Social and Political Data Science: Introduction

Karl Ho

School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

University of Texas at Dallas

How to prepare presentation

Killer presentation:

#1 Skill Irreplaceable in the Data Science Revolution Age. 


This is the one tool we have to outsmart smart machines.

Prepare yourself



  1. Watch Great Persuaders

  2. See Yourself as a Chief Storytelling Officer

  3. Reframe and Rehearse 

Prepare yourself: On stage



  1. Always look at the audience

  2. Tell us your research question at the beginning of your talk.

  3. Spend a minute or two explaining why this question is important and original.  You are charged with responsibility that you are not copying other people’s papers.

  4. Again, make sure you look at the audience (you see me, I see you!)

Prepare yourself: On stage (cont'd)

  1. Spend as little time as possible summarizing the literature.  But this is staple too. Focus on your argument.

  2. Presenting a table with quantitative results is fine, but a figure illustrating your findings is better.

  3. When presenting quantitative evidence, focus on the hypothesis you are testing.

  4. Repeat the big take-away points from your proposal at the end.

Prepare yourself: On stage (cont'd)

  1. Keep your time

  2. Keep your time                    



Helpful Tips

  1. Don't read from your slides (memorize)

    1. You are giving a talk, not reading a slide

  2. Walk across the stage

    1. Don't just stand in front of computer

  3. Eye contact

Prepare your presentation

  • Set your perimeter
    • Things you cannot change
      • Time limit
        • Common mistakes
      • Equipment on site
    • Things you can change
      • What you want to achieve
      • Tools
        • Powerpoint vs. Keynote vs. PDF vs. online slides

How to make great (not good) slides

  1. Know your tool
  2. Legible fonts (never use default)
  3. Figures > Tables > Text
  4. Cognitive Science
    • Fancy elements (e.g. interactive, reactive)

      Consider adopting novel design solutions only when the estimated payoff is substantially greater than the cost of learning to use them.

Prepare your presentation

Prepare your presentation

  • Title page
  • Motivation/Overview
    • Why this is the "most important topic" in the world?
    • What's so interesting?
  • (Some) Literature: one slide
  • Research design
    • Why this is a smart design?
  • (Optional) Some data/findings
  • Expected outcomes
  • Takeaways (why this is so important?)


Harvard Business Review: 

Do Your Slides Pass the Glance Test?

Last few words

  1. Create Value

    1. What is important to you?

  2. Create Knowledge

    1. What is original?

    2. When you copy, cite!

    3. Know how to cite

    4. Data --> Information --> 
  3. Create your brand

    1. What is your brand?

    2. Reputation management

    3. Fear nothing, but respect everyone

TRA: How to make effective presentation?

By Karl Ho

TRA: How to make effective presentation?

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