Mavis Presentation Guidelines

Presentation Format

  • MF3 Fellows will have 8-10 minutes to present an overview of their research.  This presentation is for a general audience which is scientifically literate but not specialists in your narrow field.
  • 3 minutes for questions and answer by the audience and general feedback about your presentation.
  • 2 minutes for the External Evaluator to give feedback.
  • All students will receive their written evaluation sheets from the Mavis Fellows and the External Evaluator.

Note:  Great illustration of communicating “science for everybody” presentation.  Presentation was given by a group of Illinois graduate students in Physics (Courtney Krafczyk, Rebecca Holmes, Michelle Victora, Jia Jun Wong, and Sheldon Scot Schlie).

Tips for Preparing Your Presentation

IMPORTANT:  Avoid “Death by PowerPoint“.

  • Introduction slide should contain the title (which should cue the audience on what they are about to learn),  bibliographic citation, presenter’s name, any acknowledgments, and funding disclaimers.
  • The presentation should inform the audience of the following information.
    • Research Problem/Motivation
    • Background – what the audience needs to know to help them follow the talk
    • Why it is significant – what is the impact to society
    • Methods
    • Results and what do they mean
    • Conclusions – what are your next steps
    • Summary
  • Summary slide should recap the main points of the presentation, which helps the audience to formulate their questions.  This slide should stay up during the question-and-answer session.
  • Make the summary slide count, as it will receive the longest audience exposure.
  • Have your contact information in the lower right-hand corner of the summary slide.
  • Estimate about 2 minutes per slide.  Allow more time for dense slides, equations, and tabular data.
  •  Graphics help the audience understand complex concepts.
  • Concentrate on the meaning vs. technical terms and the details of the actual experiment.
  • Avoid a slide with all formulas.
  • Define terms and any acronyms that are used.
  • Know your audience and their technical ability to ensure they will be able to understand the talk.
  • PowerPoint Tips to use when preparing PPT slides.
  • Guide on color contrast and readability when creating a presentation.

Different Presentation Software

Note:  PowerPoint presentations are the most commonly used.  Below lists other software options for creating a presentation.  If you choose to use a different software, it is important to bring a PDF version of your talk as not all computers used in the classrooms at Illinois or at your conferences will support these software packages.