Overview - Bodega Marine Lab

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Transcript Overview - Bodega Marine Lab

How To Give A Scientific Seminar

Michelle Chow Ocean Discovery!

Sebastopol, CA


• Verbal and Nonverbal Communication • “How To” on Project Presentations

Nonverbal Communication

“body movement and expression” • Face audience • Make eye contact • Appropriate facial expressions • Body movement (pacing, swaying) • Dress appropriately

Verbal Communication

• Speak at a reasonable pace • Intonation (tone of voice, use of voice) • Pause when needed • Avoid excessive use of “um” or “like” or “so”

Suggestions for Practicing

• Practice at least three times!!!

• Get feedback from your peers.

• Before you start to speak take a few seconds to organize your thoughts, notes and equipment.

Appearance of your slides “

You want people to focus on your message” • Use a simple design for your slides. This is a professional seminar. • Text must not fade into background.

• Choose an appropriate font that can be read from the back of the room.

• •

Size 32 – 36 for bulleted text Size 44 – 48 for titles

• Each slides does not need to have a title. Especially if a title is redundant or obvious.

• Spread bullets apart to avoid reader’s brain overload.

Paragraph—spacing—6-12 pt after paragraph.

• Pictures and graphs should take up the whole slide. Axes text and statistics hard to read from back of room.

6 5 2 1 4 3 0 Male Female Treatment 1 Treatments Treatment 2 60 40 20 0 100 80

Michelle’s Don’t List

• Clip art when not appropriately used (which is most of the time).

• Slides and lines that zip in and out of space. Please have all your text on the slide at the same time.

• All slides should transition appropriately (use no transition or fade at fast speed) • No music, unless you are studying dolphins and are recording their mating calls.

Planning the package

• Know your audience • Define terms • Provide an overview if complex • Integrate text and images – map of study area, distribution – understand overall idea/theory/topic – images of organism/scientific name – repeat the question if necessary

Planning the package

• Clear purpose/logical sequence • Consistency in style and language • Bulleted information • Prompts for speaker and audience • Time yourself: 1 frame /minute • Leave time for questions • Don’t read your talk

Techniques that help

• Memorize opening sentence • Note cards • Tough question?

– anticipate questions that poke holes – anticipate future direction questions – repeat the question – “That’s a good question” – “I don’t know but…”

Advice to Fellows

• Practice within a group and then between groups.

• Bring laser pointer into class to demonstrate how to use it correctly • Remind students they will be using a microphone

More advice

• Everything presented verbally or visually should have a clear role in support of the central thesis or theses of the talk.

• If anything doesn’t do this, remove it.

borders, animations, clipart, etc

Listener’s Responsibility

• No talking • Listen closely • Think of at least one question to ask speaker • Stay awake (no sleeping) and engaged during the talk

Presentation Title

your name School affiliation city state


• Introduce topic, big picture. Why?

• Explain how you reached your questions/hypotheses.

• Define scientific terms.

Use scientific names for organisms.

• Visual Aids (slides of organisms) • List questions your study addresses.


• Summarize methods = Use methods as an explanation of how you addressed your questions.

• Visual Aids (pictures of study sites or setup is most effective).

• Organize methods to help audience easily follow your research.

Flow Chart for Presentation Organization Introduction Questions Question A Method for addressing A Results and Interpretation A Question B Method for addressing B Results and Interpretation B Question C Method for addressing C Results and Interpretation C How all parts fit into: 1. Original questions 2. Big picture 3. Past research


• Use tables and/or figures to present data.

• Avoid verbalizing too many numerical values (especially without visual aids).

• Show audience only data and results that are important in addressing your questions.

• Remind audience how each method or result fits back to the questions of your study.


• Talk about results with respect to: Your study’s questions Past research • Make logical conclusions about your research findings.

• Visual Aids (refer back to tables and figures used in results)


• Visual Aid = Outline of questions from introduction with acceptance or rejection of null hypothesis.

• Big picture • Future research • Acknowledgements

Your brain starts working the moment you are born, and doesn’t stop until you have to speak in public.