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Sheena Chaudhari 497 April 15, 2019

TIPS for giving conference presentations


Conferences act as a platform where researchers create a professional network, learn new findings, find people to collaborate with and at the same time, venture into new research. The time that a presenter gets is not only for delivering the presentation but to create an environment where people feel interested, engaged and keen to participate in the discussion. All that being done, you are making the correct use of time.

Creating a good and effective presentation for your research is an important part to make your research meaningful. It is the way you present that will leave the mark. A well-delivered presentation will boost your confidence, create good career prospects and will leave you with a good network. Now, here are some tips that may help you in giving the conference presentation. It might be your first time or nth time of the presentation, but these tips will surely help you in delivering one of the best presentations.

Be confident

This is the first and most important point. If you have gained confidence, you have already won half the battle. Confidence often comes with experience but if you are a strong-headed person and hard work is your key then, nobody can stop you. It will gradually come with practice and will make you shine during the presentation.

The above-mentioned point is possible when it is backed by strong and relevant content. Create an engaging storyline that will cover all the important aspects of your research work. Include content that talks about how innovative your research is and not just the work that you have referred to. You are taking someone else’s time here so, ensure that they don’t regret it.

Take care of the time limit

Before starting to prepare the presentation, find the time slot every presenter will get. The time slot is usually divided into two parts: Presentation time and Question answer round. Get to know the time you will get for your part. Divide that time into slots, covering the relevant topics. Do not exceed the time limit. Cover the most important topics which you feel will show that your research is unique and something different.

One common statement that people usually make when they realize they have less time is, “Hey since I have only 20 minutes for the presentation, I’ll directly skip to the main content”. You are making a mistake here as the time duration was already known to you. You ought to keep only the main content here.

Use visuals

You can always use graphs, charts, images wherever possible since they convey a lot more than words. It becomes much easier for the audience to grasp what you are trying to say. But remember that the graphics should be clean, simple and easy to understand.

Rehearse alone

This might sound little boring but even great orators do practice before giving their speech. It is often an ignored activity. People usually prepare for all the other things except for rehearsing the presentation delivery. You should rehearse out loud in your room, in front of the screen or in front of your mirror to see your facial expressions and hand movements.

Another idea can be to record your video and show it to one of your friends for true review. You can also watch your video and understand your mistakes.

Keep the audience engaged

This is a basic rule where you need to show interest in your audience. Try to maintain eye contact with them so that they feel you are explaining to them. Keep your energy level high so that others don’t feel low. To keep the audience engaged, ask them if they have any questions. An interactive session will always help. Try using visuals to maintain interest. But do not use too deep diagrams otherwise it would confuse the audience.

Try to think ahead

Always be one step ahead and think of all the possibilities that may arise. Things might go wrong sometimes so, have a backup for that. For example, VGA Adapter might not work or your pen drive which contains the presentation might fall corrupt. Be ready for such situations, always keep a backup and do not panic.

Focus on Important topics

Identify the topics of utmost importance and lay more emphasis on them. Because of the time limit, try to prioritize the topics so that the important ones are not left behind. Include your methodology of carrying out the research, your experiments, findings, and outcomes.

Above all, just remember, no matter whatever be the size of the audience, give your best. Don’t feel sad about seeing less number of people and do not be over-excited on seeing lots of people. Remain calm, that number will not make any difference. And just give your best.

All the best!