Notes for the presentation

When preparing your talk you should consider the following points:
  • Start early gathering the material.
  • Talk to us. Students should always contact their supervisor at least once and no later than a 4 days before the presentation to seek some advice. You are not expected to give a perfect talk but you should try to learn and improve.
  • Ask yourself some questions: before you researched on the topic - what would you have understood from the way you are planning to present or be interested in? Will your colleagues understand it and benefit?
  • Don't stuff your talk with too many technical details but keep it simple. To convey a message rather strike a good balance between general comprehenisbility and rigour but don't try to impress anyone with technical details.
  • Don't talk to the wall, talk to the audience.
  • Practice your talk in a real-world setting (not just stepping through the slides and muttering to yourself).
  • Be aware of what's next, don't be surprised by your own slides.
  • Mention references, ideally as a footnote on the slide you refer to the material.
  • Mind your body language (take off your cap, don't keep the hands (fists) in your pockets).
  • As a rule of thumb: no more than 20 words on one slide, no more than 1 slide for 2 minutes.
  • Avoid whole sentences on the slides, try to use just section headings, pictures (illustrations, animations, ...) and bulletpoints.
  • Explain *everything* you show on a slide (picture, symbols, colour coding ...), don't just wave about your hands.
  • Round it up: what is the take home message?
  • If you are giving your first talk (e.g. in a Vertiefungsmodul) using notes is acceptable atlhough you should still try to speak freely. We understand that speaking English is often a problem, so we won't penalize anyone for his/her lack of vocabulary knowledge, lack of fluencey or errors arising as a consequence of these shortcomings. Mind that our English is far from perfect and that the aim is to learn how to communicate Science not to pass an exam in English language.
  • Speak up, don't mutter.
  • For a seminar (e.g. a talk on the subject of your Bioinformatics 5 essay) you should target a very general audience. Every fellow student and every non-expert should be able to understand at least the basics and the messages. Don't say "as you all know", because most of the times we simply don't.
  • For a presentation in which you describe your project you should also make clear what the technical advances and difficulties of the project were, why you did it and what could be done in the future. Still, you should not try to impress anyone (e.g. by showing source code). Try to explaini what the method actually does, what the new insights are etc.
  • If your talk is about a more general matter, such as experimental techniques generating data, emphasize the relevance of the data and potential errors in the data etc. for bioinformatics research.
  • Each presentation should last for about 15 - 20 minutes

Take it easy!