05 Presenting your research

					Presenting your research
Dissertation workshop for coursework postgrads

Dr Cheryl Lange
The Presentation Process

     Timing tips

• Find out how long the
  presentation will be
• Ask yourself:
      – How much of the topic area
        can I cover?
      – How much detail can I
      – What can I leave out?
      – What is the most effective way
        to present information?
•   http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au/onlib/tutsem.html

    Note on your notes where                      Allow roughly 400 words for
    you should be at 5 mins, 15                   each five minutes.
    mins, 20 mins, etc.
Plan your opening remarks
• Establish rapport from the beginning.
   – Look around the whole room, make eye contact.

• Start with a controversial statement, a quotation, an
  anecdote, a question or a ‘show of hands’ that will attract
  interest and direct attention to your topic.
   – Some examples:
       • Three out of five people in this room will be affected by heart
       • Who can guess roughly how many people drive to work each

Avoid telling a joke unless you are an accomplished stand-
                        up comedian

After your opening remarks
• state your purpose, e.g.
   – ‘I’m going to talk about...’
   – ‘This morning I want to explain…’
• provide necessary background information or a definition
• present an outline of your talk, e.g.
   – ‘I will concentrate on the following points: First of
     all…Then…This will lead to… And finally…’
Body – developing the main points

Try the following.
• Have a clear organising principle,
  e.g. order of importance, theme,
• Situate your work or theories or
  methodology within the broader
• Use verbal signposts to indicate
  different sections, e.g. Another
  point is…, In contrast…
• Introduce supporting evidence
  and providing examples, e.g. Raj’s
  research supports this view.
• Signal new points, e.g. First…,
Body - additional tips
It’s harder to follow an oral presentation than to read a text.

• Use visual aids to make our
   – Show as well as tell.

• Tell your audience when a point
  is particularly important.
   – Tell them why it’s important.

• Think carefully about how you will conclude.
• Signal the beginning of the end with a phrase like, ‘In
• Restate your purpose and summarize the main points.
• Finish with a clear, strong message.
• Conclude with a statement like, ‘It should now be clear
• Invite questions.
          Don’t finish weakly with e.g. ‘That’s it’ or
                      something similar
 Finding the right words

• The language you use in an oral presentation should be less
  formal than what you would write but not so informal that it
  sounds like you are chatting with friends.

  • ‘Seriously, this method
    totally works.’
  • ‘I’ve found this method
    works well for the
    subjects I’m working with.’
  • ‘The methodology was
    sound and had been
    previously tested on these
Practice is essential
There is no substitute for

It helps you fine tune your
• notes
• logic
• timing
• volume
• pace
• visual aids

As part of your practice, don’t
forget to check out the room, the
equipment and the seating
Body language

• Breath deeply and slowly, exhale
  before you say the first word.
• Be enthusiastic. Show the audience
  you care about your topic.
• Use gestures to emphasise points.
• Adopt an open, relaxed stance.
• Vary your pace and intonation.
• Keep your body language open and

• Use your powerpoint slides to help you
  remember key points.

• Don’t read word-for-word from a script or
  from slides.

• Use a ‘clicker' to move from slide to slide.

• Speak clearly and at a moderate pace.

• Pause before and after key points.

• Make eye contact with all your audience.
Things to avoid

Presenter mannerisms that irritate most
people in an audience include:

• lack of eye contact.

• turning your back on the audience.

• standing in front of the projector

• not having the slides in the right order.

• standing perfectly still.
                                              Adapted from
• looking at the powerpoint screen or         http://www3.surrey.ac.uk
  prompt cards, not at the audience.          /Skills/pack/presedit.html
 Evaluation leads to improvement
• After your presentation, reflect on
  your performance.
• Ask a trusted friend for feedback.
   – Did your introduction ‘grab’ the
   – Was your material well organised?
   – Were your main points
   – Was your conclusion strong?
   – Did you speak in a clear, audible
     and expressive voice?
   – Did you have a natural, open
   – Did you use appropriate gestures?
   – Did you make eye contact with
     audience members?
• Drop in 1pm-2pm daily during teaching weeks
   – Reid Library - Mon, Wed, Thurs
   – Science Library – Tues, Fri

• Writing Clinics Tues and Fri 10 am – 12 noon
• Generic study skills workshops Mon – Thurs usually between
  11am - 2pm
• Individual consultations – make your appointment and submit
  your draft at least 2 days prior to when you want your
• Contact details
   –   Phone: 6488 2423 - Student Support Reception
   –   www.studysmarter.uwa.edu.au
   –   study.smarter@uwa.edu.au
   –   www.lace.uwa.edu.au
   –   cheryl.lange@uwa.edu.au

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