It is very common for scientists and engineers to be
asked to deliver a presentation as part of her (or his)
interview. We have mentioned overcoming nervousness,
audience analysis and dealing with unexpected situations.
This post offers some suggestions and rules of
thumb to “improve your game”–
1. how much time will be allotted, who will attend?
2. can you set up your files, projector in advance with
3. ask to visit the rest room to comfort yourself and
check yourself out in the mirror.
4. have some water to drink to ease “dry mouth”
5. Practice your material with simulated situation
Know what you will say
introduce yourself clearly and confidently, thank
the host for the invitation, describe your background
and importance/relevance of your topic
Consider telling a story.
Rules of Thumb
- Focus on one medium of visuals. A second, static
one can be helpful for take home messages or questions.
- Readability of visuals. Think about this in advance.
Size and legibility. Use the 1-7-7-rule
1 topic per slide
7 words per line, max
7 lines per page, max
- Animations can be powerful, if done well.
English speakers use Left to right, top to bottom.
Other directions lead to confusion and possible miss-
reading. Avoid making the audience search a busy slide.
- Focus on the audience, first. Engage the audience as
informed professionals with different perspectives that
want to hear you and you wish to have capture what you
offer. Much of this is done nonverbally. Confidence,
respect and reciprocity are expected.
- Invite questions
- Thank the audience for their attention.
- Acknowledge funding sources, co-contributors.