Preparing an academic presentation for an academic conference is so involving it can send you into panic mode. There is a lot to research on, and you need to do it in a specific way and in a timed parameter. However, as you may already know, panicking will only paralyse your creativity. This needn’t be the case.
To make it easy for you, here are some useful tips on preparing a conclusive presentation which will not only impress, but also educate your audience.
- Use the Academic Formula.
If you are a guru in the field of academic presentations, you’re not subject to use a formula. However, if you are a newbie or you aren’t comfortable in the arena of educational presentations, you can adapt a method. Again these formulas are unique to different fields of study. For instance in the field of sociology, here is a tried and tested format:
- Research Question
- Literature Review/Background
- Discussion of Data
- Visual Presentation.
Nothing grabs your audience’s attention at an academic conference, faster than visual illustrations. Therefore, if you want to make a lasting impression, design your presentation around a visual illustration using either PowerPoint or your preferred choice. However, the extent to which you can use visuals is determined by the field in which you’re tailoring your presentation. Nonetheless, the following are a few guidelines you can follow:
- Ensure you use a large 24 (or above) point font. Otherwise, you risk having too much information on one slide. Also, people may not be able to see your points if you use a small font.
- Avoid including too much text on your slides. Instead, use images and bullet points. Besides, PowerPoint slides need not use full sentences or paragraphs.
- Don’t use too many slides. One slide should not take more than a minute of your presentation.
- Whatever you do, please don’t put your presentation on the slides. Especially don’t read from them. Never do this.
- Feed the Audience with your Research – they want to hear it.
Here is something you may not know – many academic presentations build on what the audience already knows. To make a great impression and have a winning presentation, though, you need to furnish your audience with personalised findings too. Give them unique information which they don’t already know.
Remember, also, that for a 15-20 minute presentation, the 6th minute should see you discussing you case study/data.
- Practice, Practice and More Practice.
Pay attention to this important point. Practice. Not enough emphasis is tied to this, and yet it is of great significance if you want to give an excellent presentation. So, even if you feel a trifle silly delivering your presentation to your dog, cat or even a toddler, just do it.
You’ll notice that the more practice, the easier it becomes. It will also help you master your presentation so that you know it by heart.
- Stick to Your Allotted time.
Make no mistake; your audience is time oriented. Ensure your material aligns with your allotted time. If you have fifteen minutes to do your presentation, your article should cover only this span of time. Remember to observe the general rule of thumb that for any reading you do, you only take two minutes for a typed double-spaced page.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to make winning presentations for any academic conference you attend from now henceforth.