Tools + Tips


Bring your ideas to life.

Given by many of the industry’s top minds, presentations at NANOG are meant to spark the imagination, encourage dialog, and drive new solutions to our greatest networking challenges.

Transforming your ideas into a presentation that resonates with your audience can be challenging — thankfully, we’re here to help guide you.

Topics to consider

NANOG meetings offer the chance to present on a number of topics, in the form of panels, tutorial sessions, and various tracks across a number of network operations. We suggest considering the following topics as you focus your presentation:

  • Network connectivity, interconnection, and architecture.
  • Network management and configuration, including automation.
  • Network operations and engineering professional experiences.
  • Network performance, measurement, and telemetry.
  • Data centers and physical plants, including cooling and power efficiency.
  • Network research.
  • Internet governance.
  • Routing and switching protocols.
  • Network data and control plane security.
  • Optical and transmission technologies.
  • Wireless networks.
  • DNS, transport, and applications.

Angles to consider

What exactly makes a presentation successful may seem subjective. Still, there are a handful of angles we believe can help a presentation shine:

  • Highlighting operational experience through a case study.
  • Identifying anomalies or counter-intuitive aspects of your experience.
  • Educating your audience in your particular area of expertise.
  • Motivating your audience to take action as a result of your presentation.
  • Entertaining your audience through the use of personal anecdotes, dynamic visual elements, interactivity, and even humor.

Presentation best practices

We love this tried and true advice on creating effective presentation decks, adapted from a guide by TED’s in-house talks expert:

  1. Craft your main message first: Start by structuring its support points. Then practice, and time it. Now, start building your slides.
  2. Create a consistent look and feel: Make use of typography, color, and imagery that’s cohesive across your entire deck.
  3. Think about topic transitions: Aim for variety, but be careful not to overdo it (the same goes for consistency … you don’t want every slide to look identical). Creating one style of slide for your main talk, and another style for transition slides, is a good rule to follow.
  4. With text, less is almost always more: Avoid slides with a lot of text, especially if the content matches what you’re already saying out loud.
  5. Use photos that enhance meaning: Simple, punchy photos are where it’s at. They can do wonders in helping content resonate with your audience, without pulling their attention away from your spoken words.
  6. Go easy on the effects: Even if the presentation platform you’re using offers a wealth of bells and whistles, few of them truly enhance the audience experience. If you must use effects, keep them subtle and consistent.
  7. Reproduce simple charts and graphs: Dropping an image of a chart into a presentation almost always disrupts the look and feel of a designed deck. Take control over color and type, by recreating simple graphed data.

For more tips on giving great talks, check out Nancy’ Duarte’s TED talk on the subject, or learn how to make a S.T.A.R. Moment in your next presentation with her best-selling guide, Resonate.

NANOG Presentation Template

Need a PowerPoint template to get started? Here is NANOG's PowerPoint template and the required Google Montserrat Fonts:

NANOG Presentation Kit (ZIP)

Remote Presenter Set-Up

  • Set up your camera, laptop and lighting - if you are using a built-in laptop camera, raise the laptop as high as 2-3 feet. Your camera should be at eye level.
  • Remember to look into the camera - place your Zoom window on screen as close as possible to the camera. If possible, stand up while presenting.
  • Present from a quiet place, close doors or windows, if needed.
  • Use an external camera and/or microphone if possible, use headphones or a headset with microphone, if you like.
  • In Zoom preferences, video section, click "Enable HD". Try out the “Touch up my appearance” feature.
  • A clean and simple background works best.
  • Position yourself so that most of the light is coming from in front of you. If you have a window behind you, close the curtains or blinds - otherwise you will be backlit. Pay attention to glare or screen reflections on glasses - move the lighting if possible.
  • Don't get too close or too far away from the camera.

Ready to submit your presentation?

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