Seminar Presentation Hints
The following are some hints on making a seminar presentation.
- Speak as if it is your own paper. That is, do not say things like "he
- Prepare transparencies (or PowerPoint images). You must give each member
of the class a copy of your presentation images before you talk.
- Start by stating what is the general goal of your paper. You should
be able to do this in 1 to 3 sentences. Most of the time, equations are
not helpful in describing a paper's general goal.
- Try to give a simple, motivating example first.
- Examples are better than words or formulas. So, try to explain by having
an example that you follow for one or more steps.
- When you are presenting an algorithm, show a step of an example between
each step of the algorithm.
- Try to avoid presenting a great deal of general, introductory material.
Present only the background that is immediately important to your paper.
- Keep in mind that often the most important part of a written paper
is in the second half of the paper.
- Use 24 point type on the transparencies.
- Have approximately 25-50 words on each image.
- Have only one or two major ideas on each image.
- Do not split a major idea between two images.
- If you have several bullets on the same image, "build" the
image up, bullet by bullet. This means present the first bullet, then on
the next image, present the first bullet and the new second second bullet;
then on the next image, present the first two bullets as well as the new
third bullet; etc.
- Avoid having "a" "an" "the" on the images.
- Number each image. This means that each image should have a sequential
number on it. "1" on the first image, "2" on the second
- Have approximately 20-30 images for a half hour presentation.
- Briefly stated: When you present:
- Clearly describe the goals of your paper -- do this at the start of
- Have a series of small examples,
- Every time you define something, show a small example, of what you
- When you have an algorithm, show each step using a small example,
- Only put up terms that you can explain,
- Avoid using the board to show anything that should be part of your
- Do not go back and forth between images to explain something