Research Presentations Workshop for Graduate Students

Michael Alley
Virginia Tech
Phone: (540)231-2426

Supporting Slides:
Presentations: Structure
Presentations: Visual Aids
Presentations: Delivery

Template with Model:
Various Backgrounds
Light Background
Dark Background

Template Only:
Light Background
Dark Background

Described here is a one-day workshop that is designed to help you (the graduate student in engineering, science, or math) improve your scientific and technical presentations. The workshop has two goals: (1) to help you identify and articulate the differences between strong and weak presentations; and (2) to help you improve a presentation on which you are currently working. The workshop consists of lectures, discussions, and exercises.

Course Schedule

The following schedule presents the topics, exercises, and readings for the workshop on presentations. The readings are from The Craft of Scientific Presentations.

Time Topic/Activity Reading/Activity
Morning Formal Class
Structure of presentations
Visual aids of presentations
Delivery of presentations
Chapters 1-3
Chapter 4
Chapters 5-6
Afternoon Presentations by participants Critiques of participants' presentations

Presentation Assignment

In a follow-up session, you are to make a short presentation about a technical project on which you are working. Your presentation, which should be no more than 10 minutes and contain no more than 6 slides, should identify the project, justify the importance of that project, map the middle of what would be a complete presentation of that project, and then present one or two slides from the body. To create these slides, you are asked to download a slide template from the list at the top left corner of this web page. You are also advised to look at the following examples: Slides Example 1; Slides Example 2; and Slides Example 3.

Texts and Web Resources

Alley, Michael, The Craft of Scientific Presentations (New York: Springer-Verlag, December 2002), 242 pages.

”Presentation Slides,” Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students, ed. by M. Alley, L. Crowley, J. Donnell and C. Moore (Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Tech, 2002).

Last updated 4/04