How To Present My Research Paper

How to Present a Research Paper in 5 Minutes by Prof. Kevin McGee

by Shengdong Zhao on Aug 27, 2012 • 7:24 pmNo Comments

The following video shows an example of presenting a research paper in 5 minutes by Prof. Kevin McGee. Sorry that the video quality is low. However, I hope some insights can be learned beyond these blur images.

How to Present a Research Paper in 5 minutes

In the video, the 5 minute presentation covers the following important topics about a research paper:

  • What’s the problem the paper tries to address and why is the problem important? 
  • What’s the previous work and how is this paper different?
  • What’s the contribution of the paper?
  • What’s the method used?
  • What’s the take-away message?
  • Any additional critics or questions?

You should be able to summarize any paper in a similar fashion.

To see the slides of the presentation, please follow the link below.

Written by Shengdong Zhao

Shen is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department, National University of Singapore (NUS). He is the founding director of the NUS-HCI Lab, specializing in research and innovation in the area of human computer interaction.

In some classes, writing the research paper is only part of what is required. Your professor may also require you to give an oral presentation about your study. Here are some things to think about before you are scheduled to give a presentation.

1.  What should I say?

If your professor hasn't explicitly stated what your presentation should focus on, think about what you want to achieve and what you consider to be the most important things that members of the audience should know about your study. Think about the following: Do I want to inform my audience, inspire them to think about my research, or convince them of a particular point of view? These questions will help frame how you want to approach your presentation topic.

2.  Oral communication is different from written communication

Your audience has just one chance to hear your talk; they can't "re-read" your words if they get confused. Focus on being clear, particularly if the audience can't ask questions during the talk. There are two well-known ways to communicate your points effectively. The first is the K.I.S.S. method [Keep It Simple Stupid]. Focus your presentation on getting one to three key points across. Second, repeat key insights: tell them what you're going to tell them [forecast], tell them [explain], and then tell them what you just told them [summarize].

3.  Think about your audience

Yes, you want to demonstrate to your professor that you have conducted a good study. But professors often ask students to give an oral presentation to practice the art of communicating and to learn to speak clearly and audibly about yourself and your research. Questions to think about include: What background knowledge do they have about my topic? Does the audience have any particular interests? How am I going to involve them in my presentation?

4.  Create effective notes

If you don't have notes to refer to as you speak, you run the risk of forgetting to highlight something important. Also, having no notes increases the chance you'll lose your train of thought and begin relying on reading from the presentation slides. Think about the best ways to create notes that can be easily referred to as you speak. This is important! Nothing is more distracting to an audience than the speaker fumbling around with his or her notes as they try to speak. It gives the impression of being disorganized and unprepared. A good general strategy is to have a page of notes for each slide so that the act of referring to a new page helps remind you to move to a new slide.

Strategies for creating effective notes include the following:

  • Choose a large, readable font [at least 18 point in Ariel]; avoid using fancy text fonts or cursive text.
  • Use bold text, underlining, or different-colored text to highlight elements of your speech that you want to emphasize. Don't over do it, though. Only highlight the most important elements of your presentation.
  • Leave adequate space on your notes to jot down additional thoughts or observations before and during your presentation. This is also helpful when writing down your thoughts in response to a question or to remember a multi-part question [remember to have a pen with you when you give your presentation].
  • Place a cue in the text of your notes to indicate when to move to the next slide, to click on a link, or to take some other action. If appropriate, include a cue in your notes if there is a point during your presentation when you want the audience to refer to a handout.
  • Spell out challenging words phonetically and practice saying them ahead of time. This is particularly important for accurately pronouncing people’s names, technical or scientific terminology, or words in a foreign language.

Creating and Using Overheads. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Kelly, Christine. Mastering the Art of Presenting. Inside Higher Education Career Advice; Giving an Oral Presentation. Academic Skills Centre. University of Canberra; Lucas, Stephen. The Art of Public Speaking. 10th edition. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008; Peery, Angela B. Creating Effective Presentations: Staff Development with Impact. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2011; Peoples, Deborah Carter. Guidelines for Oral Presentations. Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries; Perret, Nellie. Oral Presentations. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Speeches. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Storz, Carl et al. Oral Presentation Skills. Institut national de télécommunications, EVRY FRANCE.

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