This post provides scientific presentation ideas such as scientific presentation structure, tips for preparing effective slides, presentation tips, and more.
In the course of your education or career as a scientist, you will give oral presentations of research works to your colleagues, supervisors, or a larger audience.
A great oral scientific presentation should be interesting, engaging and be able to stimulate and sustain the interest of the audience.
To achieve this objective, you have to know the structure of scientific presentations, prepare effective slides, prepare towards the presentation and deliver well on the day of the presentation.
Scientific Presentation Structure
To prepare and give a great presentation of original research work, you should make sure that your presentation includes the following sections of the research; introduction, methodology, results and discussion, and conclusion.
Introduction of Scientific Presentation
The introduction is made up of sections; background of the study, research problem, justification or significance of the research, and research objectives or research questions and/ or hypotheses.
The background is the condition on which the problem of the study is founded. You should provide a sharp background of the study in one or two sentences.
After the background, use one or two sentences to make clear and strong statements of the research problem. A research problem is an issue such as a knowledge gap or conflicting findings addressed by research work.
In a sentence or two, explain the justification of the study. This provides the importance of the study. The justification should show how the findings will help solve the problem and may also indicate the potential implications of the study.
Next, after the justification is the aim or the main objective of the study. The main objective shows what you seek to achieve and should relate to the title of the study.
You may finish the introduction by stating the specific objectives or research questions or hypotheses. The specific objectives describe the specific actions to take in order to achieve the aim.
A specific objective can be turned into a research question and a research question into a hypothesis.
Only include relevant information in your introduction.
Methodology of Scientific Presentation
In the methodology section, you may include a map of the study area. However, you should provide a sufficient description of the research design and use diagrams like flowcharts as much as possible.
Also, state the data collection procedures for each specific objective/research question/hypothesis. Finally, state the statistical analyses carried out.
Results and discussion of Scientific Presentation
In an oral scientific presentation, the results and discussion are always together. Only the results should be on the slides.
You can use a mixture of tables and figures; however, tables and figures should not be used for the same data.
The organization of the results should follow the order of the specific objectives/research questions/hypotheses.
As much as possible, the description and discussion of the results should be done off-head and not typed on the slides.
During the presentation, describe the results in the tables and figures, stating the patterns.
Also, discuss the results by assigning reasons to the patterns, comparing the findings with previous studies, and providing interpretations and implications for the findings.
Conclusion of Scientific Presentation
The last section of your presentation should provide closing thoughts on the main findings of the study. The conclusion is not a restatement of the results. You should provide implications of the findings and also suggest ideas for future studies.
If you provide intext references in your slides, do will to provide external references on a separate slide.
Before the introduction section of the research, you have to prepare your title slide. The title slide should have the title and date of the presentation as well as your name and institution or department.
You should also have a second slide for your scientific presentation outline.
Guide to preparing effective slides
Now that we know about the structure of the presentation, let us look at some tips for preparing effective slides.
The first tip is to plan your presentation. Assess the level of knowledge of your audience and decide on the content of your presentation.
Get to know the allotted time for your presentation and determine the appropriate number of slides.
Choose font types, sizes, and colours that provide good contrast to allow the audience to appreciate your presentation.
Don’t use unnecessary animations. Certain animations can be a distraction so cut down on their use.
Make your slides simple and the presentation short. Use images and bullet points, and ensure that you understand and can explain everything you put on the slides.
Tips for preparing towards presentation
After preparing your slides, the next thing is to master what you have prepared. First of all, read through the slides and formulate what you will say on each bullet point.
Write down what you have formulated on paper if that will help you remember. Using what you have formulated, practice over and over until you are convinced you can even present without the slides.
Make changes to the slides and improve upon the practice where necessary. Also, time yourself during your practice and ensure that you are within time.
Make sure not to read from the slides. You can combine two or three sentences including what is on the slide. You can also use transition words and phrases to make your presentation coherent.
Tips for Delivering a Great Scientific Presentation
During presentations, the audience makes all sorts of conscious and unconscious judgments about you before you even utter your first word.
It is therefore important that you set the right tone from the start. Wear clothes that make a strong first impression. Dress to look good, feel good, and also for the venue.
No shyness on the day of the presentation, and never assume that your examiners or audience know more about the topic than you.
When you are giving the chance to start, greet first, introduce yourself and state the title of your presentation.
Try as much as possible to control your nervousness when you start. Speak clearly so that your audience can easily understand your words.
Face the audience and make proper eye contact. You also need to be conscious of your non-verbal communication.
Use body language that portrays confidence. Don’t lose your confidence even when you make a mistake somewhere.
Remember to end your presentation with a big thank you.
Finally, you have to be prepared to answer questions on anything you put on the slides or say during your presentation.
When you are asked questions, don’t be too quick to answer them. You can politely ask for a repeat of the question to give you some time to think. Don’t do this for all the questions though.
The main sections to include in the oral scientific presentation of original research are the introduction, methodology, results and discussion, and conclusion.
To give a great PowerPoint presentation of your thesis, dissertation or research article, you have to prepare effective slides, practice several times until you are convinced you can even present without the slides, present with confidence on the day of the presentation, and be prepared for questions.