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Oral Scientific Presentations “Thriving, Not Just Surviving, as a Scientist” Workshop Presented for Post-docs of Baylor College of Medicine Gayle Slaughter,

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Presentation on theme: "Oral Scientific Presentations “Thriving, Not Just Surviving, as a Scientist” Workshop Presented for Post-docs of Baylor College of Medicine Gayle Slaughter,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Oral Scientific Presentations “Thriving, Not Just Surviving, as a Scientist” Workshop Presented for Post-docs of Baylor College of Medicine Gayle Slaughter, Ph.D. Assistant Dean of Graduate Education

2 Types of Oral Presentations Lab meetings - variable length Journal clubs minutes Short scientific talks -10 minutes National meetings, retreats Research seminars - 50 minutes Job talks 50 minute seminar; chalk talk

3 Types of Oral Presentations Specific formats and strategies vary with type of talk, but principles are the same Think plan prepare practice, with feedback

4 Attitudes about Public Speaking The # 1 fear of people is…

5 Attitudes about Public Speaking The # 1 fear of people is… not snakes not roaches not even driving on the 610 loop

6 Attitudes about Public Speaking The # 1 fear of people is speaking in public Even experienced speakers get nervous sometime or every time Successful speakers are born, but also made Everyone can improve their effectiveness with assessment and practice

7 Conquering Fear of Public Speaking Keys to improvement: Guidance, practice, feedback Mentor, other faculty, students, post-docs Journal clubs, lab meetings, seminars Medically Speaking Toastmasters Tuesday at 5:30 pm at BCM, third floor Alkek Group that focuses on speaking in public Personal counseling: BCM has for employees (EPA)

8 General Structure of Successful Talks Tell them what you’re going to tell them Tell them Tell them what you told them Give an overview. Outline topics and goal(s). Present the information. Summarize the key points or conclusions.

9 I versus We There are times when you need to differentiate between what you have done and what a group has done The third person “we” is used in talks at national meetings where the science is the focus The first person “I” is used if you are presenting at lab meetings, seminars where your contribution is being assessed (job interviews) Always list collaborators in the last slide May mention collaborators in talk (easier if a long talk)

10 Titles for Scientific Talks Titles for talks or slides should convey punch line - the conclusion What is your aim(s) or the question(s) you are answering; the goal(s)? What is the most important thing you discovered? What overall conclusion can you draw?

11 Components of Scientific Talks What is the focus of your work, in general? What is the significance of the work? Background of lab or project What is your aim(s) or the question(s) you are answering; the goal(s)? May or may not be in hypothesis form

12 Components of Scientific Talks How did you approach the problem? May use word slide or a flow diagram to list general steps Avoid bogging down in the details of the procedure Give enough information people can appreciate your work how many variables did you test to optimize the assay? how many animals were tested? how many lines of computer code did you write?

13 Presenting Results Focus on strategy and/ or what is planned Show primary or interpreted data convince people your observations are valid example of data that yields results photos (with labeling), gels, data output Summarize observations graphs, tables, word slide Use statistics, if appropriate Explain results (walk people through results)

14 Components of Scientific Talks Finishing your talk in a memorable way What conclusions can you draw, if any? use short statements say the same words that are on the slide Include a model if appropriate Future directions What experiments would you propose to continue the work? (don’t give away too much)

15 Preparing a Presentation Planning is important, but… Don’t obsess or spend ridiculous amount of time Decide on key point(s). Build talk around it (them). Points to be covered will depend on the length Does not have to be in chronological order. Make the presentation logical and easy to follow. Acquire information that supports the point(s). Organize information in an effective way. Note cards, computer

16 Planning a Presentation Decide on visual aids. Depends on audience, information, budget, equipment, resources HandoutsChalk, marker board, flip chart PhotographsTransparencies PowerPoint Poster VideotapeMusic or audiotape Things; especially good with children

17 Planning a Presentation Produce an effective summary of information Word summaries (large font) Graphs (usually easier to read than tables) Pictures or graphics Model (beginning and end possibly)

18 Making Effective Figures Select right format to make the point Make as simple as possible to tell the story Use large, clear fonts (24-44 pt) Use effective color schemes Light on dark or dark on light Label areas or highlight (fonts, color) Be careful of overly busy backgrounds

19 Example of Short Scientific Talk (with notes attached) From dissertation research Conducted at Baylor College of Medicine Anjelica Gonzalez, Ph.D. SMART Program alumus Research tied for first place SCBMB Program Won Most Outstanding Ph.D. Award from the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies

20 3-D Leukocyte Migration in a Biomimetic Hydrogel System A. Gonzalez, A. Gobin*, Z.Demou*, J. West*, C. Smith, L. McIntire* Leukocyte Biology Dept., Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX *Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, TX

21 Cell Adhesion and Migration Cells must attach and migrate to accomplish many normal and pathogenic functions embryonic cells, cells that replace other cells, immune cells, cancer cells What molecules on the surface of cells are important for cell attachment and spreading? What components of the extracellular matrix are important for cell attachment and spreading?

22 Inflammatory Leukocyte Adhesion Cascade PMN Endothelium Extracellular Matrix 1. Chemokinetic stimulation causes activation and upregulation of integrins 2. Initial capture and transient adhesion occurs 3. Firm adhesion and shape change occurs 4. Finally, transendothelial migration Chemoattractants

23 Using Neutrophils as a Model for Cell Attachment and Migration Develop a tissue engineering model that will allow for testing specific neutrophil integrin/ECM (extracellular matrix) interactions Determine parameters involved in extravascular neutrophil migration

24 Parameters to Measure Use the 3-D automated tracking system and defined biomimetic hydrogels to quantify and simulate leukocyte migration: –Speed –Directionality and duration of motion –Turning frequency –Invasion depth

25 The Model Soluble chemoattractant: fMLF Adhesive sequences: 1) RGDS 2) fibrino-peptide  -chain 3) YIGSR PMN (Poly)ethylene Glycol Hydrogel Integrin Inhibitors: 1) Anti-CD18 (  2) 2) Anti-CD11a (LFA-1) 3) Anti-CD11b (Mac-1) 4) Anti-  1 5) Anti-  v  3 Hydrophilic, non-protein absorbant, easily maniputable

26 Polymerizable AcrylateGroup AdhesionLigand (Poly)ethylene- glycol == Adhesive peptide sequences : RGDS -ubiquitious TMKIIPFNRTLIGG -fibrino-  chain YIGSR -laminin = RGDS Example copolymer: Upon photopolymerization, PEG- peptide-diacrylate is crosslinked to form a hydrogel matrix = Methods for Forming Bioactive Hydrogels Polymerizable acrylate group (Poly)ethylene-glycol == = =

27 3-D Cell Tracking System The microscope chamber is maintained to 37°C and buffered at 5% CO2 for physiologic pH in the gels. The microscope is equipped with Hoffman Modulation contrast optics and a motorized stage that is computer controlled via an RS232 interface. Therefore, a sample gel mounted on the stage can be placed automatically at a series of desired X, Y, Z positions where images are acquired at 10X magnification. The heart of the system is a Pentium II IBM PC with Windows NT platform and the Optimas 6.2 image analysis software. Executed macros, written in the Optimas Analytical Language of Images, perform automatically: image acquisition, image analysis, cell trajectory reconstruction, and data analysis. The image analysis can be performed on or off line and CD back up is used for long term data storage.

28 fMLF Stimulated Anti-CD11a Antibody -+-- Anti-CD18 Antibody --+- Anti-CD11b Antibody ---+ PMN Adhesion on 1.4  Mol/ml TMKIIFNRLTIGG Blocked by CD18 and Mac-1 Inhibitors, but not LFA-1 * P<0.05

29 1.4  Mol/ml RGDS Anti-  1 Antibody Anti-  v  3 Antibody fMLF Stimulated PMN Adhesion on 1.4  Mol/ml RGDS Blocked by  v  3 and Combined  v  3 and  1 Inhibitors * P<0.05

30 Sample of Results (Poly)ethylene glycol alone causes low level of neutrophil adhesion PMN adhesion to RGDS is not b2 dependent PMN adhesion to fibrino-g chain peptide is Mac-1 dependent PMN adhesion to RGDS is largely dependent on avb3

31 Pointers for Perfect Presentations Write out the talk if… you have a tight time frame, you’re really nervous, it is a critical presentation Time the presentation. Eliminate time wasters Practice the talk To yourself; looking in a mirror; with someone else Revise talk to improve rough spots Prepare an easy to follow written format Use letters you can read

32 Presentation Skills Advance Preparation Get familiar with lighting, AV controls before talk Decide if you will sit, stand or use a podium Determined by size and style of audience Use a podium if… you are unfamiliar with material and need to refer to written text often you are very nervous and need a crutch

33 Mentally Preparing for a Talk Be aware of the type of mood you want to create: professional, convincing, reconciling Be aware of your mental status Match your mental status to the mood you need Relax if you need to be soothing Rev up if you need to be stimulating Visualize a successful presentation

34 Presentation Skills Speak clearly. Practice difficult words. Use an appropriate volume. Use pointers effectively; audience will not be familiar with your data Point to bands on gels, areas on photographs, etc Be careful to not overuse pointers Be careful of distracting mannerisms Detect by videotaping practice or getting critique

35 Connecting with the Audience Look at audience. Make eye contact with a variety of people; except if you are very nervous and it helps to look at one “friendly” listener. Avoid coming across as a snob or apologetic Don’t try to overwhelm audience with jargon

36 Answering Questions Usually the most nerve racking part of the talk Try to anticipate questions and prepare One of best ways is through practicing What questions do listeners ask? Repeat the question, especially if in a large room Answer the question asked Refer to slide, if necessary May return to a slide or have extra data slides

37 Handling Difficult Questions You don’t know the answer

38 Handling Difficult Questions You don’t know the answer Admit it, but frame in professional way The questioner is wrong about an issue

39 Handling Difficult Questions You don’t know the answer Admit it, but frame in professional way The questioner is wrong about an issue Politely state what you do know and why you believe it is true; your own work or others

40 Handling Difficult Questions You don’t know the answer Admit it, but frame in professional way The questioner is wrong about an issue Politely state what you do know and why you believe it is true; your own work or others The questioner is hostile

41 Handling Difficult Questions You don’t know the answer Admit it, but frame in professional way The questioner is wrong about an issue Politely state what you do know and why you believe it is true; your own work or others The questioner is hostile It’s not your fault; there is a history or problem Try to respond calmly get it over; may need to say, “Let’s discuss this after the presentation”

42 Chalk Talks Usually given when applying for a job; what will you do Less formal than seminar, but just as important Outline what you want to do without slides, only a “black, chalk, marker” board Need to organize your thoughts, plan how to draw, usually don’t have notes Practice before you present

43 Learning from Presentations You learn a lot from organizing your thoughts Often get ideas… that ou needed to do something differently for other experiments for how to relate your work to that of others for new lines of inquiry Get feedback - what can you improve related to science or presentation skills

44 Benefitting from Presentations Convey information to others Works both ways; may get ideas from other Start conversations that lead to ideas Create collaborations Inspire others to do great science


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