Thursday, September 29, 2011

Using quotes in presentations

Following the using text in slides spirit of the past weeks, in this post I share some of quotes  I have gathered over the past year

I learned about the use of quotes in presentations reading Guy Reynold's Presentation Zen.  There are many reasons why you would like to use quotes in your presentations. Here are a few:
  • They can summarize a point in a couple of words. 
  • They can add credibility to your point. 
  • Somebody said it better.
  • They can help you transition to your next point.
  • They make you look smart. 
  • They capsule high amount of knowledge in few words.
As a tip, I would suggest to read the quote to your audience. It is one of those few times where reading a slide is a good thing. Also remember that the shorter the quote, the better. And as James Humes writes, try to use quotes of famous people as much as possible. 

I have seen some people using quotes in scientific and academic fields.  Here are some of the ones I have collected.
"Innovation proceeds more rapidly when different parties can build on each others work and avoid going down the same dead end that others have gone down."
Bill Gates
"The most successful scientists in the history of the world are those who pose the right questions."
Neil deGrasse Tyson
"Some numbers are meaningless or even misleading unless we explain the underlying trend or the big picture."
Philip B. Corbett
 "Much wisdom was, and still is, buried in computer codes..."
Germund Dahlquist
"In retrospect(...) trajectory methods brought more questions than answers."
Joel Phillips
The tough thing about using scientific quotes is to know where to find them. My advice is to  keep your eyes open when reading books, and scientific articles and journals. Another idea is to ask your professor or adviser for good writers in your field and read some of their work. Another source are specialized newspapers like the SIAM Review in the case of applied math.

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