CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD PRESENTATION
AT THE BEGINNING
- Introduce the topic
- State what is known
- State what remains unknown
- Introduce the main question
- Indicate how this work fits into the big picture
- Convince the audience of the importance of the work
AT THE END
- Refer to the original main question and how this research has addressed
- State the significance of this work and how it relates to the "big picture"
- Consider unanswered questions
- Suggest new questions that have arisen from this work
- Suggest possible future experiments
- Organize along this format: Intro, Methods, Results (and their implications),
- Establish eye contact with audience
- Provide an overview
- Become familiar with all methods and techniques
- Explain why a particular technique was used
- Use your own words and examples
- Make sure you understand the most difficult aspects
- Anticipate questions and have answers ready.
- Practice the entire talk while timing yourself
- Record your talk and listen for errors or rough spots
- Carefully point to subregions within the figures
- Screen supplemental figures (Avoid complexity; you want the audience to
feel "OK, now I understand.")
- Emphasize the most important points, de-emphasize less important points
- Perhaps organize the talk as a series of questions and responses
- Justify each set of experiments (Why must these experiments be done? What
was the question and why was it important?)
- Check word pronunciations in advance
- Include a drawing or diagram of the experimental setup
- Choose words carefully (importance of practice)
- Point out errors or flaws in text, figures, or logic
- Don't say "they" or "scientists. " Rather, say "investigators" or "workers"
- Don't say "they found out...."
- Don't say "OK" or "ahmmmm"
- Don't say "proved" (instead, use these verbs: suggested, indicated, demonstrated,
showed, etc.) in most cases, avoid being absolutely definite.
- Don't rush through figures (Explain the axes and summarize each figure.)
- Don't attempt humor.
- Don't provide unnecessary details (ex: means of anesthesia, food, etc, unless
- Don't make nervous movements (snap pen cap, pace, fiddle with pointer, etc.)
- Don't talk directly to wall or talk with pen in mouth
- Don't trail off sentences into mumbling
- Don't worry. (Be happy.)