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Everyone prepares differently and has a different presenting style. The points below are to be taken as suggestions of what works for many people, not as instructions applicable to everyone.


Preparing your talk

  • Think about the structure – the intro, the body of the talk and the conclusion

  • Tell a story

  • Prepare a take-home message – the one thing that you want people to remember

  • Make what you’re saying relevant to the lives of the audience members

  • Give context to what you are saying

  • Use humour only when appropriate – don’t force it

  • Make your opening engaging – it sets the tone of your talk

  • Make people think ‘I want to know more’

  • Avoid jargon and being over-scientific – find simpler synonyms

  • Don’t say too much – there’s only so much an audience can absorb

  • Try your talk out on someone without a science background (friends or family)

  • Make sure you fit into the time limit (3 minutes)

  • Practise, practise, practise


Giving your talk

  • Take your time walking on stage

  • Don’t start speaking the second you walk on stage - make a short pause before you start

  • Don’t be too stiff – assume natural stances

  • Don’t step back and forth pointlessly – it’s distracting

  • Make your gestures bigger on stage

  • Avoid monotony – especially in your voice

  • Make eye contact with the whole room, not just one side




Visual aids are NOT the presentation! They’re a tool to SUPPORT it!


Visual aids SHOULD:

  • Have a purpose

  • Be visible to everyone in the audience

  • Reinforce your key message

  • Illustrate difficult concepts


Visual aids should NOT:

  • Distract from what you’re saying

  • Be confusing or too complicated

  • Be indiscernible – be especially careful where writing is involved


What grabs and holds the audience’s attention

  • New interesting information

  • Your passion about the subject

  • Humour (i.e. jokes, anecdotes, etc.)

  • Suspense and surprise

  • Connection to everyday life

  • Props

  • Controversy



Show your passion for science. Make us care.


Enjoy it! Love it! This is your moment!

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