Having seen many student presentations in recent years, I collected a few tips that might be useful to people who are about to give their first research talk to an audience.
- Presenting scientific work has elements of storytelling and rhetoric. Your presentation must appear like a coherent story with an opening, where you set the scene and you explain the background, a development, where you explain what you did and how, and a conclusion, where you explain what you will do in the near future and why what you did matter.
- Try to persuade the audience that your research is important and that it matters. Do not assume that everybody knows or understand why you did what you did. Explain your motivation at the beginning and very clearly.
- Start from the article/dissertation you wrote to organise the material in a linear way. Include an outline at the beginning of the talk and use breadcrumbs to remind the audience where you are (for example, add “discussion” or “results” to the slide heading).