PH220 INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH 1999

 

General advice to presenters:

1) AUDIENCE: The talk should be targeted toward an audience of undergraduate researchers. (Most technical articles are targeted toward grad students and Ph.D.'s; most popular science articles are aimed at general audiences, with little science background. Your talk should target an audience between the two.)

2) LENGTH: Your talk should be 12-15 minutes long, followed by 3-5 minutes of questions. As you give your talk, I will hold up 3 fingers to indicate that twelve minutes have gone by and you should wrap up in the next three minutes. After 14 minutes, I will "slit my throat" to indicate that you need to be concluding now.

3) CLARITY: Make your statements and logic clear to the listener. Use good English sentences and grammar. If one statement logically follows from another, or if data is evidence for a theory, be sure the listener understands these connections.

4) ORGANIZATION: Organize your talk in such a way that the listener can easily follow your train of thought. Pay attention to the organization principles suggested by the speech dept. Also, if you say up front where you're going, and summarize at the end, the listener is more likely to catch the ideas. Be careful not to repeat yourself too much, though -- this is a short talk!

5) SPECIFICITY: Your topic must be very specific to do it justice in 12 minutes. Do not try to explain all of a theory or invention. Focus on one feature or facet.

6) ACCURACY: Of course, what you say should be true and accurate in the current theory of physics. If a theory is still controversial, do not state it as fact.

7) VISUAL AIDS: Talks tend to be dry without some kind of visual aid. Any visual aids you use for your talk should be appropriate, important to your point, clear & simple, and clearly explained in words. I can make transparencies for you, but I will need to have the originals two days before your talk.

8) QUESTIONS: You should be prepared to give good clear answers to questions concerning your talk. Don't get so caught up in what you're going to say in your talk, that you aren't able to clarify things further if need be.

9) COMPOSURE: Compose yourself in a professional manner when giving your talk. Treat your audience with respect. Try not to distract the audience's attention away from your topic. Make eye contact.

10) VOICE: Speak loud enough to be heard by everyone, but not so loud as to be irritating. Use intonation and timing to provide interest, to give listeners an idea of the flow of topics, and to indicate what is of most importance.

ALSO NOTE: Your participation grade depends on your asking questions of each other!