Overview n Giving a good talk is an essential skill for researchers and instructors. n You want feedback on your data or ideas, so put them across well. n Conferences are fun - if you give your talk well. n It ’ s all a game. Learn the rules and you ’ ll enjoy it more.
Topics in This Presentation n The Talk Itself n The Discussion n The Slides n For the Audience n For the Chairperson
The Talk Itself - General n Paint a big picture first, then zoom in on your little pixel. n Impress by in forming, not per forming. n You know more about the topic than most of the audience. Get down to their level. n Avoid jargon, be colloquial, but be precise. n A short relevant joke is great. Anything else is tedious. n Never apologize.
[Down Under joke]
The Talk Itself - Preparation n Rehearse! n Check that your slides are in the right order and orientation. n Check out the controls for the lights and projector. n Tap the microphone. n Check the pointer.
The Talk Itself - Delivery (1) n Relax … Who will care in 100 years time? n Don ’ t read out the title if the chair has. n Avoid trivial opening remarks. Get on with it. n Don ’ t read the talk verbatim! Ad lib it from notes of the main points.
The Talk Itself - Delivery (2) n Speak slowly, loudly, clearly. n Keep your mouth near the microphone. n Keep facing the audience. n Make eye contact with as many people as possible. n Avoid verbal or postural mannerisms that distract or annoy.
The Talk Itself - Delivery (3) n Avoid long quotes on a slide, and don ’ t read them out verbatim. n Point to detail on a slide as you explain it. n Explain the axes of a graph. n Don ’ t go over time. n Don ’ t finish with “ any questions? ” n Finish with “ thank you. ” Then flick up a black slide, especially with PowerPoint.
The Talk Itself - Using Hardware (1) n Control the light pointer. Use both hands to limit shaking. n Don ’ t use the blackboard or whiteboard during the talk. n For long intervals between slides, put the lights on, and turn off the projector or have a black slide.
The Talk Itself - Using Hardware (2) n Two projectors are for experts. n Run different media in series, not in parallel. n Make sure a video is ready to go with the touch of ONE button.
Question Time n Make the most of it - you usually get helpful suggestions. n Prepare answers for some questions. Use a stooge to ask them. n Have extra slides ready. n Be thankful and polite - employers and reviewers may be in the audience.
The Slides - General n Use 35 mm or PowerPoint at conferences. n Take a backup copy of PowerPoint slides. n Use OHP transparencies only for local seminars and last-minute ideas or data. n Think simple. n Use BIG standard fonts. n Run a spelling check. n Avoid irrelevant slides of athletes.
[Sport vs science joke]
The Slides - Content n Title: include collaborators and funders. n Next slides: e.g. background, research question, methods, results, summary. n Don ’ t waste a slide on the above list. n A relevant joke slide is OK. n How many slides? Count on about 1-2 minutes per slide. n Use duplicate slides rather than back track to a previous slide.
The Slides - Tables and Figures n Never copy them 1:1 from a paper. Enlarge or redraw. n Include a title. n Use a bare minimum of digits. n Include SDs, not SEMs. n Use * and * * rather than P values. n Avoid test statistics ( t, F, ).
sprintendurance females age (y)22 ± 426 ± 5* height (cm)172 ± 8171 ± 8 height (cm)172 ± ± 8 weight (kg)66 ± 763 ± 6* males age (y)19 ± 425 ± 4* height (cm)180 ± 9177 ± 9 height (cm)180 ± ± 9 weight (kg)73 ± 867 ± 8* N = Data are mean ± SD. Characteristics of athletes in sprint and endurance sports
OOOBBB MMMMMMM SSSSS PPPPPP exercise time (min) M - map reading test - map reading test P - Peripheral vision test - Peripheral vision test S - Stroop color-word test - Stroop color-word test B - blood lactate assay - blood lactate assay O S S - oxygen uptake assay - oxygen uptake assay Protocol for study of cognitive function in orienteers S
The Slides - Graphs n Use graphs in preference to tables. n Use the right kind of graph for the data. n Label individual lines or bars rather than use a key. n Use a bare minimum of ticks and numbers on axes. n Use LARGE symbols on plotted points. Vary symbol shape for the colorblind. This: Not this:
Effect of drug or placebo on maximum oxygen uptake during 16 weeks of training Data are means and SDs. drug placebo * * base-line drug or placebo time (weeks) maximumoxygenuptake (ml.min -1.kg -1 )
Reaction time of novice and elite athletes in three phases of training reaction time (ms) 80 build-up taper pre-season * † novice elite build-up Data are means and SDs.
For the Audience n Get there on time. n Don ’ t snigger at foolish speakers. n Don ’ t annoy your neighbour. n Make your questions pithy, and don ’ t show off TOO much. n Ask a simple question: the answer will help other people understand.
For the Chairperson - At the Start n Check out the hardware beforehand. n Meet the speakers and arrange a signal to let them know when time is up. n Introduce yourself and the session. n Name the speaker and read the title. n Eulogize the big shots. n Say when questions can be asked. n Fix any problems during the talk.
For the Chairperson - At the End n Warn speakers when time is nearly up. n Lead the applause. n Invite questions if time permits, or ask people to meet the speaker afterwards. n Have a question ready in case no-one asks any. n Finish the session with thanks to the speakers and lead more applause.
In Conclusion... n Be obsessional! Give it your best shot. n Be creative - break the rules sometimes. n Will it help get the message across? Yes:Do it.Yes:Do it. No:Drop it.No:Drop it.