Presenter Tips for Technical Research Sessions
Preparing | Delivery/Rehearsal | Visuals | Additional 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
- 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
- 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