Now Presenting: Your Best Research Part 1

Part 1/3

by Sanae Ferreira

I’m a detail-oriented person, and I expect many of you are also. You have to be, to some extent, in order to be able to capture the tiniest of differences – which could be very significant – in the fluorescence images you look at, and to catch that wayward cell you’ve been looking for. It is also how seeming “mistakes” in experiments go from being crossed out disappointments to key inventions and discoveries.

I’m no expert on the matter of presentation, but I do like to practice. I attend many talks, of varying degrees of formality, and I take notes on what works and what doesn’t. In my last post (“Now Presenting: Your Best Self”) I highlighted the importance of being attuned to the way you communicate your self in addition to your research, because both come through and are partners in translating your message to your audience. I find the fluid science of making a great presentation to be quite fascinating.

For a class, a conference, or a lab meeting you are inevitably asked to give a presentation. It won’t matter if you’re shaking in your shoes at the thought of public speaking, but you can equip yourself with some tips and tricks to make your presentation effective and palatable to your audience. In the Nutrition & Metabolism program in Graduate Medical Sciences, we are required to take a course to train us in preparing and delivering a scientific seminar. I picked up some of my tips and tricks through that experience, but the course gave me a window of insight into a skill set that doesn’t always come naturally to people.

These are the Tips and Tricks I’ll cover in the next series of posts. The topics are intentionally simple and you may even say, intuitive. But the pointers underneath are all details that can help make this easier.

  1. Prepare the material
  2. Organize the talk
  3. Make it beautiful
  4. Edit yourself

These are some elements I’ve learned which are helpful to me, and I hope they will be to you too. If you’ve already got a system, I’d love to hear some dialogue on the topic and I’m sure your peers do too – so please feel welcome to comment below.


Next time: Part 2 of Now Presenting: Your Best Research, Prepare the Material & Organize the Talk