Erik Driessen – Pim Teunissen
to get speakers thinking about how to tell a compelling story from their research work.
Try to remember the last presentation that you attended as a spectator. The odds are good that this presentation was tedious, and that your thoughts wandered away as the presenter, positioned with his/her back to you, read from PowerPoint slides filled with text and raced the clock through the final batch of slides. Stroll through any convention center during an international meeting and this, sadly, is the bulk of what you’ll see.
Why do scientists persist in delivering boring presentations? Because we think that this is what is expected from a scientist. After all, this is how our supervisors delivered their presentations and it’s what we see when we go to meetings. ‘Rhetorically weak’ appears to be how we signal ‘scientifically credible’. We are afraid that a more simple and entertaining presentation will contaminate our scientific ethos with an aura of shallowness.
This workshop offers a selection of recommendations for both short and long presentations based on our own experiences as presenters and spectators; the experiences of the workshop participants; and the literature. We’ll use a combination of discussions and exercises to generate lessons about presenting your research. The workshop starts with a discussion of the characteristics of good presentations. After a brief summary of tips from the literature, we’ll practice presenting scientific work.
Think about an exceptional good presentation. What made this presentation stick in your mind?