How to give a great oral presentation


So, your abstract has been accepted and you’re about to give an oral presentation at your first big conference. Here are some tips to help you present your research in the best way possible. You’re usually only given a few minutes
for an offered oral presentation So make sure to pick one key message and use your slides to get that across. It can be tempting to try and fit in all your research, but that can really muddy the message. Try to think about who will be in the audience so that you can pitch your presentation at the right level. Avoid busy slides. Make sure your slides are clear and concise so the audience can concentrate on you and not be distracted by lots of text. A good rule of thumb is one graph or diagram per slide. This allows your work to take centre stage, helps to drive your message, and provides a prompt for the next part of your story Don’t forget about the story. A good presentation will have a logical
flow. Set the scene clearly, but don’t spend too much time on the background. Timing is really key. Make sure you plan your presentation
so you can fit everything in, without finishing too early or rushing at the end. Practising should also help make sure
you don’t speak too quickly or ‘um’ and ‘err’ too much. Um… The presentation is not just about your slides. There will also be time to interact with your audience. Leave time for questions. Try not to be nervous about questions, they can lead
to really useful feedback on your work. Why not practise your presentation in front of some colleagues to get their feedback? This will help you refine your talk, and they might come up with some questions
you haven’t thought of. If you can, practise in a room similar
to the one you’ll be presenting in. This will get you used to giving your talk. On the day, you’ll probably be a bit nervous. That’s normal, and the nerves will disappear
once you get started. Make eye contact with your audience, and smile! Speak as clearly as you can so
that everyone understands you. Remember, you know more about the research
than anyone else in the room. YOU are the expert. Any questions are from people who are
interested in your work and want to know more. This is good! Make the most of the opportunity
to show off your research, and enjoy it! Good luck. [rapturous applause]

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