More tips for great SAS Global Forum presentations


I thoroughly agree with Tricia Aanderud on what it takes to Create Engaging SAS Global Forum Presentations! Here are a few more tips based on my own experience:

First, let's look at what it takes to publish, and present.

  • Good title.
  • Good abstract, written about five months in advance.
  • Oh, the paper!
  • Designing the advertisement for the paper--the slides.
  • The delivery.

We all remember the difference between theory and practice, right?

In Theory, there isn't any!  However, in Practice, it takes a lot!

I was asked to judge SAS Global Forum papers several years back and was sitting with another SAS-L regular who is also a successful author and presenter. We were comparing notes at the end of the session, and he said: "You don't take prisoners, do you?!"

On several lines I had marked zeros for these common blunders—and I wonder why I haven't been invited back to judge:

  • More than 7 x 7 words per slide (no more than 7 lines and 7 words per line).
  • Speaker turned back on audience to read slides.
  • Speaker opened a SAS session to show "how this works".

A Gentle Reminder: only you and the people on the front row (are there any!?) can read what's on the screen.  From the second row on back, it's all 4-point type -- unreadable!

I was present when a famous SAS press author, whose initials translate to Master, turned around after reading his tenth slide and found over half his audience had walked out!

So, I agree with Ms Aanderud:

  • Buy the new books about presentation goodness—and practice
  • Get a subscription to Stock Photos --and practice
  • Get comfortable with the advertising pitch explained on each of your slides
  • Practice, without reading your notes, until you can deliver your speech three times in the same amount of time.

And if you're attending SAS Global Forum 2013, please join me and other SAS practitioners at the SAS user online-forum meetup!


About Author

Ron Fehd

SAS User

Ron Fehd has earned the title “Macro Maven” from more than 25 years of SAS software experience. Although he’s officially retired, Fehd remains an active member of the SAS user community. He’s published extensively—books, papers, and online—and is widely known for his extensive collection of SAS Global Forum hats.


  1. Chris Hemedinger
    Chris Hemedinger on

    It used to be that nobody ever walked out during one of my presentations.

    But then the fire marshal stopped me from locking the doors.

  2. The other thing to remember is that you will really only please about 80% of the audience no matter how fantastic it is.

    In those cases, use Chris's methodology of locking them in the room until they agree it was perfect. 😉

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