Syllabus Schedule Project Canvas Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Assignment 3 Assignment 4

Presentation Tips

  • Motivate your topic -- Why is the topic important? Why should your audience be interested?
  • Convince your audience that you know what you are talking about. A good way to do this is to thoroughly research your topic and understand it well. Supporting your major points with facts also helps**.

PowerPoint Slides and Overheads

  • Follow the 7 x 7 rule: maximum of seven words per line and seven lines per page. This is one of the frequently violated rules of effective presentations.
  • Use short phrases, not full sentences.
  • Use a large font that your audience can see.
  • Display web pages infrequently.  They are not designed to be projected on a screen and will appear as a blur to your audience. When you do choose to display a web page carefully describe the relevant parts to your audience. Minimize scrolling.
  • Handouts are useful when you have lots of text that you want your audience to read (computer code, quotations, long lists, newspaper articles...)


  • Look at your audience. You should know your material well enough that you do not need to read it.
  • It's OK to use notes, but they should contain an outline of your talk rather than a narrative.
  • Have fun! Humor helps keep your audience's attention.

**  Demonstrate your knowledge by supporting assertions with facts. Compare the following two examples. The first example is poorly researched, provides little helpful information and is not convincing.  The second is well researched and the assertions are well supported.

Unsupported assertions:

  1. E-commerce fraud is a big problem and getting worse.
  2. Steps to avoid fraud (followed by a long list of items without priorities, effectiveness, cost or usage).

Supported assertions:

  1. E-Commerce fraud:
    • Cost on-line retailers $6.7 billion in 2016, or 1.7% of total revenues.
    • 66% of on-line merchants consider fraud a "serious" or "very serious" problem in 2016.
  2. On-line retailers are doing the following to minimize fraud:
    • 45% use address validation
    • 60% use the Card Verification Number
    • 44% package delivery confirmation
    • 40% use or plan to use Card Authentication programs offered by Visa and MasterCard.
    • 7% of on-line orders declined as "too risky."
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