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Chapter 1 - Preparing a Scientific Presentation

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/b978-012369452-2/50002-2
  • Communication


Publisher Summary This chapter explains the major points to remember while preparing a scientific presentation. It is important to identify the audience and understand what they want. Each seminar should be prepared for every individual occasion de novo, with the specific audience in mind. Communication is the key to an effective scientific presentation. The presentation should be looked upon as a dialogue with the audience and not as a monologue. To communicate scientific information effectively and maintain the attention of your audience, adhere to the old rule: Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you have told them. When preparing for a presentation, the allotted time must be divided and a defined number of minutes must be assigned to each section of the presentation—for instance, 10 minutes for the introduction, 30 minutes for the main body of the presentation, and 5 minutes to summarize and conclude. A rule of thumb is to keep the presentation at a length that is 80 percent of the allotted time and allot approximately 1 minute of the presentation for each PowerPoint image. When preparing a 45-minute presentation, making 45, or at most 50, PowerPoint slides is an ideal number. The presenter should dress keeping in mind the audience that is to be addressed. Accurate, complete, and well-phrased descriptions of scientific information portray the speaker as a knowledgeable and reliable source of information. In contrast, glib and inaccurate statements that are open to multiple interpretations elicit skepticism and distrust.

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