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Scientific soft skills workshops: Oral presentations

An essential skill for all scientists is preparing and delivering an effective oral presentation, whether for departmental seminars or international conferences. Although most scientists welcome the chance to present their work at meetings, the prospect may make them nervous, particularly if English is not their native language.

Almost all presenters face problems such as too much data, poor visual aids, lack of general organization, and the common mistakes of too much time spent on preparing slides and too little spent on practicing.

This workshop is designed to help young scientists optimally prepare, organize and design their talks. After an introductory session and time for preparation, each participant gives a short talk, followed by feedback from all participants.

Together we assess your talk overall, the slides, content, delivery style and body language. We also have a question and answer session to practice dealing professionally with audience feedback. This workshop should help you better plan talks in the future, with all the essential elements of design, structure, anticipation, and practice to ensure you can present an effective talk with confidence.

Oral presentation workshop topics

Planning and structuring you talk — to help the audience understand, appreciate and remember you and your results;

Designing effective slides — to be informative yet visually attractive and clear;

Clearly explaining your slides — to focus the audience on the key points;

Preparing good transitions between slides — to tell a logical story;

Signalling language — to alert the audience to new topics or the conclusion;

Avoiding language errors and pronunciation problems — for clarity and easy understanding;

Practice, practice, practice — to overcome nerves;

Body language and presenting skills — to generate rapport and appear professional;

Anticipating potential problems — to remain calm no matter what;

Practicing Question and Answer sessions — to leave a good last impression;

Final goal — presenting with confidence!

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