It was a really bad idea to use slides in that class

I gave a presentation in the Statistical Consulting course at UW–Madison today. I’ve done so a number of times in the past 6 years. Until today, I’d just spoken informally from a few pages of notes. (Earlier this year, I wrote up those notes as a blog post.)

This year, just 45 min before the class, I thought I’d quickly create some slides to present. I thought it’d be an interesting “experiment” (not in the formal sense):

The outcome was pretty clear: It was easy to create a bunch of bullet-point-based slides. They look nice. (See the pdf here; source here.)

But, the slides themselves worse than useless: Unnecessary, and they interfered with the desired informal nature of the discussion.

I won’t be using those slides again. I’ll go back to just talking from notes.

Fortunately, the students were really good and involved and asked great questions, anyway. So no real harm done.

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