The information collected here is meant to assist all W3C staff and others in creating and delivering effective presentations.
On preparing Presentations
- Presentation Process and Workflow
- File:Pop-mh.pdf (by Molly Holzschlag, March 2016)
- Make your presentation available as early as possible and no later than 7 days prior.
About Slides Specifically…
- Consider using Slide tools, which have W3C templates and produce reasonably accessible output
- Supply supporting materials ahead of time to give your audience a chance to get familiar with your subject.
- Ensure handouts, slides, and other material are in accessible formats.
- Mark up headings using the appropriate method for the presentation format - for example, use the <h1> through <h6> elements in an HTML presentation.
- Use an easy-to-read font face and ensure text and visual elements (images, videos, diagrams etc.) are big enough to be read from a distance.
- Use simple high contrast foreground and background colors - projectors do not handle subtle colors well.
- Expand abbreviations; e.g. <abbr title="SOS">Save Our Souls</abbr>.
- Think about your audience and context: avoid the use of violent imagery in presentation materials, including (photographic or artistic) depictions of personal and/or mass violence, e.g. the aftermath of well-known mass casualty events.
Make sure you also read accessibility guidance for slides
About Speaking Specifically…
Also check tips for speaking accessibly
- Position yourself where you are visible to the audience.
- Face the audience, and speak into the microphone.
- Begin by stating the objective of your presentation, and wrap up proposing next steps for the audience to take (support in the AC, contribute to a discussion, offer feedback, …)
- Speak clearly, taking particular care with names, words, and phrases that the audience may not know.
- Speak at a rate that people can follow easily, including people who are not native speakers of your language.
- For most people, this means "Speak Slowly".
- Use pacing to give your audience time to process information.
- Use simple language.
- Expand acronyms.
- except where they really are the common name for something.
- But even better, avoid them as much as possible.
- Minimise, and explain slang, jargon, colloquialisms and idioms.
- A multicultural audience such as W3C includes many people who don't understand idiomatic speech. This applies even for native english speakers.
- Be **very** careful using jokes and humour
- People's sense of humour can be very different. In addition, most jokes are very hard to understand for non-native speakers, and will distract them from your content.
- Describe succinctly pertinent parts of graphics, videos, and other visuals.
- Some people will not be able to see your visuals. It is normal in W3C for people to be attending remotely with only audio and the IRC text "transcript".
- Repeat displayed text in spoken form (but do not read directly from your slides).
- The screen and the spoken content should reinforce each other. This reinforcement is particularly helpful for those having difficulty following the presentation.
About questions from the floor (Q&A)
- Use IRC (or whatever moderation tool we employ) to record your comment/question for the record and for the benefit of those who can read English better than they can hear it.
- State clearly your name and affiliation (as appropriate).
- Please, be brief, and concise.
- Follow the speaker guidelines about talking speed, avoiding acronyms and jargon, etc.
- Ask one question and please requeue for additional questions.
- Avoid statements as a question, e.g. (paragraph position statement), "Do you agree?" | "What do you think?"
- Do not use the opportunity to make a speech about some tangential topic; directly address the topic under discussion. Follow up separately (email, moderation tool, whatever) if you need to fork-of a side discussion.
Note also Guidelines for facilitator - if there is a facilitator, you'll know what to expect. And whether there is or not, anticipating what a facilitator would do means you won't be moderated.
Further Speaker Resources
Please refer to "How to Make Presentations Accessible to All" by the W3C Education and Outreach Working Group.