A prized virtue among researchers is the ability to
give a good oral presentation in a short time.
As you may already know, giving a short talk
can often be more difficult than giving a longer speech
since you must cover so much in what always seems
an inadequate amount of time.
Many people imagine that the solution is to speak quickly;
however that is the worst possible course of action.
Your emphasis should be upon slowly explaining your idea
through diagrams, heuristics and (if absolutely necessary)
the occasional equation.
For reference, here are the key elements that should be considered
when designing a 6-8 minute presentation:
- Never present long mathematical derivations.
- Use diagrams and pictures to explain difficult concepts.
- Pace your presentation such that you do not use
more than one slide per minute on average.
- Slides should not contain a large amount of text.
You should provide the explanations -
do not read from your slides.
- Use titles and labels on every picture and number the equations.
- Stay focused upon the take-home message
of the presentation.
- Because the purpose of this exercise is to obtain
helpful feedback and suggestions on your proposal,
ask for it at the end of your talk,
and invite questions.
(If you want to give A TRULY TERRIBLE TALK, here are some
All presentations must either be Emailed to the designated TA or Instructor
as PowerPoint (.ppt),
OpenOffice (.odp or .sxi)
or (preferably) Portable Document Format (.pdf) files
the day before you are to give your talk,
no later than 6:00 PM.
You can also place your file in a Web-accessible directory
and give a link to the URL (see the bottom of the
Presentation Schedule page).
Let us know if you would like us to post it for you here instead.
Jess H. Brewer
Last modified: Mon Aug 11 10:51:52 PDT 2008