Lecture 25: Talks

by Mike Gleicher on April 30, 2013

Distillation of notes Advice on Presentations. Keep it short to give Tomislav Time.


  • Lectures are not talks (so what you’ve seen hasn’t doesn’t apply)
  • Talk vary – and you’ll get lots of varying advice.
  • I may not be great at it – which is why I had to think about it

The Key Points:

  1. It takes Effort
  2. Your mileage will vary
  3. Respect the Audience
  4. Your materials are not your talk
  5. Performance Art / Your voice is an instrument
  6. Be Yourself and Have Fun
  7. Learn from others (good and bad)
  8. Organize and structure for the audience
  9. Know your goals
  10. Use fewer words
  11. Onion model – and reconnect points
  12. Talk to your audience not your slides
  13. A recording of a presentation is not a presentation
  14. Job Talks are different

Takes Effort (#1)

  • Need to try to be a good speaker (Schewchuck)
  • Need to put effort into preparing and planning a talk
    • Looking “natural” often requires a lot of prep
  • Over-rehearsal is possible
  • Everyone has different issues
  • No simple rules

Your Mileage Will Vary

  • You – style, ability, experience
    • non-native speaker, …
  • Goals
  • Venue
  • Audience
  • Material (e.g. dense math is different than …)
  • The field
    • humanities (reading) vs. …

Respect Your Audience

Talk to them at the right level – and

Be Yourself and Have Fun

Your enthusiasm is critical.

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