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Some General Points To Consider For

an Effective Seminar
Be Enthusiastic!

do not speak in a monotone voice


do not read your slides
gesture, move about (within reason)
look at and engage your audience
have fun and be yourself

Do Not Make your Audience Work.


speak clearly, loudly and slowly
speak to the audience NOT to your slides
make your slides simple and easy to read

Some General Points To Consider For


an Effective Seminar
Do Not Try To Cover Too Much Material
focus on the important information

Be Professional, But Not Reserved


treat audience with respect

Be Prepared and Organized


know your subject matter
come early

View Seminar as a Story to be Told


Use Your Nervousness Productively
be prepared
stay focused

A SEMINAR DESCRIBING THE METHODS,


APPROACHES, TECHNIQUES, STYLES AND
SKILLS FOR GIVING A SUCCESSFUL,
EFFECTIVE, PRODUCTIVE, INFOMRATIVE
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SEMINAR THAT
WILL ENABLE YOU TO SUCCESSFULLY
ADVANCED IN YOUR CAREER OF CHOICE,
GEARED TOWARD NEW GRADUATE
STUDENTS, FIRST-TIME and NOVICE
SEMINAR SPEAKERS
Robert Powers
Chemistry Department
University of Nebraska

GIVING A SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATION

David S. Hage
Chemistry Department
University of Nebraska

Seminar Outline
The Introduction Tell the audience what you are
going to tell them
Important Background Material
Give Overall Perspective Scientific Relevance (Big Picture)
Give All Audience Members Same Foundation

Bullet List of Important Topics (Table of Contents)


Use Throughout Highlight the Progress

The Main Body of the Presentation Tell them


The Conclusion Tell them what you told them

Summarize the Important/Main Points (Take Home Message)

KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK


WHEN PREPARING
What is the purpose of the seminar?

convey results
get Buy in for project
scientific review

Who is your audience?

general vs. expert

How much time do you have for your presentation?

good rule of thumb: two minutes of presentation per slide


20 to 25 slides for a 45 minute seminar

What materials should you use?

PowerPoint presentations are the overwhelming choice at scientific


conferences

have a backup!

What is the Purpose of Your


Seminar?
To Present Your Research?
To Review a Topic?
To Begin a Discussion?
*Use the purpose of the seminar
guide you in preparing for your talk*

Who is Your Audience?

Students?
Faculty?
Scientists in Your Field?
Scientists in a Different Field?
A General Audience?

*Choose materials and a level of discussion


that is appropriate for your audience*

How Much Time Do You Have For


Your Presentation?
How much material can be covered?
focus on the important issues

How much time must be used for an


Intro.?
give only background that is need to
understand content/relevance.

How much time must be left for


questions?
typically 5-10 minutes

*Always stay within your allotted time*

What Materials Should You Use?


35 mm Slides

Overhead Transparencies

PowerPoint Slides

Videotapes

Web Resources

Chalkboard/Wipe Board

*Choose a medium that fits with your time


slot, audience and subject matter*

General Rules for a Successful


Seminar

Know your subject


Be organized
Check the pronunciation & meaning of
unfamiliar words
Practice, practice, practice
*The better prepared, organized, and rehearsed you
are, the easier it will be to give your presentation*

Preparation of Seminar Materials


Use an Easy-to-See Size (NOT a Small One)
Use Clear, Contrasting Colors (NOT Loud or Similar
Colors)
Avoid Clutter or Too Much Material/Slide
Use Graphs, Figures, Animations, etc.
Check for Errors in Your Slydes
Always Acknowledge Outside Sources

SUMMARY

This is the last thought that you leave with


your audience, so make it good.

Use short statements to summarize the main


points of your talk.

Keep your points pertinent to your


presentation, rather than using this a chance
to add in new points.
*Leave the audience with a positive impression*

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

For a research presentation

mention those who contributed to the work discussed in


your presentation.

list all sources of pertinent funding.

Reference ALL Articles From Which Data is


Presented

usually on the same slide with the data

Thank the audience for taking part in your


presentation.

THE QUESTION & ANSWER PERIOD

Allow time for questions at the end of the seminar.


Be familiar with your material so that you can answer the
questions.

Treat all members of the audience who ask questions with


respect (even if they dont do the same).

Some questions may involve speculation. If they do, state


before you answer that this is what your doing.

Dont be afraid to say you dont know the answer or didnt


do the experiment.

Take criticism gracefully.