Things to keep in mind when preparing a talk:
1. "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly" Gypsy Rose Lee. Time is short. This does not mean you must hurry through your talk. Instead prune your material to the essentials. On average you should have no more than 1 slides per minute. Few will complain if your talk ends early. That is not the case if your talk goes too long.
2. Keep things simple. One rarely hears talks that are too simple. Talks that are too complex are common. Do not expect your audience to remember more than a few take home messages. Avoid jargon and abbreviations that are particular to your sub-field. Even if you define this jargon in a previous slide, you will be surprised how many listeners will have missed or forgotten them.
|3. Each slide should tell a unified story/theme.
4. There is no time in a talk for an extensive methods section. Mention only the essentials that you need to make the data understandable. You will be surprised how quickly a methods section is forgotten. In a paper the reader can flip back to be reminded. In a talk the listener cannot. A good way of avoid this is to intersperse the essentials methods just before the related data.
5. Repeat without seeming to repeat. A talk is like a string of Christmas tree lights. If someone misses one, the effect of the rest is lost. Repeat the essential facts throughout your talk. Remind the listener what the essential terms mean.
6. Being nervous is normal. Not being nervous is trouble.
7. Be honest. If something in the data puzzles you say so (but perhaps not too often). There are three types of people in the world.
At the very least, you will be moving up to category 2.
Copyright © 1995
Created 28 Sept 1995