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How To Give a Good Talk

How To Give a Good Talk. Last Revised on 2008.10.27. Sue Moon Associate Professor Computer Science Department. Why Is It Important?. Because … A good talk is a highly effective means of one-to-many communication Prospective employers/readers are in the audience

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How To Give a Good Talk

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  1. How To Give a Good Talk Last Revised on 2008.10.27. Sue Moon Associate Professor Computer Science Department

  2. Why Is It Important? • Because … • A good talk is a highly effective means of one-to-many communication • Prospective employers/readers are in the audience • Internships, post-docs, academic/industry positions • Vicious Cycle • Good speaker • More invitations, more talks, better speeches • Bad speaker • If you’re a student : no job interviews • If you have a job: lose popularity, get fewer invitations, disappear into oblivion

  3. Know Your Audience • Who are they? • What do they want from your talk? • Their technical background determines: • Academic info vs industry overview • Technical details vs opinions

  4. At the Podium • Always face the audience • Have eye contact with audience • Don’t show the back of your head to audience • Have your computer monitor right in front of you • Look relaxed • Check your idiosyncratic gestures • Swinging, hands in pockets, on waist, or in the back • Use moderate amount of gestures • Keep audience alert

  5. Your Title Slide • It should be informative • Talk title • Location and Time • Your work or someone else’s? • Collaborators? • Any title page should be as informative

  6. Your Slides • Be succinct and descriptive • Avoid full sentences • Do not list only nouns; use action verbs to be descriptive • Use a small # of colors • Too many colors distract audience from main focus • Use big fonts • Readable without restraining • Limit # of lines per slide

  7. Graphs, Tables, and Equations • Use as few tables and equations as possible • Tables are hard to read • Equations are hard to follow • Use as many graphs as possible • Graphs are easy to read and remember • Graphs • Make legends and axis labels big enough • Use animation and figures when possible • In RGB colors; pastel colors don’t always work due to lighting

  8. Time Your Talk • Allocate 1 ~ 3 minutes per slide • Every slide counts and takes up time • 15 slides for 20 min talk • 30~35 slides for 40 min talk • 100+ slides for 1hr-long talk => horrible • Prepare transitional comments between slides • Keep audience involved • Plan time for intro & motivation • For talks shorter than 30 minutes, make sure you spend 1/3 of time on intro & motivation

  9. Prepare Answers to Likely Questions • Ask yourself 3~5 most likely questions • Prepare backup slides for those questions • If asked an unexpected question • And if you don’t have an answer • Acknowledge you haven’t thought about it and thank the person

  10. Appendix A:Guideline for Your 1st Public Talk

  11. For First-Time Non-Native Speakers [Dry Run #0] • Go over the storyline/storyboard with co-authors [Dry Run #1] • Have the complete set of slides ready • Expect lots of structural changes • Write down a script for the first 5 pages ** Most pointed-out weaknesses ** • “You don’t explain why you’re showing me the slide” • “You don’t explain what lesson to take from the slide” • “Why” @beginning and “So What?” @end

  12. For First-Time Non-Native Speakers [Dry Run #2] • Incorporate all the comments • Record your talk and see it for yourself • Physical peculiarities: body swinging, showing the back of your head to the audience, hands in pockets, hands on your waist, … • Others: frequent coughing [Dry Run #3] • See if you can replace tables with animations • See if you explain any part better with animations • Write down a script for the complete talk [Dry Run #4] • See if you can escape from the typical “monotonous” speech • Final check on all the points above • Do you deliver your enthusiasm about your work?

  13. You Shall Not Get OnboardBefore You Have Not DoneFour Dry Runs “You SHALL NOT register before a decent dry run” – Sue Moon

  14. At the Conference [Dry Run #5] • Upon arrival in the hotel room by yourself [Dry Run #6] • The day before the real talk • By yourself or in front of whoever you can entice

  15. You’re not the only one • Stefan Savage practiced his 1st SOSP talk 5 times • Zhi-Li Zhang did more than 7 dry runs of his job talk • Stefan and Zhi-Li both recorded and watched their talks • Jeff Mogul still practices his talk whenever possible • XXX had to give the SIGCOMM talk instead of the student

  16. Appendix B:Non-Native Speaker’s Disadvantage

  17. How Harder Do You Have to Work? • IMHO, at least 30% • In paper writing and presentation • If you have to work harder than 30% • Either you’re not ready for PhD • Or study English intensively for 6 months • Take a leave of absence!!! • How to bridge the 30% gap? • So much an advisor can do • Start now and invest time for your future

  18. Appendix C:Bad Talks

  19. Opinions about Bad Talk • Too many bad talks in local workshops/confs • Slides full of diagrams and words • Graphs w/o proper accreditation • No distinction of original contributions from related work • No transition between slides • No “why” and “so what” • No respect for time limit • More of a propaganda than a research talk • More “We should” than “we have done” • Don’t turn yours into yet another one of them

  20. Appendix D:Tips from Fellow Students

  21. 장 건의 경험담 • 0) slide에 알아야 할 내용 다 적고, 다양한animation을 통해 혹시 발음을 못알아 듣더라도 따라갈 수 있도록.1)  full script를 준비2) 첫10페이지 정도 완벽하게 외우기(실험 결과들 전까지)- 사실 영어가 잘되면 이야기할 내용들만 정확하게 다 외워도 되겠지만,   non-native speaker입장에서 한번 당황하기 시작하면 겉잡을 수 없으므로 거의 다 외우다시피 하는게 좋은거 같아요. 결과들은 그래도 설명하기가 쉬운거 같은데, 그래프 설명하는거는 생각보다 어렵습니다.--;그래프도 어떻게 말할찌 꼼꼼하게 준비하고axis설명 다 하고 해야 합니다.3) 파워포인트에 녹음 기능 사용해서 들어보기(들어보면 엄청난konglish에 압박이.) (시간도 재줘서 좋습니다.)4) dry-run은 위에께 준비된 상태로3번정도?5) 만약을 대비한 각 페이지별 얘기할 내용들에 대한cheat sheet6) 강조할 부분(강조해서 말할 부분) 미리 찾아서 연습!7) 예상 질문과 대답0,5,6,7은dry-run을 하면서 많이comment를 받을 수 있으리라고 보입니다.그 외에 어려운 단어를 되도록 발음하기 좋은 단어로 바꾸는것도 한가지 방법인거 같습니다.

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