Do you really want to give an academic presentation?
Many academics would love to be able to present their research to their peers at a conference or another venue. However if you have ever been to such a conference you will be aware that many of these presentations are putting it bluntly boring. Many academics fail to put enough effort into producing a presentation that is actually going to engage and keep the attention of their audience, so how are you going to ensure that your academic conference presentation gets the audience on your side?
Get the audience’s attention with your academic presentation
Reading a piece of research and having someone present it to you are two very different things. While you may have a really interesting piece of research and perfectly written paper that people will read from start to finish the way that you will present it at a conference needs to be very different. You have to keep the attention of your audience and that means not giving them information that they already know and boring them with information that they really do not want to know. So don’t go overboard with regards to discussing your literature review to provide where your research sits within your subject as a whole. Get straight to the main points and tell them what they want to hear, if they are really interested in finding out all of the background details then they can look them up after or read your paper. Also don’t spend huge amounts of time discussing how calculations are performed and why they were performed in a specific way. They are academics also and they will know already a lot of what you are talking about, they want to know what you found and why it is so important.
Use academic paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism in your presentation.
Your presentation should cover all of the following:
- Your introduction: ensure that you hook in your listeners from the start
- Your research question: what it is that you are going to prove or solve
- Your methodology: how you went about your research
- The background of your research: why is this important, where does it fit in your subject
- The results of your research
- What the analysis tells us
- Your final conclusions
Getting your academic presentation perfect
You will probably use a tool such as PowerPoint to generate your presentation, there are many software packages such as this that can help you to quickly and easily generate very impressive looking presentations. However you need to follow the following tips:
- Don’t just fill your slides with text that you then read to your audience: your slide needs to be a visual prompt (with some text if required) and what you say will explain and add to what is being shown.
- Text should be clear and in 24pt size to be easily read: it also prevents you putting too much information on one slide
- Use bullet points: there is no need for full grammatically correct sentences or paragraphs
- Ensure that a slide will provide at least one minute of speaking for your presentation
Remember our writing advice: once you have created your presentation practice delivering it many times to your peers and try to get as much feedback as you can on what you could improve.