I'm presenting at my first conference on Friday. I've been practising it and practising it.
I've got a nice powerpoint thing going on. Its about 15 slides and has the key quotes both from the text I'm discussing and also my key points - so these will pop up when I say them. I think it just makes it more engaging and visual.
I've got it down to now were I can almost say it without looking at my script and just flowing with the slides. But I'm sure it will be a different scenario on Friday.
Its the biggest cliche, but I just want to be natural, show my nervousnes if needs be, but at least be passionate and give it my best. Loads of eye contact, scanning the room, Tony Bliar-esque gestures, and pregnant pauses.
I am bricking it.
Well I went through my presentation with hubby, and have realised just how difficult it is to explain my analysis (which is the WHOLE study).
Will be putting quotes in this morning and practicing all day :-(
I was always told to use power-point slides as a memory aid rather than something the audience should be reading, so I tend to use few words on them. The last presentation I did was called 'chasing the rainbow' and was all about the research process. At the end I used the real round rainbow to illustrate that research is never ending like the rainbow - and that single image took ages to get right as of course all clip art pics of rainbows are arches, and the pics I had of real rainbows were not really clear enough and it was hard to turn one pic upside down and join them together without a line appearing in the middle! People commented on it though.:-), so it was worth it. Mind you, I also had lots of other things going on including a couple of experiments, mainly because the organiser had e-mailed me ensure I was going to include experiments as she was eager to learn some more science as I had included some in the last presentation she had attended ....so how could I refuse :$.
I hate going to presentations where people just read what is on the screen, one I went to recently was like that, plus the person had a lot to say so they were going really fast and it was very difficult to remember anything, and I like something I can have at least a fair chance of understanding.
I think it really depends on the purpose of the presentation, but the following points I feel are common no matter what the presentation is:
1) Good eye contact with the whole audience
2) Know you presentation well, no reading from scripts of slides (its boring to watch)
3) Understanding who you are presenting too (age, background, etc) and adjust the style accordingly i.e. presenting a subject to kids would be different to adults.
4) All presentations should have a beginning, middle and end. (tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you told them... I am sure you have heard that one before)
5) Dress appropriately
6) Allow time for questions
7) Avoid sending out props during a presentation, it is distracting for all
8) Humour is good, but not making a joke of someone else's expense or work
10) Using hands to emphasise important points (avoid being static), i.e. look at politicians present,
11) At the same time avoid pacing up and down, or slanting on one leg (it looks like you can't be bothered to be there)
I hope this helps :-)
thanks for the update LD. congrats!
My presentation went well too - I had a difficult question from another PhD student but gave him a very good answer (IMO) and he shut up and looked embarrassed.
There were a lot of young male PhD students deliberately picking apart peoples presentations. I'm not sure if it was because they were just a group of rude arrogant people looking to prove themselves or whether it was 'alpha male' behaviour i.e. a group of young blokes trying to fight it out, the setting being a small hall in a university rather than the masai mara.
I noticed that the more experienced/better academics are more likely to ask questions privately or make 'nice' suggestions/questions whereas these younger ones seem to want to embarrass you/challenge you in front of everyone, presumably to make themselves look better. Thankfully that didn't happen to me, mainly because they didn't; know my subject (up)
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