Presentation Pet Peeves

No time for blogging with impending grant deadline, small author proof crisis, and some associated drama. I hate lab/personnel drama.

Don’t desert me- I’ll be back- but I’ve got to take care of business. I’ll leave you temporarily with this… two more presentation pet peeves:

1.  Deliver the presentation TO THE AUDIENCE, not to the board.

2. Don’t forget to tell them what you are going to tell them… in a little outline somewhere near the beginning of the talk.

Add your own if you wish…

Loose Ends.

I’m going to clean up in a few areas in this post.

First, a couple points about oral presentations/job talks that are just making me crazy lately.

#1. DO NOT start a new story in an oral presentation, job talk or otherwise, at 48 minutes in. Just don’t do it- at 48 minutes in there is only one thing left to do- leave well enough alone, and conclude.

#2.  Please, please, please- before you go off to give a talk somewhere- make sure you check out each and every one of your figures on a PC AND ON A MAC. I’m begging you. This is really a minor detail for you that’s easy to take care of. I can’t appreciate your lovely flow cytometry data, if I can’t see it. Borrow a mac or a pc if you need to, you can save your presentations on a memory stick saved both from the PC and from the Mac… this just would make this member of your audience less grumpy!

Second, Eugenie kindly gave Continue reading

10 Minute Talks

My most senior graduate student participated in a research competition late last week, and as part of this competition she was invited to give a ten minute presentation of her work. This was EXCITING for us both, and was a little scary for me-… you see, DrMrA is the undisputed champion mentor for public speaking- his students always win the research competition.  He didn’t have one apply this year- so it fell to me to uphold the A family graduate-student-10-minute-talk honor.

My student was informed that she was invited to present only 1 week prior to the competition- and she teaches 1 and 1/2 days per week … she has 3 kids…. and add to that that she is working feverishly to do several not-totally-straight-forward experiments for a manuscript we have in revision- all somewhat time sensitive.  Now throw on preparing for the 10 minute talk. This schedule is not for the faint of heart- but, as I always tell my students- it’s a lesson in just gritting your teeth and getting it done.  The big events in life just don’t happen in a vacuum- there is always a child throwing up, a husband out of town, AND a manuscript to revise…

So how did we prep for the talk?  Continue reading

Unsolicited Advice: Job Search (Pt. 9)

There are three rules about choosing great investments in real estate (Location, 3x)… Similarly, there are three rules about prepping for giving a great talk….




You must practice public speaking in order to be good at it. A few people (and I mean VERY few), are gifted with public speaking and require less practice than the rest of us… but don’t go on a job interview assuming you are one of them. Continue reading