Simple Guide to Giving a Talk

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tell your story, show your enthusiasm for it, make it clear, and talk to the audience (not the slide). Give the audience a chance to reach your most exciting conclusions with you. You will give a better talk – it might even be a great talk.

Well, that was tragic. I just left a seminar I was very much looking forward to (“to which I was very much looking forward” – thank you Ms. Rosenberg, my sixth-grade grammar teacher).

Terrific scientist, exciting findings, and somehow, I almost fell asleep in my sushi. (Yes, moles eat sushi, even without insects). There were only a couple of rather forced questions, one from the moderator, and when the questioner began with “Very nice talk…” there was an audible snicker from the person next to me. I often wonder when the first question that follows a really awful presentation opens with something along the lines of “Nice talk…”. It could be embarrassment on the part of the audience, or encouragement (“it really wasn’t that terrible”), or perhaps it is pure sarcasm (like when someone walks in from a blustery day and we say, “Nice hair…”).

But, of course, that isn’t what I want to talk about here. I want to talk about talks. We need to talk about talks. We should have a guide to how to give a talk. And so it shall be.

Read the full guide / article on the Journal of Cell Science website: We need to talk | Journal of Cell Science | The Company of Biologists

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