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Presenting Research Orally


  • Prepare your presentation for your audience – what do they know before hand?
    This should determine language you will  use i.e., use of jargons, terminology.
    Also this will reflect their interest, what do they want to know from your presentation.
  • Speaking  is inefficient method of communicating relatively to writing. Hence you need to cut out the unnecessary from the presentation.
  • Normal speed of speaking in presentation ~ 120 -150 words per minute = 25% slower than normal speaking.
  • Therefore in 10 minutes, maximum number of words you can cover = 15o x 10 = 1,500 words
  • Give preparation time before presentation i.e., checking presenting equipment facilities

Visual aids

  • Number of slides
    Rules depend on the disciplines
    History may be just 5 slides for 30 minutes
    I n scientific one would be around 1 slide per minute  (+ intro and Q&A).
  •   Visual aids can be used for the following function either “Drivers” or :Supplementary” or “Explanatory”.

Style of Presentation


  • Name (unless the chair has already introduced you)
  • Thanks – Chair, audience
  • Title of Research
  • Acknowledgement (or at the end of presentation)
  • Broad scope of presentation including what you won’t cover but may be expected the the audiences


  • Short hook
    – Asking question
    – Quotation
    – Refer to the current affair (especially in social science)
    – Statistics related to the subject
  • Aims and Objectives
  • 1 – 1.5 minutes for Introduction + Opening

End (summary and then conclusion)

  • Summary = reiterate what have been presented already, not the new things.
    in bullet points
  • Conclusion: Includes comments and suggestion of the future works.
    – short punchy phrase

Gesture and Body language

  • Gaze – eye contact
    – You can look down to your note but don’t speck during that time, just pause. Speck after you look up  again.
    – Use your eye contact like a lighthouse
    – Don’t look at other things, focus on your audiences.
    – Don’t pat too much attention on a particular person e.g., experts or persons who nodding their heads all the time.
  • Whole body orientation
  • Posture
  • Gesture  – hands/arms
    – Show your hands to people
    – get your hands in fornt of you
    – Don’t over gesture. bring your hands back to the focal point (e.g., stand or note or other object)
    – If you use cards, put numbers on them and stick them together so that you will not mess them when you drop them.
    – Use open-palm gesture as it is the normal gesture that doesn’t offense anyone.
  • use of space

Tips for questions

  • Offer to deal with the details afterwards
  • Be prepared to concede
  • Useful expression “It’s a case that we may have to agree to disagree”.
  • Keep calm and don’t take it personally
  • Do not comment on anything outside your area of expertise
  • Use the experts in the audience
  • If no question, you may ask yourself. “This is the question that I have been asked previously”.
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