The strenuous endeavour of undertaking your first postgraduate presentation will likely be something which will remain memorable to you for the rest of your life. In most cases the memories will be positive ones, reminiscing how effectively and concisely you have managed to project the importance of your message. It may have been with particular immediacy so that is instantly understood by everyone in the hall, or it may have been a particularly funny presentation which still makes you smile when you think about it.
However, some presentations are remembered for all the wrong reasons. As mentioned, it is stressful just preparing for your PhD talk, and delivering will not always help relieve all the stress which went with your work. Sweaty palms, shaking legs, eyes which wander aimlessly and a sudden stutter which is just not you.
It doesn't have to be this way, though. There are ways to ensure that you deliver a killer presentation so that only positive memories of it will remain etched in your mind. These are simple steps which everyone takes, and though they may seem common sense not everyone follows them. There have been entire books written on public speaking of course, but this is just about your PhD presentation. Read on to find out more.
Concisely Introduce Your Subject This will mean capturing your audience and introducting what you are going to be talking about. This is generally the same for every conference or public talk, and it is really no different in academia. The only difference, of course, is that you have to present your argument with clarity, coherence and concision.
Use Widely Accepted Academic Formulas At this stage, nobody should be telling you what these formulas for presentations are. Unravelling a theoretical framework, methodology and supporting literature employed in your research should be pivotal to your presentation.
It will entirely depend on your particular PhD and the area of research undertaken of course, but generally these formulas for presentations are the same. Make sure to plan ahead in terms of delivery so that the time frame for your talk is used effectively.
Making Matters Interesting Learn about mixing academic research with at least some entertaining aspects, in order to grab the attention of professors and audience. Even in the world of academic presentations talks should be at least somewhat entertaining, while being able to present all the facets of your compelling argument, original research and final conclusion.
One of the ways to make things interesting is by using technology, and this is entirely easier now that in a presentation which might have hypothetically taken place some time ago.
Using Powerpoint , slides, images, projectors or similar things may help towards capturing interest and being more communicative. You don't have to turn your presentation into a cabaret show, but supporting matters with technology will help.
Use your Nervous State Many performers are able to use their nerves in order to aid performance, and public speakers will tell you the same thing. A PhD researcher will of course have undertaken all necessary research with the required academic discipline, and advice like "research your topic" or "plan ahead" does not quite work. However, he or she may lack in terms of communication, particularly due to being nervous.
Using this anxious state to drive your presentation and project more will likely help you ultimately achieve a good talk.
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