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Saurabh's Seminar Tips …

Okay, was just doing TP online in the morning ( ya ! I get up in the morning too ) when I got a comment regarding my previous blog …
And then I realised … crap ( its better than saying shit … ) !
I forgot to post my set of tips in my previous post … which was the main intention …

However, the previous one was so long and I wrote it in 2 sittings, that by the end of it, just wanted to finish it off …
So, naturally forgot to write the tips …

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These are to be followed on your own risk … I am not responsible for you getting chucked out of the college … Though it is a remote possibility …
But just washing my hands off it anyways …
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Okay, so here goes …

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The first and the foremost thing is that you DO NOT want to … and I repeat … DO NOT want to bore the examiner or any other people sitting for your seminar.

If by the end, the examiner is yawning, and has trouble remembering what your topic was, you are pretty done for anyways …
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Okay, read carefully …

How you plan to start, and how much time you spend on preparing your start depends on the time of day and the number at which you will be giving your seminar.

If you are one of the people giving the starting 3 seminars of the day, you probably dont need to work on your starting much …

But, if you are giving your seminar just before the lunch or towards the end of day, or sometime in the middle, when you know, people will be dead … a little intro video or music will do wonders to your marks.
No matter how stupid your friends think of your effort to put some stupid sound track on the first page, do it …

It wakes the people and makes them attentive enough to be able to sit through your seminar.
Not to mention the examiers too …

A friend of mine had his, second last before break and he started with the Kill Bill soundtrack.
Most of the people were laughing when he said that he’d be putting the soundtrack …
He almost changed his mind, but last minute decided to go with it …
His seminar probably turned out to be one of the best of the day … even though he had a not so interesting topic.

And I noticed that almost 75% of the class sat attentively through his presentation for 8 out of the 15 minutes that he was there …
So, if your start is good, half the battle is won.

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Also, make sure that you end well … its pretty difficult and I found only a couple of people pulled it off …
Though, this is not as important as starting well … for obvious reasons …

Firstly, most of your audience left are your loyal friends … and the examiners give the marks somewhere in the middle of your seminar.
So, unless you really botch up your ending, you should do fine …

Just start well …

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I cannot stress enough for the fact that you should make your seminar interesting …
No matter what your topic …

Your presentation does not have to stick to the paper … it can deviate a lot …
When preparing your ppt, ask yourself whether you would actually want to sit and listen to it in the audience …

If the answer is ‘NO’ … you’re probably going about it the wrong way …
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Hard work always pays …
Search, search, search the internet for flashier icons … and the works …

Make your stuff look good … even though it means burning the mid night oil a day before …
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Using a default template is definitely a no – no.
Almost all the people in my class made their own templates ….
Not only does it give you originality and allows you to make your presentation resemble your seminar topic, you also avoid putting on a template someone else used already …
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Watch out for the colour scheme … What may look good on your monitor, may not look good on the projector …

Try to keep a white bg with black / blue text or the inverse …

If there is not enough cover in your seminar hall ( like we did not have curtains and there was a lot of light ), you’d be better of using a black bg and white text …
I screwed up in this regard … I had a white bg with Blue text
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And finally, my list of things that will get you killed and things which will save your ass …
( Compiled painstakingly during the presentations )

THINGS WHICH YOU’D GET KILLED FOR
( i.e. things which you should not do … duh ! )

1. Going technical very early
– Bad mistake … People who do this, will lose 80% of their audience within 5 seconds …
Take my word on it … No one, and that includes even the examiner, is interested in seeing protocols and architectural diagrams …
Though this is important ( to show that you did some work ) keep it at last after you’ve said what you wanted people to hear

2. Lots of Architecture Diagrams
3. Not preparing the presentation well
4. No eye contact with the audience
5. Speaking fast

6. Using an auto timer on the slides.
– This is by far the worst you could do for yourself.
Don’t be stupid and dont try to show off unneccesarily …
Advance the slides yourself … and if it is too much work, bribe a friend to do it for you.

7. Underlining text
– Does not look cool … not always anyways …
Try CAPITALISING or making text bold.

8. Bad font selection …
– Avoid using fonts like Times etc .. they dont look good on screen

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THINGS THAT WILL SAVE YOUR ASS
( or the things that you SHOULD DO )

1. Give more real life examples
– Something that people can relate too …

2. Use more easy to understand images

3. Do something to grab people’s attention at the beginning of the seminar
– Use video, audio, aliens, do a strip show … anything …
Just make sure people give you atleast 5 minutes to get their attention full time.

4. Speak loudly and confidently.

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Okay, that was another long blog …
So, me will again lay off for a while …

Put up a comment if you need more help specifically.

And if you find this information useful, please consider making a donation to my PayPal account.
( Hey, I just bought a cell … down by a lot of cash … need to make that up somehow ! )

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