Very handy! Preparing an oral presentation for an academic audience

Original source:

In this website you will find a series of tips to help you prepare an excellent oral presentation. Although it is aimed at doctoral students, it contains useful advice for the academic community as a whole. Here is a summary, however, do not miss the original link as the tips are much more developed and also serve to practice English.

How to prepare a good power point?

This resource continues to be current and very useful. Some tips to create a good visual support are:

– Simplify, it is not necessary to transmit too many main ideas.

– Less is more: don’t recharge with different fonts, use double spacing, no more than five ideas per slide, avoid excessive use of colors and the not-so-useful animations.

– Keep in mind that among the audience there may be people with visual difficulties, do not make it difficult with the slide backgrounds, the simpler and clearer the better.

– The power point is a support; it doesn’t contain all the information. You give the information!

Content of the power point and number of suggested slides per section

As we’ve said before, these tips are geared towards doctoral candidates – take it and make it yours!

– Title, theme (1 slide)

– Problem and justification for the research (between 1 and 2 slides)

– Review and possible contributions to literature (1-4 slides)

– Objectives, question, hypothesis (1 slide)

– Methodological aspects (between 1 and 5 slides)

– Summary or statement of proposed results – optional – (1 slide)

Practice the presentation

Use the stopwatch to control time; record yourself to see and hear yourself; give the presentation to your family, friends, colleagues…

The day of the presentation

Before giving the presentation

– Arrive early and, if you can, take a look at the room to familiarize yourself with it.

– Introduce yourself to the table moderator and tell them how your name is pronounced and any other useful information to introduce yourself in front of the audience.

– If you can check beforehand that your presentation looks good, so much the better!

– Bring your own water in case you don’t get it from the organization.

– The notes are there as a precaution, don’t read them.

During the presentation

– Show confidence, enthusiasm, smile!

– Speak to the audience, maintain eye contact and take into account your voice: volume, speed, clarity…

– Avoid as much as possible the “mmm”, “eemm”, “eeeh” …

– Don’t apologize if you think you’re not well prepared, don’t mention it!

– Stick to your allotted time.

Anxiety Management

This section is especially interesting on the web, do not miss it. In it strategies for the success of the presentation are shared, such as, for example: prepare yourself well and be yourself, as well as a series of relaxation exercises that can be very useful and, moreover, are not complicated at all (muscular relaxation, control of breathing, control of thoughts, construction of a positive imaginary).

Question Time

– If you don’t understand the question, ask for clarification.

– Consider repeating the question to make sure that the entire audience has listened.

– If the question is intimidating or hard to answer, you can say “it’s something I’d like to think about.”

– If there’s an aspect or angle you’re asked about, but you haven’t investigated, you can answer, “It’s not something I’ve analyzed yet, it’s something I’d like to explore in the future.

– If someone is being especially insistent, you can tell them to continue talking after the presentation or session.

– Don’t get defensive, keep a diplomatic attitude.

– It’s okay to say: “I don’t know”, “I don’t know”, “I’m not sure”…

After the presentation

– Relax, enjoy, be proud!

– Take the opportunity to network (bring business cards to share)

– Think about what you can improve for the next time, without being too critical of yourself.

Above all, don’t forget to visit the website. This is just a brief summary: