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Presentation skills

telling a compelling scientific story | tailoring to your audience | slide design | delivery | managing nerves | handling questions | acknowledging contributors | engaging your audience | using a laser pointer effectively

Get training

  • Observe others give a presentation of similar format. What did they do that was effective? What could have been done better?
  • Attend a workshop on scientific presentations
  • Read books or articles about giving a scientific presentation
  • Attend someone else’s practice talk, to learn from the feedback they receive
  • Present your research or give a journal club presentation for a local research group sharing interest in your field


  • Present your talk in an empty lecture hall, mimicking the true experience in every way but without an audience. Videotape yourself!
  • Give a practice talk to peers or scientists within and outside of your field
  • Participate in a cBCD Research Talk Clinic (coming soon - watch for publicity via student/postdoctoral listservs)

Get feedback

  • Ask someone to give you feedback during any of your opportunities to practice
  • Request feedback in specific skill areas you want to improve (delivery, slide design, engaging the audience, etc.)
  • Videotape and review your presentation
  • Participate in a cBCD Research Talk Clinic (coming soon - watch for publicity via student/postdoctoral listservs)


After each presentation, consider this:

  • What went well? What would you do differently in the future?
  • Did you elicit the response you wanted or expected from your audience? What would you do in the future to change audience response?
  • Were you able to effectively manage and answer audience questions? What went well, what would you change?

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