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Group Meeting Presentation Tips

First Group Meeting Presentation


Giving a presentation for the first time is always a bit nerve racking, especially when you’re new to a lab. Scientific presentations can be pretty different from those for other fields because even within a lab, knowledge about different subjects, instruments and techniques can vary greatly. This variation was one of the many things I tried to consider when I gave my first presentation in the Hooker Lab Group Meeting last week. Before I gave my presentation, I was able to have a subgroup meeting with Dr. Hooker and my fellow Summer Interns. After this meeting, I decided to compile a list of the things I found most important to include in my presentation, which could ideally (and hopefully) be helpful for any scientific presentation.

The tips are as follows (in no particular order):

1. Before you begin, think about the Big Picture of your project

             -What is the overall purpose?

                      +Is it linked to a particular disease, technology, etc?

2. What could/is the impact of this particular disease, technology, etc.

             -How many people are affected? What kind of symptoms do they experience? What is the current technology, medication, etc.?

3 Add visuals

             -Try to find pictures, illustrations, or data to supplement the text on your slides

4. When discussing drugs, instruments, proteins, etc. know general interesting facts about them

             -Mention them briefly during your talk

             -This could also be useful if people have questions

5. Include sources that are pertinent to your research

             -Papers with data, experimentals, etc. that influenced your project

6. When presenting values, provide context

             -Example: .4%proteins in the human body (is that big or small??)

                      +Rephrased: the substantial value of .4% of proteins in the human body…

7. When presenting data from instruments (ex. NMR, LC-MS) that may be unfamiliar to some people, give a bit of background on the machine

             -How does it work, what do certain peaks represent, what would ideal data look like

                      +Give structure for molecules used in experiment or photo of instrument or procedure 

                        for experiment

8. Are you telling a story?

             -Once you’ve completed a draft of your presentation, it’s always useful to look back at it and

              see if it flows (like a story)

                      +Try to think of yourself as someone outside of your field. If you looked at the slides

                         would you know what was going on? Would you be able to follow the presentation easily?

Hope this is helpful!

--Stephanie T.



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