Good Presentations

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At our annual PhUSE conference we always have about 100 presentations on relevant topics for people working in biometric departments in the pharmaceutical industry.

At each conference there are many presenters who give their first presentation in front of a big audience. Especially in our Industry Starters stream we want to offer Newbies the opportunity to present for the first time.

This Wiki about good presentations should help all presenters to give good and clear structured presentations.

PhUSE Tube

Click below to access an online video about Good Presentations.

PhUSE - Good Presentations

Why should presentations be good?

A typical presentation involves many people. Besides the presenter there are many people who attend a persentation. This is true for all kind of presentations or meetings:

  • classroom or online trainings
  • conference presentations
  • telephone conferences
  • video conferences

In a typical PhUSE presentation there are about 50 people attending a presentation which lasts about 25min. In total these are 50 times 25 minutes of time. These are 1,250 minutes in total, which is the same as 20 hours. This is almost half a week of work.

Nobody wants to waste other peoples time and money. That's why everybody should strive to give the best presentation possible.

What should a presenter present?

The best delivery skills of a presenter are useless when the content of his presentation is not important. For the content of a presentation a presenter has to think about his audience. Your audience is sitting in the conference room because they hope that there is something of interest for them. Most of the time they don't sit in the room because of the presenter.

The audience usually has a problem which they have not solved yet. Or often they are not aware that they have a problem. In any case the presenter should be there to solve their problem.

As examples for problems of the audience one might think about the following:

  • Training of a new programming technique - the audience is not familiar with this technique
  • Change of current processes - the audience is used to another process and should learn a new way
  • Presentation of project results - the audience wants to hear something new

These are all problems of the audience which the presenter wants to solve. The presenter knows something what the audience does not know. He knows the solution to that problem. You have the necessary knowledge to solve the problem of the audience.

And that is the only thing what should be covered by a presentation: The Solution to the Problem. Nothing more and nothing less. The content of the presentation is exactly the same as the solution of the problem.

Usually a presenter is a subject matter expert. That's why he was invited to give that presentation. But a good presenter stays focussed on the main topic of a presentation. A good presenter focusses only on the solution of a problem. If a presenter gives more information than that he will overwhelm the audience with too much information. This only distracts the audience and they will loose the focus and might not get the main point: The Solution of the Problem!

How should a presenter present?

In some cases presentations might be well presented and the presenter might appear very self secure and has nice animations in his slides. But if a presentation has a lack of clarity or is not well structure the audience might forget the main message after they leave the room.

A good presentation is always good in each of these points:

  • ClariTTTy
  • Structure
  • Delivery


A good presentation should have clarity from the beginning to the end. A presentation fulfills this clarity criterium if it has

  • an opening
  • a body
  • a closing

An easy method to follow is the "3 T Rule". Its apparently a streamlined version of Aristotle's ideas on giving speeches. It is rather simplistic but offers a great advice. The "3 T Rule" is:

  • Tell'em what you are going to tell them
  • Tell'em
  • Tell'em what you told them

Tell'em what you are going to tell them

The opening of a presentation should always give the audience an introduction what they can expect. This is the opener of a speech. Often there is an overview or an agenda in the beginning of the talk. But the opener should set the tone for the rest of the presentation. By outlining a presentation in a single phrase or quote a presenter achieves clarity of the structure and the content. The audience knows what to expect and what they will hear. They also get an idea if the following will be of interest for them.

There a number of ways to begin a presentation. One might start simply with a greeting: "Good morning. Thank you for inviting me to spend a few minutes with you today to discuss how we might do efficient SAS coding to support the lives of patients."

Or there's the shocker: "Thousands of European statistical programmers are made redundant every year. And this year, you might be one of them."


The middle part, often called the body of the talk, is where a presenter actually "tell 'em." This is where a presenter gets his message across, where he covers his key points, and where he "chunks" the bulk of his message. And there are a number of ways to do it.The body of the presentation should follow the outline and the agenda which was given.

Tell'em what you told them:

A good presentation always has a clear closing. The presenter should tell the audience what was presented. What was the goal of the presentation? This should be repeated again. This could be a conclusion or a summary or a repetition of the highlights.


The middle part of a talk, the actual body of the presentation should follow a good structure. A good method to structure a presentation is the PPAA method. PPAA is an abbreviations for:

  • Problem
  • Proposal
  • Advantage
  • Action Plan


Problem of the Audience



Proposal of the presenter



Added advantage sells the proposal



Give the audience somthing to do



For some people "presentation" and "slides" is the same...

Slides Microsoft Power Point, Apple Keynote, Adobe PDF, Prezi... not too much words use visuals

Voice variable, not monotone, change volume and speed, pause

Body Language do not hide behind a podium, walk through the room. Look at the audience for the moment of a thought, then change your view

Gestures no single fingers, palms to the body not to the audience, hold gestures

Action Items

Action Item for Line Managers

present within the team, out of your team, out of your company (eg. at a PhUSE conference)

let them present when a task is done. Eg. when TFLs are moved to production=> presentation of results following PPAA (how does the study fit into the drug development program? How was the study designed and what were the endpoints? What did we learn from this study? What's next?

Action Item for Employees

Practice, Practice, Practice

Get out of your comfort zone



Good presentations are easy to learn. But you have to practice this. Rome was not built in one day and so were not presenters.

SaschaAhrweiler 00:56, 2 November 2012 (CDT)