An Oral Research Presentation is meant to showcase your research findings. A successful oral research presentation should: communicate the importance of your research; clearly state your findings and the analysis of those findings; prompt discussion between researcher and audience. Below you will find information on how to create and give a successful oral presentation.
Who has a harder job the speaker? Or, the audience?
Most people think speaker has the hardest job during an oral presentation, because they are having to stand up in a room full of people and give a presentation. However, if the speaker is not engaging and if the material is way outside of the audiences knowledge level, the audience can have a difficult job as well. Below you will find some tips on how to be an effective presenter and how to engage with your audience.
Organization of a Presentation
How are you going to begin? How are you going to get the attention of your audience? You need to take the time and think about how you are going to get started!
Here are some ways you could start:
No matter how you start your presentation it needs to relate to your research and capture the audiences attention.
Preview what you are going to discuss. Audiences do not like to be manipulated or tricked. Tell the audience exactly what you are going to discuss, this will help them follow along. *Do not say you are going to cover three points and then try to cover 8 points.
At the end of your introduction, the audience should feel like they know exactly what you are going to discuss and exactly how you are going to get there.
Delivery and Communication
Making eye contact is a great way to engage with your audience. Eye contact should be no longer than 2-3 seconds per person. Eye contact for much longer than that can begin to make the audience member feel uncomfortable.
Smiling lets attendees know you are happy to be there and that you are excited to talk with them about your project.
We all know that body language says a lot, so here are some things you should remember when giving your presentation.
Having a written set of notes or key points that you want to address can help prevent you from reading the poster.
Sometimes when we get nervous we begin to talk fast and blur our words. It is important that you make sure every word is distinct and clear. A great way to practice your speech is to say tongue twisters.
Ten tiny tots tottered toward the shore
Literally literary. Literally literary. Literally literary.
Sally soon saw that she should sew some sheets.
Occasionally we pick up fillers that we are not aware of, such as um, like, well, etc. One way to get rid of fillers is to have a friend listen to your speech and every time you say a "filler" have that friend tap you on the arm or say your name. This will bring the filler to light, then you can practice avoiding that filler.
Many people get nervous when they are about to speak to a crowd of people. Below are ways that you can manage your anxiety levels.
The introduction section of your oral presentation should consist of 3 main parts.
Part 1: Existing facts
In order to give audience members the "full picture", you first need to provide them with information about past research. What facts already exist? What is already known about your research area?
Part 2: Shortcomings
Once you have highlighted past research and existing facts. You now need to address what is left to be known, or what shortcomings exist within the current information. This should set the groundwork for your experiment. Keep in mind, how does your research fill these gaps or help address these questions?
Part 3: Purpose or Hypothesis
After you have addressed past/current research and have identified shortcomings/gaps, it is now time to address your research. During this portion of the introduction you need to tell viewers why you are conducting your research experiement/study, and what you hope to accomplish by doing so.
In this section you should share with your audience how you went about collecting and analyzing your data
This section contains FACTS – with no opinion, commentary or interpretation. Graphs, charts and images can be used to display data in a clear and organized way.
Keep in mind when making figures:
Interpretation and commentary takes place here. This section should give a clear summary of your findings.
Why include References?
This section is used to thank the people, programs and funding agencies that allowed you to perform your research.
Allow for about 2-3 minutes at the end of your presentation for questions.
It is important to be prepared.
If you DO NOT know the answer to a question
PowerPoints and other visual aids can be used to support what you are presenting about.
Power Point Slides and other visual aids can help support your presentation, however there are some things you should consider:
Formula for number of visual aids: Length of presentation divided by 2 plus 1
example: 12 minute presentation should have no more than 7 slides.