10 tips for the 10-minute conference presentation

By Elizabeth Saewyc

You’ve spent months on your research, but have only 10 minutes to present it to the world. Yikes! But, fear not! There are some easy, practical ways to make it memorable.

In a striking back-to-back comparison showcased in the video below, I give a standard 10-minute research talk riddled with features that characterize too many dry scientific presentations. You’ll nod your head as you recognize them from your own and colleagues’ past efforts. Then watch, as I transform the same material in a subsequent presentation that showcases the potential of strong science communication to bring research alive with a little preparation. And no, we’re not talking about animating your slide deck. This is about the power of words to truly communicate research.

RESEARCH TOOLBOX; 10 Tips for a Dynamic 10-Minute Conference Presentation from UBC Nursing.

 

My top 10 tips are:

  1. Aside from the “I have nothing to disclose” statement, don’t start by thanking by name all the people on your first slide (your co-authors). Instead, say good morning or good afternoon, whichever is relevant, then start your presentation with a bit of dramatic statement – either the scope of the issue, something people don’t normally think of, something that sounds contrary to what people normally believe but hints at your results, or at least makes it clear why this research was needed. It’s a way of being compelling and catching attention, it projects confidence and draws people in. Not humour, though, that’s hard to pull off.
  2. The slides should illustrate your presentation points, not be your presentation. They should have no more than 3-4 points per slide, in phrases, not sentences, and no more than two lines per point (preferably one). Use bar charts or graphs or pictures where you can, with limited words.
  3. Don’t read the slides, make the points with slightly different words, and expand on them a bit.
  4. Speak slowly, way, way slower than you think you need to – we will always talk faster during a public speaking situation, so it’s important to speak slowly and clearly, especially since there will be people who have English as a second language in the audience, and are likely jet-lagged. Most of us speak at 120 words a minute, so that means, for a 10 minute presentation 1200 words max. Write out your script so that you have exactly those many words—the minute you digress, you run over time.
  5. Don’t be afraid to make a short statement with a bar chart or table on the slide, like “As you can see from this table, Southeast Asian girls reported poorer mental health than boys,” and then fall silent for a bit, letting people absorb the info before you switch to the next slide (this can heighten the drama/attention, and makes you look very polished and confident–even if you’re counting in your head how long to wait before you switch the slide and speak again!).
  6. Never, ever say, “okay, I know you can’t read this, but…” If it’s unreadable, too many lines, too small font, or too busy a table or figure, do not include it. Come up with a different way to convey the key points, because the minute you apologize for your slide, you’ve lost them.
  7. Avoid swooping transitions, nifty animations, cutesy cartoon graphics, and wild shifts of colour or font; anything that might make your audience seasick or dizzy won’t win you respect or attention.
  8. Remember to put in the “so what?” conclusion, or a concrete couple of clinical implications–or go back to your dramatic opening statement and bring it into the ending. If you’ve paced yourself with your 1200 words or fewer, you’ll have time to give the final punchline of what we should do now, or what we know now, because of this work.
  9. Say thank you! But don’t say, “I’d like to thank my supervisor, my committee, my colleagues, my family, my carpool, my dog…” and don’t mention the funding source, even if it’s listed on your last slide as an acknowledgment. Leave it for people to read during questions.
  10. Wear something bright red–a scarf, a tie, a blouse, a pocket handkerchief, a jacket, a dress; it draws the eye, enhances their alertness, and will help people find you afterwards to tell you what a fabulous job you did on your presentation, and what they liked about your study, or ask another question about it.

 About Elizabeth Saewyc

Elizabeth SaewycElizabeth Saewyc, PhD, RN, FSASHM, FCAHS, is Professor and Associate Director of Research & Teaching Scholarship, and heads the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre. http://www.saravyc.ubc.ca/

45 responses to “10 tips for the 10-minute conference presentation”

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you. i found it helpful.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks, some great suggestions.

  3. Kartikay GArg

    Fantastic and Crisp…Thank You..:)

  4. scientist

    Useful tips. Thanks

  5. Anonymous

    Thank you for this.

  6. Vel

    Haaa Love this!!

  7. Anonymous

    very helpful thanks

  8. Rozina Somani

    Very practical strategies, I really like it.

  9. mia pron khalifa

    ixRwsp wow, awesome blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  10. scooter braun

    to some friends ans also sharing in delicious.

  11. IVF treatment in Thailand

    It as difficult to find knowledgeable people in this particular subject, however, you seem like you know what you are talking about! Thanks

  12. IVF treatment in India

    Wow, great blog article.Thanks Again. Want more.

  13. Breast

    Looking forward to reading more. Great article.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  14. Anonymous

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to
    generate a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a
    lot and never seem to get anything done.

  15. https://taean-krmassage65.blogspot.com

    I’m excited to find this great site. I need to to thank you
    for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to
    check out new information on your site.

  16. https://JejuIsland-kropmasasage4.blogspot.com

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am having troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t understand why I cannot subscribe to it.

    Is there anyone else having similar RSS issues?

    Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  17. https://Georgia-kropmasasage0.blogspot.com

    Admiring the dedication you put into your site and in depth information you present.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t
    the same outdated rehashed information. Excellent read!
    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds
    to my Google account.

  18. https://Rachael-anteater.blogspot.com

    Every weekend i used to visit this web page, as i want enjoyment, since this this web site conations really nice funny data too.

  19. https://tortoise-Willa.blogspot.com

    It’s remarkable to pay a quick visit this site and reading the views
    of all mates about this post, while I am also zealous of getting experience.

  20. https://Bear-Jennie.blogspot.com

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.

    I will remember to bookmark your blog and may come back down the road.
    I want to encourage you continue your great job, have a nice morning!

  21. https://Merida-kangaroo.blogspot.com

    Great info. Lucky me I recently found your blog
    by chance (stumbleupon). I’ve saved as a favorite
    for later!

  22. https://Melissa-cat5.blogspot.com

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i really like studying your posts.

    Keep up the great work! You know, lots of individuals
    are hunting around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  23. https://Linus-starling.blogspot.com

    always i used to read smaller articles or reviews that as well
    clear their motive, and that is also happening with this
    post which I am reading at this place.

  24. https://dongducheon-anma9.blogspot.com

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging
    on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It’s always useful to read content from other
    writers and practice something from other websites.

  25. https://Hongcheon-krmassage.blogspot.com

    Hello, the whole thing is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing data, that’s really
    fine, keep up writing.

  26. https://bison-Louella.blogspot.com

    If some one wants expert view on the topic of blogging and site-building afterward
    i propose him/her to pay a quick visit this webpage, Keep up the pleasant work.

  27. https://Mohamed-gilt.blogspot.com

    What’s up, after reading this awesome post i am as well happy
    to share my familiarity here with friends.

  28. https://tarantula-Skylar.blogspot.com

    I am genuinely glad to glance at this weblog posts which consists of plenty of valuable information, thanks for providing such statistics.

  29. 마카오 mgm 카지노

    Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser
    compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Opera, it looks
    fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  30. 마카오 슬롯

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day.
    It’s always interesting to read content from other writers and use a little something from other sites.

  31. https://www.jack777.club

    Hi mates, good post and pleasant urging commented at this place,
    I am really enjoying by these.

  32. 카지노 알 본사

    Awesome article.

  33. 토토 사다리 사이트

    I like the helpful information you provide for your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and test once more
    right here regularly. I am relatively sure I’ll be informed many new stuff
    proper here! Good luck for the next!

  34. 바카라 확률 계산기

    Can I simply say what a relief to discover somebody who actually knows what they are talking about online.
    You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it
    important. A lot more people must check this out and understand this
    side of your story. I was surprised you aren’t more popular because you most certainly have the gift.

  35. 마닐라 cod

    It’s awesome designed for me to have a web site, which is good in support of my
    experience. thanks admin

  36. 바카라 테이블

    Thanks to my father who shared with me about this website, this web site
    is really amazing.

  37. 마카오 개인 롤링

    Actually when someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other people that they
    will assist, so here it occurs.

  38. 스포츠 토토 승부 식

    Hi all, here every person is sharing such experience, thus it’s good to
    read this webpage, and I used to pay a quick visit
    this website all the time.

  39. 포커 베팅 방법

    Quality articles or reviews is the crucial to attract the
    users to pay a quick visit the web site, that’s what this
    web page is providing.

  40. 포커 이기는 기술

    It’s going to be finish of mine day, but before end I am reading this great article to increase my experience.

  41. 강원 랜드 vip

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little homework on this.
    And he actually ordered me breakfast simply because I found it for him…

    lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the
    meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this subject here on your internet site.

  42. 마카오 픽

    Hey there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing
    from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that
    might be able to correct this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share.

    Cheers!

  43. 모바일 토토 사이트

    I read this paragraph completely on the topic of the resemblance
    of newest and previous technologies, it’s awesome article.

  44. 릴 게임 무료 머니

    Thanks for finally talking about >10 tips for the 10-minute conference presentation | Science Writing Resources <Liked it!

  45. 스포츠 조이 라이브

    There is definately a great deal to find out about this issue.
    I like all of the points you’ve made.

Leave a Reply