A checklist for more inclusive, accessible and understandable talks
This is a checklist for presenters to ensure that their talk materials are ready for an inclusive, accessible and actionable presentation. It is based on years of experience presenting in lots of different countries, to diverse audiences at at conferences with translation and transcription. It is also available online and you can fork and contribute to it on GitHub.
Not all these things are mandatory for every talk, but considering them will make you a better and more relaxed presenter.
- Are the slides available in a portable format (HTML, PPTX, PDF) and independent of your computer?
- Are code examples available online?
- Is embedded media (video/audio) independent of OS and does it work offline?
- Does all embedded media have accessible alternatives (captions, alternative texts, transcripts)?
- Is the font size big enough to read (especially in code examples when they can't be resized) ?
- Are the slides in the format applicable to the conference (16x9, 4X3 ...) ?
- Do all slides have enough contrast to be understandable even with projector glitches?
- Have the slides been checked for colour deficit issues?
- Is there a safety margin around the slides to allow for projector cut-off?
- Is all embedded media in a high enough quality to be shown on a big screen?
- Are there flickering and fast animations that could cause discomfort to the audience? If so, is there a warning slide?
- Are there any font dependencies that may need alternative fonts if you can't present from your computer?
Working well with others
- Have the slides been checked for possibly offensive content? Are you sure you want to make that edgy joke or does it detract more than add?
- Does the talk contain any trigger content? If so, is there a warning?
- Are there any instances of third party or competitor mentions and is there no possibility of your content being seen as an attack or unfair criticism?
International audience concerns
- Are the slides understandable to audiences without a certain background? Are you avoiding relying on metaphors and pop culture references that need explanation to work?
- Is there a thesaurus/explanation for translators about specialist terms?
- Is there a transcript for embedded media for translators?
- Is there a printable version of the talk for distribution to translators and transcribers?
- Are the slides impossible to be misread when viewed without context provided by the speaker? Can screenshots of single slides be shared without causing confusion?
- Is there an attribution for all media in the slide deck? Has any questionable, possibly copyrighted content been vetted?
- Is any third party content attributed to the correct author(s)?
- Are your slides available for download and will you have a handle on who will get them?
- Is there a call to action at the end of the slides and is the resource unique and available?
- Is there a way to track traffic from resources you mention (shortURLs, tracking IDs)?
- Do you have all the materials offline and independent of your computer (memory stick, including code examples, fonts and embedded media)?
- Have you prepared explanations of embedded media in case the video/audio doesn't work?
- Can you have automated captioning and will you use it (Google Slides, Powerpoint - both need an online connection)? Have you told the conference organisers about it?
- Do you want to make the slides available to organisers beforehand to allow for translation/teasing?