Presenting your research
Dissertation workshop for coursework postgrads
Dr Cheryl Lange
The Presentation Process
• 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?
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-
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
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
• ‘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
• visual aids
As part of your practice, don’t
forget to check out the room, the
equipment and the seating
• 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
• 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.
• 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
• 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
• 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