Presentations Do’s and Don’ts.

The university of Stanford has added ‘Mining Massive Datasets‘ as a new course to coursera, a website which offers free online courses.

Being capable of ‘Mining Massive Datasets’ is undoubtedly a handy skill-set. Also I highly approve of open-access courses; however when I watched their tutorial introductary presentation I bursted out with laughter in disbelief. Have a look yourself:

To me, clearly, Jure Leskovec, Anand Rajaraman and Jeff Ullman, who present the course, could have done with some media counselling:
The background looks as if it was taken from a 90′s computer game. This is a computer science course, yes, but this does not mean the presenters need to be in a virtual server room. A real-life course room would have done the job.
Non of the moderators moves while presenting. Moving is natural, sitting stiffly not.
You should not change the position of moderators after a hard cut. This makes the presentation involuntary comical: Jure disappears and Anand pops up, surprise, surprise. You can make smooth transitions with overarching sound and close-ups.

Take this as an example for a good presentation; never mind the content:

Jure Leskovec, Anand Rajaraman and Jeff Ullman have obviously made an effort to present their course: they made sure to have good sound and video quality. The shortcoming of their video is not the video quality but the presentation’s quality.