PHYS328 - Science Seminar
Presentations Checklist and Helpful Hints
This page contains requirements for presentation and a list of things to
have and do in order to have a good presentation.
Requirements for Presentations
- Pre-Presentation Meeting - You must make an appointment with
the instructor at least two weeks prior to your presentation. You will be graded
on this meeting. What you are required to do for and prior to this meeting can be found at:
- Helpers - All students are reqiured to help with two presentations. One helper
will give an overview of the physicist's personal life. The other helper
will give an overview of the physicist's professional life. These will overlap and that is
good. (It is useful to hear things more than once and from different perspectives.)
It is the main presenter's responsibility to pick the helpers and coordinate their efforts.
- Main Presentation - The main presentation should be based on the presenter's
readings. At least three books must contribute to the presentation although the focus
can be from one book. The presentation can be in any format approved by the instructor
at least two weeks in advance (in the pre-presentation meeting). It is common to
use a camera and projector (so that photographs can be projected). Some people
use power point as well.
- Questions and Discussion - The question & discussion part of the
presentation is very important. Come prepared with many more questions
than you plan to ask. You will be required to submit at least 10 questions to instructor
two weeks prior to your presentation. It is the main presenter's job to keep the
discussion going til the end of the period!! You will have to include a section
in your presentation paper on the discussion and question part of the presentation.
Use your helpers to get good notes for this part of the presentation. (You will be
too busy to take notes.)
- Demonstrations by Instructor - For some presentations it may be appropriate
to have demonstrations of physical principles done by the instructor.
- Papers - It is expected that all papers be done with appropriate
format including proper references. Each helper will write a paper for each of their
presentations. Each main presenter will write a paper for their presentation. Papers are
due one week after the presentations.
- Length of Presentation - Each presentation will last the entire period.
The following is a rough guideline for timing:
- 15 minutes should be used by the helpers.
- 40 minutes main presentation
- 20 minutes questions and discussion
Helpful Hints for Presentation
- Equipment - It is the presenter's responsibility to inform the instructor of what
equipment will be need for you presentions well in advance of the presentation.
(At least a week.)
- Introduction - Start Presentation by breifly introducing yourself, your helpers and
your topics. This should take less than one minute.
- Coordinate with helpers - It is the main presenters responsibility to
coordinate efforts of the helpers. If they are not properly prepared, or talk to much
or too little, they and the main presenter will help held responsible.
- Outline - Present a printed outline to the audience. Use it throughout
the presentation. (Keep putting it up for display.) This will help people know
where your are in your presentation and where you are going as well as what
your organization is. It will also help them take notes.
- Font - Use a large font size for projection. Make sure it is large enough
before your presentation.
- Photographs - Use photographs throughout your presentation. This will help
you to bring to life the person about whom your are speaking. The audience will be much
more receptive to your presentation.
- Handouts - I don't recommend them. Sometimes they are useful, but be careful using handouts.
When people are given handouts
they have a tendancy to read the handout rather than listen to the speaker.
- Eye Contact - It is important to look at your audience. They want you
to talk to them not to your papers.
- Speak to Audience - Do not read directly from notes. Express ideas
in your own words and talk to the audience. They do not want to hear what you have
written on paper word for word. This also shows that you know and are comfortable
with your topic.
- Technical Terms and Complication Ideas - Do not use technical terms without explanation.
The instructor can help you with this. Again, express ideas
in your own words and talk to the audience.
- Stories and Anecdotes - Pick stories and anecdotes that are useful in making a point. Ones that help tell your
story. State why you have told the story.
- Quotes - It is good to include some direct quotes from your readings. These are
moments when you can read directly from your notes.
- Theme - Your presentation should have a conherent theme. Rather than simply
listing facts of a person's life, focus of one or more aspects of the person that show up
throughout their life if you can. Often a good theme will come from the books you
have read. Get help from the instructor if needed.
- Timing - Practice your talk. Know how long it will take. Be sure to leave
time (20 Minutes) for a discussion session.
- Discussion and Questions - If you pose a question to the people in the
room give them time to answer! You may have to wait a long time before anyone
responds. People need time to think and sometimes to get up enough nerve to speak.
Try re-phrasing questions sometimes, too. Try to pick questions and topics to which
you think people can relate.