Soon I will give a presentation in college for a few professors. In this presentation I research a somewhat complex concept, though the focus is how said concept can be used in company X.

So I'd rather not spend too much time elaborating on the concept and spend more time on the actual findings of my research. How can I do this though?

Currently I have a slide with a rather long quote on top, 5 key points in the middle and a 'summary' or a 'simplified' version below. I'm not entirely happy with this though, as in my opinion a simplified sentence implies the stuff above is less important or even too complex for my audience.

  • 2
    Move the details to "alternate slides", either at the end or set to be skipped when in presentation mode. They may be useful during Q&A following the talk.
    – Ben Voigt
    Jun 8, 2015 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


I recommend short simple words no matter how complex the audience is. Just highlight main points of what is being said per slide. I don't recommend quotes on a slide though especially if it requires inhaling to read.

If you need hard data shown, I recommend bringing a printout and handing it out.

Be sure to include your name/contact info at the last slide.

  • Mmhmm good point. The quote is the 'official' definition of the concept, but is indeed much too long for a presentation. Also, good point on your last one, almost forgot about that.
    – GillesDV
    Jun 9, 2015 at 8:38

Figure out which part of the concept is absolutely essential to the rest of your presentation. This should be less than the five key points: if you can distill it to one or two sentences, that'd be perfect. Make this part of your presentation overlap with the next part: instead of explaining the concept completely by itself and then moving on to your results, provide a one-slide, high-level introduction to why the concept is applicable (in one or two points!), and then -- just as your audience starts to wonder why this is relevant -- tell them how your findings show it applies to/is valuable for company X. Move everything else to extra slides at the end of your talk as suggested by Ben in the comments: that way, you can give a mini five-minute presentation on just this concept alone after your main talk, if necessary.

The most important part of polishing any presentation is practice talks: give the talk to a few of your friends or some of the professors who you will eventually present to, and see if they stumble or get confused at the slides you're worried about. Having seen the rest of your presentation, they'll have a better idea about where exactly you're stumbling and how to make your presentation flow better.

Also: I hate quotes in presentations, because you can only either read them off verbatim to your audience (which is boring), give the audience a few minutes to read them (which is also boring, but useful if you need a break to drink water), or ignore them entirely, which is a big no-no.

  • Yeah, think I'll do that. The quote is definitly too long, so I'll remove it and explain the concept using 5 key points and a simplified sentence. Thank you.
    – GillesDV
    Jun 9, 2015 at 8:53

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