Science Conference Presenter Tips
You may have the information and
the POWER but does the audience get your POINT?!
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- Record yourself doing a presentation. Watch it and ask friends
or family for an honest critique.
- Learn what your nervous motions are so you can curb them.
- Load your presentation and test it on the playback computer
well before your presentation.
- If you are using your own computer make sure you have enough
cables and connectors to handle most AV situations!
- Regardless of how powerful your message is, you still need to
engage and entertain the audience with energy, humor, and a
- Share your enthusiasm for your topic with the audience.
- Watch your audience to see if they are following, or even
- Consider that some of the audience may be students, guests, or
spouses so try not to talk too far over their heads.
- Don’t point all over the screen for no reason with a laser.
- Don’t read every word on your slides verbatim. The audience is
already doing that. Spoken words should add to what is on
- Don’t show page after page of text paragraphs, especially when
the font is tiny.
- Don’t talk to the screen. Face the audience and talk to them.
- Don’t try to present your entire project/thesis in the short
time allotted. You must only give highlights and conclusions.
- Never point a laser at the audience.
- Avoid being monotone.
- Use your hands and body language.
- Graphics should be colorful and fill the screen.
- Backgrounds should be subtle.
- Wear lavalier microphones about 6 inches below your chin, on
your lapel or tie. Don’t let the cord dangle where you might
knock it off.
- Keeping the microphone closer to your mouth reduces feedback.
- Don't stand right under a ceiling speaker since that often
causes audio feedback.
- Use animations, movies and video where appropriate but don't
just add them because you can. Animation should highlight a
point, not distract from it.
- Make sure all of your file types are compatible with the
computer that your presentation is on.
- When having someone advance the slides for you don’t keep
saying “next slide.” Simply make eye contact with the person and
nod your head.
- Turn off your ringer on electronic devices and ask the
audience to do the same.
- Ask audience simple questions to keep them engaged.
- Leave time for questions at the end.
- While your images may look great from two feet away on a
computer screen, they lose quality for a viewer in the middle of
a room. View your slides on a computer monitor from ten feet
away to get a sense of what the audience will see.
- Use bold, simple fonts with colors that set them apart from
- Graphs with multiple parameters will benefit by layering the
parameters on one at a time, slide by slide.
- Make sure graphs and charts have large, clear legends.
- Prepare for the worst case scenario where the AV equipment
fails. Have a plan "B" which is at least a hard copy of your
- Have fun, enjoy your own presentation. If you can't, the
audience can't either!
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