council. Check out the game…
If you don’t know Bingo, it’s a game of chance, with a random 5×5 matrix of squares. With real bingo, a caller calls out the squares, and when you have a line of 5 in a row, you win. With bad presentation bingo, your presenter slowly bores you to death, and once they do 5 things poorly, you win. Bad presentation bingo is a close relative of another fun conference game known as “Buzzword bingo.”
Metzler created ‘Bad Presentation Bingo’ a few years ago. She says her inspiration came from sitting through a number of, as she puts it, “challenging scientific presentations.” The purpose of the Bingo is “to encourage scientists to be considerate of their audiences … by paying attention to their presentation’s style and format as much as to its content.” Here’s the full game, or you can download a PDF here:
Here’s some reminders, from page 2 of the PDF.
Humans remember things best when conveyed in the form of a compelling story. No one remembers a deluge of facts – that’s more like a shopping list. Science discoveries, and the scientific process, are good mystery stories. Make sure your talk has characters and a plot and that it follows a vivid and memorable storyline... Scholarly papers and grant proposals require specific terminology – talking to the public does not… PowerPoint would seem to be mandatory for presentations, but it’s not. It’s just a tool, like a pipette or a buzz saw, and when used improperly it causes confusion and pain… Be enthusiastic, not a wallflower. Be engaging, not monotonous. And don’t overstay your welcome thereby avoiding questions. Consider your presentation the start of a conversation.
Metzler says anybody is welcome to use the Bingo, as long as they credit it to her or the Illinois Science Council. Ms. Metzler is working on a presentation based on this, and plans to lead workshops on presentation methods in the future.
Again, here’s the PDF file.