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Successful Oral Presentations How to present seminars effectively? –The easiest way is to know the ‘tricks of the trade’! Dr. Anne C. Crook Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Successful Oral Presentations How to present seminars effectively? –The easiest way is to know the ‘tricks of the trade’! Dr. Anne C. Crook Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Successful Oral Presentations How to present seminars effectively? –The easiest way is to know the ‘tricks of the trade’! Dr. Anne C. Crook Department of Zoology & Animal Ecology University College Cork

2 Seminar Tricks of the Trade Know the Audience –Who will you be presenting to? –This will determine the ‘pitch’ of your presentation –Are the audience fellow scientists? –Avoid being too technical/too simplistic –Plan your presentation to interest and stimulate your audience How large is the audience? –Will determine the medium you use for presentation (OHPs, slides, data projector etc.) –Will determine if you can give handouts –Will interaction work with a large/small audience?

3 Where does my talk fit in? –You should have a clear understanding of where your talk fits in with other presentations on the day –Who is talking before you? –Will there be other talks on similar or related topics? –This will determine the ‘pitch’ of your presentation What is the size and layout of the presentation room? –What equipment is available and do you know how to use it (if not, ASK!) –Practice your presentation in the room, if possible –The size of the room can be intimidating so prepare yourself beforehand by viewing the room in advance

4 Using the equipment –Make sure you know how to use the OHP/slide machine/data projector BEFORE your presentation –Not knowing how the audio-visual equipment works reflects badly on you! –If you are using a data projector in your presentation ensure you are not walking across the beam when you change slides –If using ‘mixed media’, practice the logistics in advance. Plan, plan, plan! Eye contact –DO NOT talk to your cue card, your feet or the back wall: address the audience! –When pointing out aspects of slides/OHPs, be conscious of where you are standing: try to avoid turning your back on the audience

5 Content: how much to include? –Choose a section of your research –Summarise your work –Avoid listing all of your results (a common mistake is to include too much text per slide/OHP) Start with an outline –Provide a title OHP or slide –Keep the presentation in a logical order (plan it well!) –Use Aims, Introduction, Methods, Results & Conclusions format End with conclusions –Ensure your seminar ends with conclusion(s) –Conclusions should reflect the results you have displayed –End with stimulating points that will cause the audience to think

6 Text on OHPs or slides –Text on OHPs/slides (including figures/graphs) should be legible from the back of the seminar room –No less than 24 pt. font should be used –Keep font standard throughout the presentation –Avoid using clashing colours: what looks good on-screen may look awful or not be legible when projected! –Place OHPs straight on projector! –Typographical errors are unprofessional Graphs & Figures –Should be legible from back of room –DO NOT put one up and remove it 3 seconds later! This is a common mistake……. –If you are using graphs etc. TAKE TIME to explain them (use a pointer)

7 Interest –Choose the ‘sexy stuff’ for your presentation: what will interest the audience? –Make use of colourful slides/ OHPs but ONLY if they are relevant! –A picture paints a thousand words……if used effectively! Citations –Don’t give nauseatingly long lists of authors on OHPs/slides –Choose the few that are the MOST important to illustrate your point Use cue cards, if necessary –Memorise or use ‘cue cards’ (numbered) –DO NOT read from cards - you are presenting a science seminar, not a bedtime story: make eye contact with your audience!

8 Your voice –Speak clearly –Ensure you can be heard at the back of the room (practice beforehand & ask someone to sit at the back of the room) –You may be provided with a microphone - if this is the case, practice speaking with it beforehand) –Try to avoid speaking too quickly: this will come with practice! Dealing with questions from audience –Most people dread this part…... –Questions are not aimed to catch you out –Try not to waffle: THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK! –Do not be afraid to turn the question back to the person who asked it if you don’t know the answer

9 Organisation –Poorly organised presentations reflect badly on you –Number your slides/OHPs so that you can keep track of your progress during your presentation –Ensure the seminar is delivered in a logical sequence: plan, plan, plan! Rehersal –Practice makes perfect but don’t over- rehearse as this can make you sound tired or bored on the day! –Nerves are perfectly normal, but try not to rush your presentation and be conscious of nervous mannerisms! Timing –Keep to time –Length will vary depending on context: plan, plan, plan!

10 Learn from others –Attend other presentations –Look at the good and bad points of other people’s presentations –Learn from other people Take Time –Communication skills are important, irrespective of whether you are planning a career in science……. –Use your time wisely to perfect these skills

11 What is wrong with this? For starters, the text is far too small……..can you read this at the back of the room?! Typographical errors are unprofesional ……anything wrong hear?! What is wrong with this figure?

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