Over at her blog, Notorious PhD shares tips for novice speakers who would like to give "a polished presentation." For one thing, she says, it's important to dress the part, no matter the venue. At many meetings, "you don't need to wear a tie, but you should at least tuck in your shirt," Notorious PhD says. It's also important to keep in mind that "your audience is a listening audience," she says; a 20-minute talk is generally the equivalent of 10 to 12 double-spaced typewritten pages, but fewer if it includes visuals that require explanations. It's best to make no more than three major points in a talk, she adds, as trying to squeeze more in can detract from your overall message. "Don't try to cram more in by simply talking fast. ... Remember, there will always be other conferences," Notorious PhD says. Finally, it's a good idea to practice your talk out loud and "ask a professor to read over your paper to avoid any basic inaccuracies that might undermine an otherwise good argument," she suggests. Should "things seem to be going south" during your talk, "don't signal defeat," Notorious PhD says; chances are, your audience is unaware of any issues "unless you make it clear ... that that's what's happening."
Keep it Simple, Speakers
Apr 05, 2011