Student Presentation Tips

For generalized physics audiences such as those found at AUPAC, we're all coming from very different backgrounds. The difficult balancing act is in presenting your work with integrity while allowing your audience to latch on to key takeaways.

Strategies we liked:
- Layering the complexity bit by bit as the presentation progresses
- Use of analogies/simplified diagrams to focus on important behaviour
- Slides that gave just enough detail: too dense and we spend all our time reading instead of listening; too sparse and its death by 1000 slides
Specifically related to the fact that you're being judged, it's a good idea to:
- Make it clear exactly what your contribution is
- Practice answering questions to which you don't know the answer. Get your peers to come up with some specific, general, and oddball questions while you're practicing

Making it Visible
Two things we particularly appreciated were:
1. Clear graphs
2. Clear equations
A few questions for identifying whether your data/equations are clear include:
- If you print out your slide on letter paper and place it on the floor at your feet, can you read it clearly and easily? (Alternatively, you can replicate this with a tablet)
- Is there anything that you can see yourself skimming over that could be removed?
- Is there anywhere you can use a proportional symbol to simplify equations?
- Can you use boxes or arrows to highlight key features? (For equations, see for example from https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/75129/boxed-tikz-and-colored-equationbackground? noredirect=1&lq=1)
- When presenting data in tables, have you used an appropriate number of significant figures?
- Are there any data that could be omitted without losing track of your narrative?

If in doubt, create two sets of the same slide: a detailed version after your conclusion that you can refer to at need during questions, and a pared down version in your presentation.

Pacing
From the judges perspective, the most memorable presentations were the ones where:
- The speaker started and remained confident in tone, pace, and posture
- The speaker used slides as prompts, instead of reading verbatim through prepared notes
-The speaker did not rush the audience, even near the end of the talk

There are few shortcuts here. To feel confident takes preparation. To pace appropriately, you need to practice over and over again. For a 12 minute presentation, aim for eight practices.

- Notes fromt the Judges of AUPAC 2020

Halifax Map

With directions to Westin from SMU