Thinking about effective presentations:
Two infographics lectures held

March 13 and 20, 2014 Osaka University

Infographics are visual representations of things, experiences or concepts that convey complex information clearly and concisely with diagrams, charts, tables, graphs, maps, pictograms or other elements of graphic design. Infographics are an effective tool for presenting research findings to the general public in a self-explanatory and approachable way. The two lectures were held in cooperation with Adobe Systems Inc.

New ideas are born from other perspectives

act_p20143132Hiroyuki Kimura, a leading infographics designer, came to give two lectures on creating effective infographics. In the first lecture, students learned the basics of infographics by looking at a variety of examples before splitting into groups for a hands-on workshop. The students in each group were asked to read the same passage and create diagrams based on the text. They then presented their respective illustrations and evaluated each other’s work. “The key is to effectively communicate your message without relying on large chunks of text. You can’t tell if the reader is interested without trying to see things from his point of view. New ideas form naturally when you change your perspective,” advised Kimura. “I learned how important it is to boil down the necessary information into a few keywords,” said one student. Another student remarked on how difficult it was to express ideas concisely.

 

Poster presentations

act_p20143134In the second lecture, the students gave presentations on the posters they were assigned to create, and a seminar was held on how to use Adobe Illustrator to design presentations. Presentations were held on five topics, including “Development of a stingray-inspired undersea robot” and “Androids: Interactive media providers”, and the students in the audience gave the presenters constructive and candid advice on their posters.

 

Emphasize your key point

“Presentations begin and end with your conclusioact_p20143133n, so building the narrative is important. Try making posters that follow the same logic as your presentations,” Kimura recommended. He added, “You can record yourself to see if you are explaining the concepts properly. Practicing in the same setting in which the presentation will be held also helps you relax.” He concluded by telling the students that their main visual should take up more than half of the poster to grab people’s attention. “No matter what, the thing you want people to focus on most needs to shine through. Remember to think about how it will look from the viewer’s perspective,” urged Kimura.
The tips from these informative lectures will surely help the students the next time they need to make a presentation.