Designing Science Presentations

Designing Science Presentations, 1st Edition

A Visual Guide to Figures, Papers, Slides, Posters, and More

Designing Science Presentations, 1st Edition,Matt Carter,ISBN9780123859693


Academic Press




235 X 191

A superior visual guide designed specifically to aid scientists in the creation of compelling tables and figures, slides, posters, and web site material.

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Key Features

  • Clear heading for each section indicates its message, highlighted with graphic illustrations
  • Two summary paragraphs that complement the visual images and clearly discuss the main point
  • Numerous examples of high-quality figures, page layouts, slides, posters, and web pages to help stimulate readers' ideas for their own presentations
  • Numerous "before and after" examples to illustrate the contrast between poor and outstanding presentations


Designing Science Presentations guides researchers and graduate students of virtually any discipline in the creation of compelling science communication. Most scientists never receive formal training in the creation, delivery, and evaluation of such material, yet it is essential for publishing in high-quality journals, soliciting funding, attracting lab personnel, and advancing a career.

This clear, readable volume fills that gap and provides visually intensive guidance at every step—from the construction of original figures to the presentation and delivery of those figures in papers, slideshows, posters, and websites. It provides pragmatic advice on the preparation and delivery of exceptional scientific presentations; demonstrates hundreds of visually striking presentation techniques, giving readers inspiration for creating their own; and is structured so that readers can easily find answers to particular questions.


Researchers and graduate students in virtually all scientific disciplines, including life science, physical science, and chemistry

Matt Carter

Matt Carter, PhD, is currently Assistant Professor of Biology at Williams College. His previous position was as a post-doctoral fellow in Richard Palmiter’s lab at the University of Washington using optogenetic techniques to study neural circuitry. He has authored the first edition of this book (Elsevier, 2009) as well as Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Papers, Slides, Posters, and More (Elsevier, 2012). He was the awardee of Stanford University’s Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, and two-time recipient of the Stanford School of Medicine’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He currently teaches courses at Williams in both Topics in Neuroscience as well as Neural Systems and Circuits. Former: carterme@u.washington.edu

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Professor of Biology, Williams College, Williamstown, MA, USA

View additional works by Matt Carter

Designing Science Presentations, 1st Edition

Part 1: Designing Exceptional Science Presentations
1. Scientists as Designers
2. Design Goals for Different Presentation Formats
3. Twenty-One Characteristics of Exceptional Presenters
Part 2: Visual Elements in Science Presentations
4. Color
5. Typography
6. Words
7. Tables
8. Charts
9. Diagrams
10. Photographs
Part 3: Written Presentations
11. General Strategies for Scientific Writing
12. Research Articles
13. Review Articles
14. Research Proposals
Part 4: Slide Presentations
15. The Use of Slides in Oral Presentations
16. The Structure of a Slide Presentation
17. Visual Elements in Slide Presentations
18. Slide Layout
19. Animation Techniques and Transitions
20. Delivering a Slide Presentation
21. Using Technology to Deliver Like a Professional
22. Considerations for Different Categories of Slide Presentations
Part 5: Oral Presentations Without Slides
23. Presenting Without Slides
24. Considerations for Different Categories of Oral Presentations
Part 6: Poster Presentations
25. The Structure of a Poster Presentation
26. The Design and Layout of a Poster
27. Presenting at a Poster Session
Appendix 1: Recommendations for Further Reading
Appendix 2: Learning to Use Illustration and Presentation Software
Appendix 3: Thoughts on How to Create a Presentation from Scratch
Appendix 4: Thoughts on Using Design Principles to Market Yourself

Quotes and reviews

"Each chapter begins with an introduction to the material and contains a succinctly done and well-illustrated main body, followed by a listing of dos and don’ts for the type of material covered. The text is recommended for the novice presenter as well as the seasoned instructor looking for ways to improve delivery and, perhaps, student (or cohort) evaluations."--IEEE Pulse, July/August 2014

"This volume guides researchers and graduate students in the creation of compelling science communication…This clear, readable volume…provides visually intensive guidance at every step-from the construction of original figures to the presentation and delivery of those figures in papers, slideshows, posters, and websites."--Anticancer Research 34, 2014

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