Presenter Tips for Technical Research Sessions

Preparing | Delivery/Rehearsal | VisualsAdditional Tips

A technical research session is a 20-minute presentation of research, or research in progress. The purpose is to communicate scientific information in an efficient format. A 10-minute question and answer period follows the scientific presentation.

Preparing and Organizing Your Information

Because of the limited time available during a technical research presentation, your information must be concise, impactful, and precise. Clarity is critical. Organize your information to include only the most critical data and information.

Sample Organizational Structure

  • Introduction—why was the study done?
  • Who funded, who participated, etc.
  • Methods—what research methods were used? Levels of evidence?
  • Overview of results
  • Findings/Conclusions
  • Overview of Research—details about the study; any interesting aspects of the study itself; unexpected developments during research


  • Simple language, use one thought or action per sentence
  • Write your talk in short, radio script-like phrases
  • Rephrase to increase understanding - repeat important sentences
  • Articulate clearly
  • Every slide deserves 10 seconds, no more than 100 seconds


  • Using visuals can communicate ideas faster and more clearly, as well as reinforce your spoken message. Using visuals to reinforce your ideas also helps your audience retain your information.
  • Keep it simple! Make sure your visuals are large and easily readable, simple—viewers should get the point within 5 seconds, and use consistent font, colors, and format
  • One key idea per visual
  • Interpret visuals—don't just report them
  • Give visuals a headline that helps increase comprehension—think newspaper headline
  • Visuals should illustrate your verbal points clearly

Additional Tips

  • Alternate moving and standing still
  • Dress appropriately, use good grammar
  • State your objectives at the start of the talk
  • Practice! It is the single most important factor contributing to a good presentation.
  • Go to the room prior to your presentation so you are familiar with the room/AV/lighting
  • Utilize the speaker ready room to preview your visuals and make any changes
  • Choose a natural, moderate rate of speech
  • Have notes, but use them sparingly—Don't write out your presentation on your slides and then read them
  • Keep an eye on your time
  • Give credit to others who contributed
  • Take care with body language
  • Pause during your presentation—it gives the audience time to catch up with you and digest what you are saying
  • Give of yourself—use personal examples and stories in your speech whenever possible
  • Stay relaxed