Speaker Resources

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The information collected here is meant to assist all W3C staff and others in creating and delivering effective presentations.

On preparing Presentations

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>.

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.