University of Vermont

UVM Student Research Conference

Your Oral Presentation

Oral presentations consist of a 12-minute talk accompanied by a visual (usually PowerPoint) presentation, followed by 3 minutes for questions.


Below are some helpful tips for making presentations:

  • Many students prefer notes. Be sure to write notes that can be understood at a glance. Write in bold fonts, keep your reminders short and to the point, and make sure they help you stay on track.
  • Some of us present faster with an audience and some of us go slower. Practice your presentation with your roommates, family, and/or colleagues to test out the length of your presentation.
  • Use visuals, but don't expect your audience to read and listen at the same time — keep slides minimalistic and important.
  • Keep your introduction and conclusion brief, to the point, and similar. You want your audience to leave feeling they've learned something and a conclusion is a good opportunity to draw them back to what they've learned.
  • The bulk of your presentation should be on your key points and evidence or focused to one point in particular. Try to hone your presentation to suit your time limit, audience, and field.
  • Plan for questions! Your talk is likely briefer than what you would have written in a paper, so there will always be things you had to leave out and you will be asked about those.
  • Remember, the people in the audience are interested to hear what you have to say. Breathe and look at your audience — they are likely excited by your subject and want to engage. Relax and remember that you are among colleagues not judges.


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Last modified March 20 2017 01:58 PM