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Research report preparation and presentation.ppt

Apr 13, 2018

Effective Oral Presentations

The following module provides suggestions and guidelines for creating effective oral presentations.

Learning Objectives


Oral presentations, particularly at academic conferences, provide researchers and faculty another way to disseminate their work.  It is important that presenters be able to deliver their results and ideas in a clear, concise and logical way.  Disciplines may vary a bit, but overall the following guidelines will help ensure the presentation is a success:

Prepare  -  An academic presentation is not the time to "wing it" and there is no substitution for adequate preparation.  Most importantly, know your topic.  Become an expert on your topic and it will boost your confidence level.  Then use the following tips to prepare an effective presentation that will demonstrate your knowledge to your audience and lend credibility to your talk.

Know Your Audience -  Learn about your target audience.  Find out about their knowledge of the subject and their backgrounds.  What do you think they are hoping to get out of your presentation?  Use that information to ensure that your presentation is at the appropriate level and that the presentation is on topic.

The Content -  The content of your presentation should have a logical flow, much like your research paper which has an introduction, body and conclusion.  Your subject matter is best conveyed through a clear, concise presentation.  If you try to provide too much information, the take home message will not be remembered and will get lost in the details.  Often, less is more.  For example, 10 minutes of the history of something may not really be pertinent and necessary and may result in losing your audience.  In regards to getting the audience to understand and remember your main focus, it is helpful to preview the talk at the beginning and tell them exactly what you will be covering.  Then cover the points and finally re-cap them in the conclusion.  The repetition is helpful and keeps you on target.

Visual Aids -  Visual aids can be an excellent tool to enhance a presentation.  However, visual aids must be used sparingly and should not overwhelm the audience, and thereby detract from what you are saying.  A useful rule of thumb followed by many presenters is to have no more than one visual for each minute that you are talking. For example, if you using PowerPoint, the one slide per minute rule serves as good guideline when creating your presentation.  For other rules and guidelines for using PowerPoint in your presentations, please see the resources on this page.  Other types of visual aids may include photos, posters, videos, graphs, diagrams, and charts.  All visual aids should be simple, clear and focused and should support the main points of your presentation.  They must be uncluttered and easy to read. Excessive use of color, animation, sound effects, and so forth is distracting and should be avoided.

Handouts -  Handouts provide structure and allow the reader to "take home" the take home message.  Handouts should not be more than 1-2 pages and should include your name, contact information and a short summary of the presentation at a minimum.  Handouts may also provide supplemental information, references, a glossary of terms or other types of useful information for audience members.

The Presentation and Delivery -  Following is a list of important guidelines and tips regarding the delivery of the presentation:

 Provide Acknowledgements -  Be sure to appropriately acknowledge and thank those that have contributed to your work.  This should be built into your presentation.

Notes on Nerves -  Nervousness is a normal part of giving a presentation.  Accept it and plan for it.  A certain level of nervousness is a positive in that it provides adrenaline which will heighten your senses and have you thinking clearer.  Once you get into the presentation, the nervousness will likely subside to a degree.  Remember that the more knowledgeable you are about your topic and the more you prepare, the more confident you will appear and the presentation will be more effective.  A good presentation will give you a boost of confidence for your next presentation!

For additional information on how to create and give an effective oral presentation, please see the following YouTube video:   

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Posters & Oral Presentations

Good scientific research involves a sound methodology and a novel idea that can be tested simply and repeatedly to give valid, trustworthy results. However, even the most clinically significant research is useless if it is not communicated successfully. Scientific ideas are novel, sometimes simple in theory, but most always complex in technique. These attributes of research make it necessary to use all available means of presentation. The most common media for scientists to communicate with the general public is primary journal articles. However, posters and oral presentations are also affective because they allow scientists to be in direct contact with their audience. This provides both parties an opportunity to ask pertinent questions to add clarity to the work being presented.

A poster is an exciting way for scientists to present their research. It, just as a primary research article, includes all aspects of the scientific method. A title that is brief, but specific, an abstract, an introduction, material and methods, results, and a conclusion are some headings that can appear on a poster. Also, references and acknowledgments are sometimes are included. A poster is different from a written manuscript or an oral presentation because it is mostly graphical. As such, it is important to design a poster that is visually pleasing by focusing on charts, graphs, and pictures and minimizing lengthy introductions and discussions. Highlighting all significant information with the use of bullets is essential because if further explanation is needed the audience will simply ask for it.

Oral presentations are yet another avenue for scientists to share their findings with the world. Although it can be challenging to present years of works within fifteen minutes, oral presentations can be a rewarding experience because you are the only one front of an audience whose attention you know have. Of course this emphasizes the need to speak clearly and concisely with choice words that engross the audience. Again, just as with written manuscript and posters the format of oral presentations can also vary, but essentially it must include logical, easy-to-understand events that are presented in a matter with respect to the scientific method.

Electronic Resources

Poster Presentation

This is an excellent site that covers all aspects of a poster presentation from creating a poster to presenting one. It also provides several examples with critiques for each sample. Lastly, it has a quick reference page with helpful tips for delivering a successful poster presentation.

Oral Presentation

This site is cited by the NIH and is quite useful when designing an oral presentation. It addresses all aspects of a scientific talk from planning and preparing to practicing and presenting. It is brief and easy to follow with helpful tips on how to prepare for the question/answer session.

Document Resources  

Scientific Poster: Tips, Significance, Design, Templates and Presentation

This document provides tips and temples for designing a poster presentation. It also discusses the significance of a poster presentation and includes a section that gives advice on how to present successfully.

Oral Presentations: Tips, Significance, Design, Guidelines & Presentation

This document provides tips and guidelines for designing an oral presentation. It also discusses the significance of an oral presentation and includes a section that gives advice on how to present successfully.

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