As an invited speaker, delivering an effective research presentation is essential to engage and inform your audience. A well-crafted presentation can help you communicate your research findings, ideas, and insights in a clear, concise, and engaging manner.
However, many presenters face challenges when it comes to delivering a successful presentation. Some of these challenges include nervousness, lack of confidence, and difficulty connecting with the audience.
In this article, we will discuss tips to help you make an effective research presentation as an invited speaker. We will cover strategies to prepare for your presentation, ways to deliver your presentation with confidence and impact, and common mistakes to avoid.
By following these tips, you can improve your presentation skills and create a compelling and engaging talk that resonates with your audience.
Tips to Make an Effective Research Presentation
- Tip 1: Start confidently
- Tip 2: Eye To Eye Contact With the Audience
- Tip 3: Welcome Your Audience
- Tip 4: Adjust your Voice
- Tip 5: Memorize your Opening Line
- Tip 6: Use the words “ ‘Think for while’, ‘Imagine’, ‘Think of’, ‘Close Your Eyes’ ”
- Tip 7: Story Telling
- Tip 8: Facts and Statistics
- Tip 9: Power of “Pause”
- Tip 10: Quote a Great Researcher
- Tip 11: Begin with a Video
- Tip 12: Avoid using Filler Words
Research Presentation Tip #1: Start confidently
Starting your presentation confidently is essential as it sets the tone for the rest of your presentation. It will help you grab your audience’s attention and make them more receptive to your message. Here are a few ways you can start confidently.
- Begin with a self-introduction: Introduce yourself to the audience and establish your credibility. Briefly mention your educational background, your professional experience, and any relevant achievements that make you an authority on the topic. For example, “Good morning everyone, my name is John and I’m a researcher at XYZ University. I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology, and my research has been published in several reputable journals.”
- Introduce the topic: Clearly state the purpose of your presentation and provide a brief overview of what you’ll be discussing. This helps the audience understand the context of your research and what they can expect from your presentation. For example, “Today, I’ll be presenting my research on the role of DNA repair mechanisms in cancer development. I’ll be discussing the current state of knowledge in this field, the methods we used to conduct our research and the novel insights we’ve gained from our findings.”
- Start with a strong opening statement: Once you’ve introduced yourself and the topic, start your presentation confidently with a statement that captures the audience’s attention and makes them curious to hear more. As mentioned earlier, you could use a strong opening statement, a powerful visual aid, or show enthusiasm for your research. For example:
- “Have you ever wondered how artificial intelligence can be used to predict user behaviour? Today, I’ll be sharing my research on the latest AI algorithms and their potential applications in the field of e-commerce.”
- “Imagine a world where cybersecurity threats no longer exist. My research is focused on developing advanced security measures that can protect your data from even the most sophisticated attacks.”
- “Think for a moment about the amount of data we generate every day. My research focuses on how we can use machine learning algorithms to extract meaningful insights from this vast amount of data, and ultimately drive innovation in industries ranging from healthcare to finance.”
By following these steps, you’ll be able to start your research presentation confidently, establish your credibility and expertise, and create interest in your topic.
Speaking confidently as an invited speaker can be a daunting task, but there are ways to prepare and feel more confident. One such way is through practising yoga. Yoga is a great tool for reducing stress and anxiety, which can be major barriers to confident public speaking.
By practising yoga, you can learn to control your breathing, calm your mind, and increase your focus and concentration. All of these skills can help you feel more centred and confident when it’s time to give your presentation.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of yoga, check out our blog post on the subject YOGA: The Ultimate Productivity Hack for Ph.D. Research Scholars and Researchers.
If you’re ready to dive deeper and start your own yoga practice, be sure to download my e-book on :
Research Presentation Tip #2: Eye To Eye Contact With the Audience
A large number of audiences in the presentation hall make you feel jittery and lose your confidence in no time. This happens because you are seeing many of the audience for the first time and you don’t know their background and their knowledge of the subject in which you are presenting.
The best way to overcome this fear is to go and attack the fear itself. That is come at least 10-15 minutes early to the conference room and start interacting with the people over there. This short span of connectivity with a few of the audience will release your tension.
When you occupy the stage for presenting, the first thing you need to do is gaze around the room, establish one-to-one eye contact, and give a confident smile to your audience whom you had just met before the start of the presentation.
Just gazing around the presentation hall will make you feel connected to everyone in the hall. Internally within your mind choose one of the audience and turn towards him/her make eye contact and deliver a few sentences, then proceed to the next audience and repeat the same set of steps.
This will make everyone in the room feel that you are talking directly to them. Make the audience feel that you are engaging with them personally for this topic, which makes them invest fully in your topic.
Research Presentation Tip #3: Welcome Your Audience
The third tip for making an effective research presentation is to welcome your audience. This means taking a few minutes to greet your audience, introduce yourself, and set the tone for your presentation. Here are a few ways you can welcome your audience:
- Greet your audience: Start by greeting your audience with a smile and a warm welcome. This will help you establish a connection with your audience and put them at ease.
- Introduce yourself: Introduce yourself to the audience and give a brief background on your expertise and how it relates to your presentation. This will help your audience understand your qualifications and why you’re the right person to be delivering the presentation.
- Explain the purpose of your presentation: Explain to your audience why you’re presenting your research and what they can expect to learn from your presentation. This will help your audience understand the context of your research and what they can expect from your presentation.
- Set the tone: Set the tone for your presentation by giving a brief overview of your presentation structure and what your audience can expect throughout your presentation. This will help your audience understand what to expect and keep them engaged.
Here are a few examples of how you can welcome your audience:
- If you’re presenting to a group of industry professionals, welcome them by acknowledging their expertise and experience. This will show that you value their knowledge and experience.
- If you’re presenting to a group of students or academics, welcome them by acknowledging their interest in your research area. This will help you establish a connection with your audience and show that you’re excited to share your research with them.
- If you’re presenting to a mixed audience, welcome them by acknowledging their diversity and the different perspectives they bring to the presentation. This will help you set an inclusive tone and show that you’re open to different viewpoints.
Overall, welcoming your audience is an important aspect of delivering an effective research presentation. It helps you establish a connection with your audience, set the tone for your presentation, and keep your audience engaged throughout your presentation.
In my earlier days of presentations, I just used to go on stage and start my presentations without greeting anyone. Later I learned stage etiquette with the help of my fellow research scholars and underwent professional etiquette courses.
Research Presentation Tip #4: Adjust your Voice
The fourth tip for making an effective research presentation is to adjust your voice. This means using your voice effectively to convey your message and engage your audience. Here are a few ways you can adjust your voice during your research presentation:
- Speak clearly: Speak clearly and enunciate your words so that your audience can understand what you’re saying. Avoid speaking too fast or mumbling, which can make it difficult for your audience to follow your presentation.
- Use a varied pace: Use a varied pace to keep your audience engaged. Speak slowly and clearly when you’re making important points, and speed up when you’re discussing less important points. This will help you maintain your audience’s attention throughout your presentation.
- Use a varied pitch: Use a varied pitch to convey emotion and emphasize important points. Lower your pitch when you’re discussing serious or important topics, and raise your pitch when you’re excited or enthusiastic.
- Use pauses: Use pauses to emphasize important points and give your audience time to reflect on what you’re saying. Pausing also helps to break up your presentation and make it easier for your audience to follow.
Here are a few examples of how you can adjust your voice during your research presentation:
- If you’re discussing a complex or technical topic, speak slowly and clearly so that your audience can understand what you’re saying. Use pauses to emphasize important points and give your audience time to reflect on what you’re saying.
- If you’re discussing an exciting or enthusiastic topic, raise your pitch and use a varied pace to convey your excitement to your audience. This will help you engage your audience and keep them interested in your presentation.
- If you’re discussing a serious or emotional topic, lower your pitch and use a slower pace to convey the gravity of the situation. Use pauses to emphasize important points and give your audience time to process what you’re saying.
Overall, adjusting your voice is an important aspect of delivering an effective research presentation. It helps you convey your message clearly, engage your audience, and keep their attention throughout your presentation.
Many researchers are less talkative and speak with a very low voice and this makes their concepts unheard by other researchers. To overcome this drawback, they go for vocal coaching to improve their voice modulation.
Research Presentation Tip #5: Memorize your Opening Line
The fifth tip for making an effective research presentation is to memorize your opening line. This means having a powerful and memorable opening line that will grab your audience’s attention and set the tone for your presentation. Here are a few ways you can create a memorable opening line:
- Use a quote or statistic: Start your presentation with a powerful quote or statistic that relates to your research. This will grab your audience’s attention and show them why your research is important.
- Use a story or anecdote: Use a personal story or anecdote to illustrate the importance of your research. This will help you connect with your audience on an emotional level and show them why your research is relevant to their lives.
- Ask a question: Ask your audience a thought-provoking question that relates to your research. This will help you engage your audience and get them thinking about your topic.
Once you’ve created a memorable opening line, it’s important to memorize it so that you can deliver it confidently and without hesitation. Here are a few examples of powerful opening lines:
- “In the United States, someone dies of a drug overdose every seven minutes. Today, I want to talk to you about the opioid epidemic and what we can do to prevent it.”
- “When I was a child, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Today, I want to share with you the latest research on Alzheimer’s and what we can do to slow its progression.”
- “Have you ever wondered why some people are more resilient than others? Today, I want to talk to you about the science of resilience and how we can use it to overcome adversity.”
Overall, memorizing your opening line is an important aspect of delivering an effective research presentation. It helps you grab your audience’s attention, set the tone for your presentation, and establish your credibility as a speaker.
Remembering the concepts at the right time and in the right sequence is critical for every researcher. Few of my research scholars face the problem of forgetting everything once they reach the stage for presentation. To overcome this difficulty I gift them with one of my favourite books on improving memory power: “Limitless by Jim Quick”. This book has changed many lives. You can also try.
Research Presentation Tip #6: Use the words “ ‘Think for while’, ‘Imagine’, ‘Think of’, ‘Close Your Eyes’ ”
The sixth tip for making an effective research presentation is to use specific phrases that encourage your audience to think, imagine, and engage with your presentation. Here are a few examples of phrases you can use to encourage your audience to engage with your presentation:
- “Think for a moment about…” This phrase encourages your audience to reflect on a particular point or idea that you’ve just discussed. For example, “Think for a moment about the impact that climate change is having on our planet.”
- “Imagine that…” This phrase encourages your audience to visualize a particular scenario or idea. For example, “Imagine that you’re living in a world without access to clean water. How would your daily life be affected?”
- “Think of a time when…” This phrase encourages your audience to reflect on their own experiences and relate them to your presentation. For example, “Think of a time when you felt overwhelmed at work. How did you manage that stress?”
- “Close your eyes and picture…” This phrase encourages your audience to use their imagination to visualize a particular scenario or idea. For example, “Close your eyes and picture a world without poverty. What would that look like?”
By using these phrases, you can encourage your audience to actively engage with your presentation and think more deeply about your research. Here are a few examples of how you might incorporate these phrases into your presentation:
- “Think for a moment about the impact that our use of plastics is having on our environment. Each year, millions of tons of plastic end up in our oceans, harming marine life and polluting our planet.”
- “Imagine that you’re a scientist working to develop a cure for a deadly disease. What kind of research would you conduct, and what challenges might you face?”
- “Think of a time when you had to overcome a significant challenge. How did you persevere, and what lessons did you learn from that experience?”
- “Close your eyes and picture a world where renewable energy is our primary source of power. What benefits would this have for our planet, and how can we work together to make this a reality?”
Overall, using phrases that encourage your audience to think and engage with your presentation is an effective way to make your research presentation more impactful and memorable.
Research Presentation Tip #7: Story Telling
The seventh tip for making an effective research presentation is to incorporate storytelling into your presentation. Storytelling is a powerful way to connect with your audience, illustrate your points, and make your research more engaging and memorable.
People love stories, but your story has to be relevant to your research. You can craft a story about an experience you had and tell how you could able to define your research problem based on the experience you had. This makes your presentation both interesting and incorporates information about the work you are carrying out.
Storytelling or sharing your own experience is the best way to connect with your audience. Many researchers use this technique and it remains one of the most critical pieces to becoming an effective presenter.
Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate storytelling into your presentation:
- Personal stories: Use a personal story to illustrate the importance of your research. For example, if you’re researching a new cancer treatment, you might share a story about a friend or family member who has been affected by cancer. This personal connection can help your audience relate to your research on a more emotional level.
- Case studies: Use a case study to illustrate how your research has been applied in the real world. For example, if you’re researching the impact of a new educational program, you might share a case study about a school that has implemented the program and seen positive results.
- Historical examples: Use a historical example to illustrate the significance of your research. For example, if you’re researching the impact of climate change, you might share a story about the Dust Bowl of the 1930s to illustrate the devastating effects of drought and soil erosion.
- Analogies: Use an analogy to explain complex concepts or ideas. For example, if you’re researching the workings of the brain, you might use the analogy of a computer to help your audience understand how neurons communicate with each other.
By incorporating storytelling into your presentation, you can help your audience connect with your research on a more personal level and make your presentation more memorable. Here are a few examples of how you might incorporate storytelling into your presentation:
- “When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, I felt helpless and afraid. But thanks to the groundbreaking research that is being done in this field, we now have more treatment options than ever before. Today, I want to share with you the latest research on cancer treatments and what we can do to support those who are fighting this disease.”
- “Imagine for a moment that you’re a small business owner trying to grow your online presence. You’ve heard that search engine optimization (SEO) is important for driving traffic to your website, but you’re not sure where to start. That’s where my research comes in. By analyzing millions of search queries, I’ve identified the key factors that search engines use to rank websites. Using this information, I’ve developed a new algorithm that can help businesses like yours optimize their websites for better search engine rankings. Imagine being able to reach more customers and grow your business, all thanks to this new algorithm. That’s the power of my research.”
In these examples, the speaker is using storytelling to help the audience understand the real-world impact of their research in a relatable way. By framing the research in terms of a relatable scenario, the speaker is able to engage the audience and make the research feel more relevant to their lives. Additionally, by highlighting the practical applications of the research, the speaker is able to demonstrate the value of the research in a tangible way.
Here I recommend without any second thought “Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals ” by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic. This is one of the powerful techniques to showcase data in the form of graphs and charts.
Research Presentation Tip #8: Facts and Statistics
The eighth tip for making an effective research presentation is to incorporate facts and statistics into your presentation. Facts and statistics can help you communicate the significance of your research and make it more compelling to your audience.
Make your audience curious about your topic with a fact they didn’t know. Explaining the importance of your topic to your audience is essential. Showcasing data and statistics to prove a point remains a critical strategy not just at the beginning but also throughout. Statistics can be mind-numbing but if there is some compelling information that can help further the conversation.
Here are a few examples of how you might use facts and statistics in your research presentation:
- Contextualize your research: Use statistics to provide context for your research. For example, if you’re presenting on the prevalence of a particular disease, you might start by sharing statistics on how many people are affected by the disease worldwide.
- Highlight key findings: Use facts and statistics to highlight the key findings of your research. For example, if you’re presenting on new drug therapy, you might share statistics on the success rate of the therapy and how it compares to existing treatments.
- Support your arguments: Use facts and statistics to support your arguments. For example, if you’re arguing that a particular policy change is needed, you might use statistics to show how the current policy is failing and why a change is necessary.
- Visualize your data: Use graphs, charts, and other visual aids to help illustrate your data. This can make it easier for your audience to understand the significance of your research. For example, if you’re presenting on the impact of climate change, you might use a graph to show the rise in global temperatures over time.
Here’s an example of how you might use facts and statistics in a research presentation:
“Did you know that over 80% of internet users own a smartphone? That’s a staggering number when you think about it. And with the rise of mobile devices, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a mobile-friendly website. That’s where my research comes in.
By analyzing user behaviour and website performance data, I’ve identified the key factors that make a website mobile-friendly. And the results are clear: mobile-friendly websites perform better in search engine rankings, have lower bounce rates, and are more likely to convert visitors into customers. By implementing the recommendations from my research, businesses can improve their online presence and reach more customers than ever before.”
In this example, the speaker is using statistics to provide context for their research (the high prevalence of smartphone ownership) and to support their argument (that businesses need to have mobile-friendly websites).
By emphasizing the benefits of mobile-friendly websites (better search engine rankings, lower bounce rates, and higher conversion rates), the speaker is able to make the research more compelling to their audience. Finally, by using concrete examples (implementing the recommendations from the research), the speaker is able to make the research feel actionable and relevant to the audience.
In my blog posts on the benefits of using graphs and tables in research presentations, I have presented different ways that these tools can enhance the impact and effectiveness of your research presentation. By incorporating graphs and tables, you can help your audience to engage more deeply with your research and better grasp the significance of your findings. To learn more about the benefits of using graphs and tables in research presentations, check out my blog posts listed below, on the subject.
- Maximizing the Impact of Your Research Paper with Graphs and Charts
- Best Practices for Designing and Formatting Tables in Research Papers
You can also refer the book “Information Visualization: An Introduction” for getting more clarity on the representation of facts and statistics.
Research Presentation Tip #9: Power of “Pause”
The ninth tip for making an effective research presentation is to use the power of “pause.” Pausing at key moments in your presentation can help you emphasize important points, allow your audience to process information, and create a sense of anticipation.
We are all uncomfortable when there is a pause. Yet incorporating pause into your presentation can be a valuable tool causing the audience to be attentive to what you are going to say next.
A pause is an effective way to grab attention. There are two ways you might use this technique. After you are introduced, walk on stage and say nothing. Simply pause for three to five seconds and wait for the full attention of the audience. It’s a powerful opening. Depending on the audience, you might need to pause for longer than five seconds.
At another point in your presentation, you might be discussing the results or you are about to provide important information, that’s when you pause to grab attention. You’ll probably feel uncomfortable when you first try this technique, but it’s worth mastering.
Here are a few examples of how you might use the power of the pause in your research presentation:
- Emphasize key points: Pause briefly after making an important point to allow your audience to absorb the information. For example, if you’re presenting on the benefits of a new product, you might pause after stating the most compelling benefits to give your audience time to reflect on the information.
- Create anticipation: Pause before revealing a key piece of information or making a surprising statement. This can create a sense of anticipation in your audience and keep them engaged. For example, if you’re presenting on the results of a study, you might pause before revealing the most surprising or unexpected finding.
- Allow time for reflection: Pause after asking a thought-provoking question to give your audience time to reflect on their answer. This can help create a more interactive and engaging presentation. For example, if you’re presenting on the impact of social media on mental health, you might pause after asking the audience to reflect on their own social media use.
- Control the pace: Use pauses to control the pace of your presentation. Pausing briefly before transitioning to a new topic can help you signal to your audience that you’re about to move on. This can help prevent confusion and make your presentation more organized.
Here’s an example of how you might use the power of the pause in a research presentation:
“Imagine being able to reduce the risk of heart disease by 50%. That’s the potential impact of my research. By analyzing the diets and lifestyles of over 10,000 participants, I’ve identified the key factors that contribute to heart disease. And the results are clear: by making a few simple changes to your diet and exercise routine, you can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. So, what are these changes? Pause for effect. It turns out that the most important factors are a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, and limited alcohol consumption.”
In this example, the speaker is using the pause to create anticipation before revealing the most important findings of their research. By pausing before revealing the key factors that contribute to heart disease, the speaker is able to create a sense of anticipation and emphasize the importance of the information. By using the power of the pause in this way, the speaker is able to make their research presentation more engaging and memorable for the audience.
Research Presentation Tip #10: Quote a Great Researcher
The tenth tip for making an effective research presentation is to quote a great researcher. By including quotes from respected researchers or experts in your field, you can add credibility to your presentation and demonstrate that your research is supported by other respected professionals.
Quoting someone who is a well-known researcher in your field is a great way to start any presentation. Just be sure to make it relevant to the purpose of your speech and presentation. If you are using slides, adding a picture of the person you are quoting will add more value to your presentation.
Here are a few examples of how you might use quotes in your research presentation:
- Begin with a quote: Starting your presentation with a quote from a respected researcher can help set the tone and establish your credibility. For example, if you’re presenting on the benefits of exercise for mental health, you might begin with a quote from a well-known psychologist or psychiatrist who has researched the topic.
- Use quotes to support your argument: Including quotes from experts who support your argument can help reinforce your ideas and add credibility to your presentation. For example, if you’re presenting on the importance of early childhood education, you might include a quote from a respected educational psychologist who has studied the topic.
- Challenge conventional wisdom: Including quotes from experts who challenge conventional wisdom can help you make a more compelling argument and stand out from other presenters. For example, if you’re presenting on the effects of technology on social interaction, you might include a quote from a respected sociologist who argues that technology can actually improve social connections.
- Add a personal touch: Including quotes from researchers who have inspired you personally can help you connect with your audience and add a more personal touch to your presentation. For example, if you’re presenting on the importance of diversity in the workplace, you might include a quote from a researcher who has inspired you to pursue your own research on the topic.
Here’s an example of how you might use a quote in a research presentation:
“As the great psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, ‘What a man can be, he must be.’ This quote perfectly captures the essence of my research on human potential. By analyzing the lives of highly successful individuals, I’ve identified the key factors that contribute to success. And the results are clear: by cultivating a growth mindset, setting ambitious goals, and surrounding yourself with supportive people, you can unlock your full potential and achieve greatness.”
In this example, the speaker is using a quote from a respected psychologist to support their argument about human potential. By including the quote, the speaker is able to add credibility to their presentation and demonstrate that their research is supported by other respected professionals in the field. By using quotes in this way, the speaker is able to make their research presentation more engaging and persuasive for the audience.
Research Presentation Tip #11: Begin with a Video
The eleventh tip for making an effective research presentation is to begin with a video. Using a video at the beginning of your presentation can capture the audience’s attention and help establish the theme of your talk
Video remains a powerful mechanism to begin a presentation. Limit your videos to 2–3 minutes. People like video, and it can capture their attention, but they can also tire of it easily. It gives the presenter and the attendees a break from each other. Sometimes, you just look for visible reactions from the audience that might provide a transition from video back to speaking. Conversely, for the attendees, the video provides a break from the speaker.
Here are a few examples of how you might use a video in your research presentation:
- Introduce a new technology: Use a video to introduce a new technology or innovation that is related to your research. For example, if you’re presenting on the potential of artificial intelligence in healthcare, you might use a video that shows how AI is being used to detect cancer early.
- Demonstrate a problem: Use a video to demonstrate a problem or challenge that your research is trying to solve. For example, if you’re presenting on the importance of cybersecurity in the finance industry, you might use a video that shows how easily hackers can gain access to sensitive financial information.
- Showcase your research: Use a video to showcase your own research and the methods you used to conduct it. For example, if you’re presenting on a new algorithm for image recognition, you might use a video that shows how the algorithm works in action.
- Add a personal touch: Use a video to share a personal story or experience that relates to your research. For example, if you’re presenting on the impact of technology on society, you might use a video that shows how technology has changed your own life.
Here’s an example of how you might use a video at the beginning of a research presentation in computer science:
“Before I dive into my research on the potential of blockchain technology in supply chain management, I want to show you a video that demonstrates the challenges that the industry currently faces. As you’ll see, there are numerous pain points that blockchain could help to address, from tracking the provenance of goods to reducing fraud and counterfeiting. By leveraging the power of blockchain, we can create a more transparent, efficient, and secure supply chain for everyone involved.”
In this example, the speaker is using a video to demonstrate a problem or challenge that their research is trying to solve. By showing the audience the current pain points in supply chain management, the speaker is able to establish the need for blockchain technology and capture the audience’s attention. By using a video in this way, the speaker is able to make their research presentation more engaging and impactful for the audience.
One sincere piece of advice while preparing the video is not to install the full video and start searching for the clip to be displayed to the audience. If you show this side or that side of the video content not relevant to the context, the audience may lose patience and drift away from the presentation. This shows your unpreparedness for the presentation. I suggest you go ahead with professional video editing software to edit your video before showing it to your audience.
Research Presentation Tip #12: Avoid using Filler Words
When giving a research presentation, it’s important to sound confident and knowledgeable. However, using too many filler words such as “ok”, “so”, and “umms” can make you sound unsure of yourself and can distract from the content of your presentation.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid using too many filler words:
- Practice your presentation: One of the best ways to reduce the use of filler words is to practice your presentation. By rehearsing what you want to say, you’ll become more comfortable with the content and won’t need to rely on filler words as much.
- Use a script: If you’re prone to using filler words, consider writing out a script for your presentation. This will help you stay on track and avoid unnecessary pauses or verbal crutches.
- Record yourself: Another helpful strategy is to record yourself giving your presentation. By listening back to the recording, you can identify any filler words or other verbal tics and work on eliminating them in future presentations.
- Take pauses: Instead of relying on filler words to fill pauses in your presentation, try taking intentional pauses. This will help you gather your thoughts and emphasize important points.
Here’s an example of how to avoid using too many filler words in a research presentation:
“Today, I want to talk to you about the impact of machine learning on cybersecurity. Ok, so, umm, as you all know, cybersecurity is a critical issue for businesses and organizations. But did you know that machine learning can help to identify and mitigate cyber threats before they become a major problem? By using algorithms to analyze data, we can create more effective security protocols and protect sensitive information from being compromised. So, in conclusion, machine learning has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach cybersecurity.”
In this example, the speaker is using several filler words throughout the presentation, which can detract from the content and make them sound less confident. By practising their presentation and focusing on eliminating filler words, the speaker can deliver a more polished and engaging presentation that highlights the important points.
Many presenters, though have good content fail to impress the audience by using too many “ok” “so” and “umms” which shows a lack of good communication skills. This can be due to stage fear/poor preparation/happen unconsciously.
Such filler words can ruin your credibility despite how innocent they look. One tip for avoiding this annoying habit is to practice your speech or presentation multiple times beforehand in front of your supervisor/research scholars / yourself in front of the mirror. If you are hesitant then the best option is to record your speech on your mobile and check for the mistakes unconsciously you make.
Side Benefits of Giving Great Research Presentations
Giving a good research presentation as a keynote speaker is an excellent opportunity to showcase your expertise and knowledge in your research domain. As a keynote speaker, you can communicate your research findings, methodologies, and the impact of your research to a wider audience.
A well-delivered presentation can also demonstrate your ability to engage with diverse stakeholders and effectively communicate complex ideas. This can be an advantage when looking for research consultancy work, as potential clients or employers can assess your ability to deliver quality work, understand their needs, and provide innovative solutions to their problems.
If you are interested in exploring research consultancy jobs, check out the link Research Consultancy: An Alternate Career for Researchers to discover some exciting opportunities in your research domain.
Delivering a successful research presentation requires careful planning, practice, and attention to detail. By starting confidently, making eye contact with your audience, and using effective communication techniques like storytelling and statistics, you can engage your audience and communicate your research findings in a compelling way.
Remember to adjust your voice, avoid filler words, and take intentional pauses to keep your audience engaged and focused. By following these tips and incorporating your own unique style and perspective, you can deliver a powerful and memorable research presentation that showcases your expertise and leaves a lasting impression.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I dress for my invited talk at a research conference?
As a speaker at a research conference, it’s important to dress professionally and appropriately to make a positive impression on the audience and fellow researchers. Here are some general guidelines for what to wear:
Business Formal Attire: Most research conferences have a business formal dress code. This typically means wearing a suit or dress pants/skirt with a collared shirt/blouse. For men, a suit with a tie is appropriate, and for women, a pantsuit or a skirt/dress with a blazer is a good choice.
Neutral and Classic Colors: Stick to neutral and classic colours like black, navy, grey, or beige for a polished and sophisticated look. Avoid loud or overly bright colors and patterns that may distract from your presentation.
Comfortable and Well-Fitted Clothing: Ensure that your clothing fits well and is comfortable to wear for an extended period. This will help you feel more at ease during your presentation.
Appropriate Footwear: Wear closed-toe shoes that are comfortable and complement your outfit. For men, dress shoes are ideal, and for women, low-heeled pumps or flats are a good choice.
Minimal Accessories: Keep your accessories simple and minimal. A wristwatch, small earrings, and a modest necklace can add a touch of elegance without being distracting.
Grooming and Hygiene: Pay attention to personal grooming and hygiene. Make sure your hair is well-groomed, and avoid heavy cologne or perfume, as some attendees may be sensitive to strong scents.
Bring Layers: Conference venues can sometimes be chilly due to air conditioning, so consider bringing a light sweater or jacket that complements your outfit.
Check the Conference Theme: Occasionally, research conferences may have specific themes or cultural considerations. In such cases, you can subtly incorporate elements related to the theme or culture into your outfit if appropriate.
You can visit my blog post on ” How to dress for academic / research conferences” for further details.
Can I share my conference presentation slides after my talk with the audience?
Absolutely! Sharing your conference presentation slides with the audience after your talk can be a great way to provide additional value to those who attended your presentation and those who couldn’t make it to the event.
Shall I entertain questions in between my presentation as an invited speaker to a research conference?
As an invited speaker at a research conference, it is generally expected and encouraged to entertain questions from the audience during or after your presentation. Q&A sessions are a valuable part of academic conferences as they allow attendees to engage with the speaker, seek clarifications, and gain further insights into the research being presented.
However, a few speakers as well as the audience may get distracted by the questions asked during the presentation. Check your preparedness and the mood of the audience and then decide.
Can you give some Tips for a Successful Q&A Session:
Tips for a Successful Q&A Session:
Be Prepared: Anticipate potential questions that may arise from your presentation and be prepared to answer them. This will boost your confidence during the Q&A.
Encourage Questions: After your presentation, let the audience know that you welcome their questions. Creating a supportive and inclusive environment will encourage more participation.
Active Listening: Listen carefully to each question and ensure you understand it before responding. If a question is unclear, ask for clarification to provide the best possible answer.
Be Respectful and Professional: Even if you receive challenging or critical questions, respond in a respectful and professional manner. Avoid becoming defensive and maintain a positive tone.
Manage Time: If there’s a specific time allocated for the Q&A session, manage it effectively so that you can address as many questions as possible without exceeding the allocated time.
How to handle questions where I don’t know the answers in my presentation?
Handling a question during your presentation when you don’t know the answer is a common scenario, and it’s essential to respond gracefully and professionally. Here’s how to handle such situations:
Stay Calm and Composed: Take a deep breath and remain calm. It’s okay not to know the answer to every question, and the audience understands that.
Acknowledge the Question: Show appreciation for the question and the person who asked it. You can say something like, “Thank you for the question; that’s an interesting point to consider.”
Be Honest: It’s best to be honest if you don’t know the answer. Avoid making up information or guessing as it can harm your credibility.
Admit You Don’t Know: You can respond with a polite acknowledgement that you don’t have the information at hand. For example, say, “I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to that question right now.”
Offer to Follow Up: Express your willingness to find the answer later. You can say, “I’ll make sure to look into this further and get back to you with an answer.”
Redirect the Question: If appropriate, you can redirect the question to the audience or to someone who might have more expertise on the topic.
Stay Positive: Maintain a positive tone throughout your response. Avoid apologizing excessively or sounding defensive.
Bridge to Related Topics: If you can’t answer the specific question, try to bridge it to related topics you are familiar with. This way, you can still contribute to the discussion.
Use It as a Learning Opportunity: If the question raises a valid point you haven’t considered before, acknowledge it as a learning opportunity. You can say, “That’s an excellent question, and it gives me something to think about.”
Learn for the Future: After the presentation, take note of the questions you couldn’t answer and use them as a basis for further research or study. This will help you better prepare for similar situations in the future.