PRESENTATIONS Overview PRESENTATIONS – THESE MATTER Sad but true – presenting probably matters more than writing in economics. Why: Most academics go to far more seminars then they read full papers
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Look at the audience (not screen/PC). This requires preparation
Scan the audience – engages people and gives you feedback
Speak loudly – enough so everyone can hear
Speak at a reasonable (slow-enough pace)
Smile and appear relaxed (even if you’re not) – people take cues from you
Keep going even if things go badly – it is hard to assess how things are going during a presentation
THERE IS A WIDE FIRM LEVEL SPREAD IN EVERY COUNTRY, WITH LONG TAILS IN THE UK & FRANCE
Always always always be polite! In particular never suggest a question is stupid in any way (even if it is).
Use peoples first names wherever possible
Refer back to people that asked questions earlier – do this as much as possible
Refer to peoples work if it is relevant to you presentation. This requires research – guess your audience and scan their work
Always appear calm and relaxed even if the questions are tough
You can park one question a seminar – i.e. say “that’s a good question”, repeat to clarify, then say “let me think about that”
Always use your own laptop if possible – you know yours works…
Get practice wherever possible – still after about 50+ seminars I am definitely learning. So apply for PhD seminars, conferences, internal workshops, overseas presentations…
Best bet is to dress “Smart-casual” – i.e. slacks and a shirt. Suit & tie only for policy/business presentations or Rookie market
Timing – for a 1.5 hour seminar prepare to talk for 1 hour, leaving about 30 minutes for questions
Plan ahead – so work out which sections to drop if time runs short.
Occasional humours works well in longer seminars to help keep people engaged (if you can manage this)