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Oral and Poster Presentations: Top Tips

By Barbara Gastel | Jan. 19, 2014

Greetings again. I hope that all is going well for you.

Earlier this month I had a challenging opportunity. A postdoctoral association at my university asked me to speak about giving oral and poster presentations, to help its members prepare for a research symposium.

As always, I was glad to speak to the postdoctoral association. However, there was a difficulty: The meeting was only an hour long, and part of the time would be spent on lunch and announcements. Thus, I’d have only about half an hour to talk.

When I give courses and AuthorAID workshops, I usually spend much longer on these topics. How could I discuss them in such a short time?

I decided to condense the material into 50 top tips. Some of the tips regarded both oral and poster presentations. Other tips regarded only one or the other.

Some examples of the tips on oral presentations are the following:

            9. Structure the talk largely as a story.

            11. Include much less detail than in a journal article.

            12. Begin and end strongly.

            25. Briefly repeat each question before answering it.

Here are examples of the tips on poster presentations:

            34. Unless required, don’t include an abstract.

            36. Don’t write the title in all capital letters.

            44. Where feasible, use bulleted or numbered lists (not paragraphs).

            48. Think ahead about questions you might be asked.

The PowerPoint presentation providing the tips is now in the AuthorAID Resource Library. I hope that some of you find it useful.

Until the next post—


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