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Presenting in the Sciences : A Guide

Quick guide with tips, examples, and resources on how to effectively present scientific information via posters and presentations

Coordinator for Scholarly Resources, Sciences & Engineering

Presenting in the Sciences

Some basic tips on Presenting Science - See Communicating with non-Scientists for even more fun tips!

  • Be prepared: The more prepared you are to present the more comfortable and organized you will be
  • Know your topic: Make sure you are comfortable with the topic and can speak with authority
  • Know your audience: Tailor your presentation based on the expertise and interests of the audience. 
  • Be professional: Dress nicely, show-up on time, be courteous
  • Be respectful: Show up on time, do not be demeaning, and never argue with an audience member
  • Prepare your audience: Provide an outline on what you plan on presenting
  • Use visuals: Ensure that each slide has at least one visual and explain why you are using that visual. 
  • Be enthusiastic: Don't let the audience think you are bored by your own research. 
  • Engage the audience: Have the audience ask questions, provide comments, and offer solutions. 
  • Reflect and evaluate: Did people have questions? Were they falling asleep? Always try and improve. 
  • Use text sparingly: Avoid small or fancy font. Keep text at a minimum. Use visuals instead of text when possible. 
  • Do not read your notes: Good speakers can speak about their topic without reading from a paper. Reading also prevents you from making eye contact. 
  • Include references: Adds support to your research and presentation

McConnell, S. (2011, Jan 13). Susan McConell (Stanford): Designing effective scientific presentations. Retrieved September 15 2014 from

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