Speaker's Guideline Summary
(Click here for a printable pdf version.)
BE graduate students are each expected to give a BATS talk during their third and fourth year (click here for the official policy). This is usually a progress report but it may also focus on a thesis introduction/rationale and plans or on a description of an important new technique that might be of interest to the group.
A good seminar should be more than just a data presentation. It should tell an interesting story and keep the audience engaged and intrigued; it should be constructed in some ways like a play or novel. The scene should be set, the background laid out, the characters introduced, the plot developed, and the action brought to a climax. An epilog might be in order. And, of course, the credits.
The following is a brief list of things to consider when preparing your presentation; more details are only a click away.
TIMING. Allow time for latecomers, introductions, interruptions, and - most importantly - questions.
• No more than 15 minutes.
INTRODUCTION. The introduction should be concise, informative, and provocative. Two minutes or so.
MAIN POINT. Tell only one story! Know what you want to say. Connect your conclusions to your data. Don't lose your focus. Nine or ten minutes.
SUMMARY. Summarize your logic. Tell what you'll do next and why. Stimulate the audience to think ahead with you. Two or three minutes.
VISUAL AIDS. Show up a bit early to make sure your connection to the projector works. Keep your slides few, simple, and legible.
THE QUESTION PERIOD. Leave time for questions. Have friends ask you some tough ones ahead of time. Don't panic.