I have to give a presentation about progress in my PhD after the first six months. I am not sure what is expected from a PhD student at this stage. I have done mostly literature review and a few initial experiments with the existing technology.

I am planning to divide the presentation into different sections such as background/importance of the research work, problem that needs to be addressed and possible approaches.

It would be nice to get some ideas about such presentations.

I am a student who is giving a talk on a topic in a few weeks. The talk will be a brief introduction to the topic concerned followed by a rapid survey of recent research and developments.

I have obtained an interesting result in the field by myself which complements a result that I will be talking about, so I am planning to include my result in my talk. However my result has not yet been submitted to any journal and has not been put up online independently.

How should I present this result in my talk? The talk is going to be a competition and being able to present such an independent result (even if it is minor) is considered commendable.
I want to make sure the audience notices that I have found this result. I will definitely be saying it out loud and clear, but I also want to display this somehow in my presentation.

What should be the proper way of such a display? That is, how should I put my name before this result? Shall I write, “Carter, 2017”? But note the work is unpublished. I don’t know if this is reserved only for works that have been published.

I am a student who is giving a talk on a topic in a few weeks. The talk will be a brief introduction to the topic concerned followed by a rapid survey of recent research and developments.

I have obtained an interesting result in the field by myself which complements a result that I will be talking about, so I am planning to include my result in my talk. However my result has not yet been submitted to any journal and has not been put up online independently.

How should I present this result in my talk? The talk is going to be a competition and being able to present such a (even if it is minor) independent result is considered commendable.

So I want to make sure the audience DOES NOT fail to notice that I have found this result. I will definitely be saying it out loud and clear but I also want to display this somehow in my presentation.

What should be the proper way of such a display? That is, how should I put my name before this result? Shall I write, “Carter, 2017”? But note the work is unpublished. I don’t know if this is reserved only for works that have been published.

I would like to know how people avoid unnecessary competition if they are going to give a talk or present a poster about their work. Of course, presenting our work might hopefully lead to new collaboration and connections, however, it might lead to competition with others if they find the idea behind the work good.
Do you only present your published work? or do you present your work when you are sure it is going to published soon so even if someone else wants to do the same work cannot finish in time?

I’m teaching a lot of students who are fairly unresponsive in a large class that is set early in the morning. While I’m working on ways to encourage them to respond to questions, I find that normal indicators of how one is doing are absent: they don’t laugh at jokes, groan, interrupt, or give much indication at all of how they are finding the content. If I ask if people understand or have questions, I will get no responses. While I find this somewhat discouraging, a more pressing issue is that I find it hard to work out if they are actually understanding what I’m saying (or perhaps they understand, but disagree). Possibly they are bored, or tired (as it is early). Presumably I’ll get feedback at the end of the course, but I’d rather fix any issues now rather than later.

When trying to evaluate myself I think I might rush sentences, and use too many crutch words, but I don’t know if this is an issue for students. If it is, they are highly unlikely to say as much, to my face at least! It is even hard to gauge their prior knowledge and what sort of level of terminology I can assume will be understood. For throwaway comments I can give synonyms or quick explanations, but doing this constantly will slow things down a lot and will be tiresome for those who already understand these terms. I don’t want to send out a question which essentially amounts to “do I suck?”

I am preparing for my PhD oral defense in engineering. It is constituted of two parts: first, a 40-minutes long (public) presentation; then, Q&A with the jury.

Question: Is it advisable to give a handout with presentation slides to the jury?

On such document, there would be 2-3 slides per page plus a large margin so that the jury could take notes, as well as the bibliography with references I cite in the slides. There are about 30 slides, which are very illustrative (i.e. without complex equations, but rather made of diagrams with little text).

The pros would be to make easier for the jury to take notes, to follow the slides (slides are projected above my head in the amphitheater) or to go back if they missed a step. Moreover, most of the jury are not native speaker, when both the slides and the talk will be given in English.

The cons would be that they could be tempted to ‘fast-forward’ and/or get distracted instead of concentrating on my talk. (Even if I do acknowledge it’s hard to be fully concentrated during 40 minutes straight.) They would also not benefit from the explanations (i.e. the step by step construction of diagrams using beamer’s slides).


There are no rules fixed, neither by the University, nor by the common practice in my sub-field. My supervisor has no opinion on the topic.

I am a master’s student of Linguistics and am just finishing my first year of the master’s programme. For one of my term papers I am currently doing an empirical study, on a topic I think is really important and with striking results. While browsing on the Internet I found a CfP for a conference on a field of research into which my study would fit perfectly.

Now my question is: Is it weird to submit an abstract in hopes of presenting on that conference, even though I am only a master’s student?
Do I have any chance at all to present there or do most conference-organizers immediately dismiss master students because they are not experienced enough? (It is not a student’s conference or anything similar)

I just don’t know anyone who is experienced enough with these sorts of things to ask them…

I understand that it is best to give a good oral presentation supported by slides with minimal text. Questions like this have been asked before, but in the context of a “normal” presenter.

My ability to communicate in front of an audience is however so impaired by my nerves during a presentation that I think I can communicate more information by making nearly self-explanatory slides.

What is your advice on this in case of unusual limitations or problems of the presenter? Problems such as:

  • nervousness up to the extent that language gets incoherent,
  • people who do not speak the language required for the presentation well,
  • people with voice problems.

I understand this question can be a general debate of taste or style. But in general the objective in communication is the exchange of information by means of imperfect/corrupt media. If it’s difficult to repair or replace the media, it seems to make sense to change the mode of transmission. In an academic setting such as a conference presentation, or even a keynote, how acceptable is it to make the talk supporting the slides, in stead of the slides supporting the talk?

As a impaired presenter, is it OK to use more text and equations on slides?

I understand that it is best to give a good oral presentation supported by slides with minimal text. Questions like that are asked before, but in the context of a “normal” person or presenter.

My ability to communicate in front of an audience is however so impaired by my nerves during a presentation. That i think i might communicate more information, by making nearly self explanatory slides.

What is your advice on this in case of unusual limitations or problems of the presenter? Problems such as nervousness up to an extend, that language gets incoherent, or for people who are not well able to speak the language required for the presentation. Or for people with voice problems.

I understand this question can be a general debate of taste or style. But in general the objective in communication is the exchange of information by means of imperfect/corrupt media. If its difficult to repair or replace the media, it seems to make sense to change the mode of transmission. In an academic setting such as a conference presentation, or even a keynote, how acceptable is it to make the talk supporting the slides, in stead of the slides supporting the talk?