Specs for Petya’s Scholarly Presentation
Yikes. Public speaking in general is bad enough.
The almost 20-year-old works in his field part-time, great for the future resume, and pursues his university studies part-time, year-round. So it will take him about six years to complete his BA, instead of four. However, he will most likely be ten steps ahead since he puts his once-every-three-months spare-month break to good use. Spread throughout the year, he has three months to relax, work more, or engage in further research.
Having just completed a college-related paper, he’s taking a day or two off, lol. But then he will need to get down to business, so we’re rehashing the specs. Here they are, just in case you’re ever asked to present a scholarly research paper in academia or before a professional association:
-12 typed pages, double-spaced, should equal about 20 minutes of oral presentation. (Don’t remind me of the time when I had about 20 pages, myself…! Talk about speed-reading….)
-Have additional, give-away copies of your paper with footnotes and bibliography in case anyone requests it.
-On the copy from which you will be reading, mark [SLIDE] and highlight it in the margin, so you know when to click to the next frame. It might help to label it [SLIDE – map] or [SLIDE – chart] so that you have the correct picture projected at the right time, just in case you lose track.
-Aim for 20 slides, or about one per minute. (Again, I recall having over 90 slides once, but it was truly a presentation that they will not forget for sometime: Flash! Flash! Flash!)
-Any title page, charts, captions or acknowledgements should be in sans-serif type, such as Helvetica, preferably about 45-point to 60-point in size. Some guidelines recommend 30-point, however, unless your audience sits on the front row or is very young, 30-point is too small for Power Point in an average-sized auditorium.
-Learn your script well, so that it doesn’t sound like reading. Enunciate and add some enthusiasm. Project your voice. Hold the microphone about two inches from your lips. If nobody can hear you, you will be marked down. Same with if they can’t understand you.
-Bring along a laser pointer, but don’t go wild with it. Less is more.
-Stand up straight and dress professionally. A splash of bright color also helps in dimly-lit rooms.
-The moderator will generally hold up a hand to indicate five minutes left and then two minutes remaining. Wrap it up and keep to the time-table. Audiences who never get bathroom or coffee breaks might turn on you….
-Remember to thank those who assisted you along the way in the last slide. Gratefulness and generosity are always appreciated.
And there you have it. The presentation is weeks away, with both Petya and I trying not to become nervous wrecks.
—————Tags: academia and professional associations, oral research papers, organizing a formal presentation, Power Point presentations, presenting a scholarly paper, public speaking experience, scholarly presentation tips, speaking before groups, timed lecture with moderator