Structure of a presentation

In LaTeX it is possible to make presentations using the document class beamer. An empty presentation looks as follows:

\documentclass{beamer}

\usetheme{Copenhagen}
\author{Bert}
\title{A tale of two primes}

\begin{document}

\end{document}

To make slides you can use the frame environment with the title of your slide as the single argument. For example one could write (inside the document environment):

\begin{frame}
\titlepage
\end{frame}

\begin{frame}{Article}
Some text about the article.
\end{frame}

\begin{frame}{Mathematica}
A helpful tool for mathematicians.
\end{frame}

This gives a title slide and two slides with a header and some text.

To order the information in your presentation you can use the block, columns, enumerate and itemize environments. The block environment is a beamer specific environment which can be used in the following way:

\begin{frame}{Article}

\begin{block}{Example}
This is an example of a block.
\end{block}

\begin{block}{Euclid's theorem}
This is a theorem.
\end{block}

\end{frame}

The block’s header can be removed by adding an empty group {} after \begin{block}.

With the column environment it is possible to place objects next to each other. We will show how to make two columns 3cm wide.

\begin{frame}{Mathematica}

\begin{columns}
\begin{column}{3cm}
Text 1.
\end{column}
\begin{column}{3cm}
Text 2.
\end{column}
\end{columns}

\end{frame}

If you want the elements of your slide to appear one by one you can use \pause. This command can be placed almost anywhere in the code. For example between two block environments:

\begin{frame}{Article}

\begin{block}{Definition}
This is a definition.
\end{block}

\pause

\begin{block}{Euclid's theorem}
This is a theorem.
\end{block}

\end{frame}

or in an enumerate

\begin{frame}{Title}

\begin{enumerate}
\item Element
\pause
\item Element
\pause
\item Element
\end{enumerate}

\end{frame}

Layout

Previously we used the beamer theme Copenhagen. More themes can be found in the Beamer Theme Matrix. Try adding the following lines in the preamble.

\usetheme{Warsaw}
\usecolortheme{beaver}

A beamer template in the style of the University of Amsterdam can be found here.

Sample presentation

On Blackboard a sample .tex document can be found which you can use for your presentation.

Tips for a short presentation

Isolate the main subject and make sure to cover it early in your presentation.

Try to deliver one message to your fellow students; if you succeed doing just that, your presentation is already a success. If you want your audience to remember something, tell it early on in your presentation.

Use pictures instead of text

A presentation is a story that the presenter tells the audience. The beamer slides only serve to support that story. Don’t write down everything that you want to tell, filter the content. Try to replace text by pictures where possible.

Examples instead of abstract definitions

Abstract definitions can be hard for the audience to grasp immediately. Illustrate definitions using examples. Sometimes it is convenient to give an example before stating the formal definition.

Watch the time

You only get 5 minutes for this presentation. Keep this in mind when creating the presentation and make sure to practise it to ensure its length is good. Also keep the length in mind when choosing the number of frames.


References

  1. Landsman. Hoe geef ik een wiskundige voordracht?