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Chemistry Writing - Spring 2020 (21:160:350): Oral presentation tips

This guide was specifically created for Prof. Raffi Manjikian's class - Spring 2020

The "big picture"

  • Your introduction at the beginning should provide the audience with some background information about your topic.
  • Then talk about the research that has been done - the original research articles you've read.  Remember to focus on the chemistry.
  • Your conclusion reminds everyone of the importance of such research and discusses possible future directions.
  • Remember to CITE your sources throughout the presentation, then provide the list of references at the end following JACS style.

Oral Presentations: What to Consider

A. There are many factors to consider when giving an oral presentation and keeping in mind the following questions will help you to improve your presentations for this class and beyond:

  • What is the purpose of your oral presentation?
  • Who is your audience?  How technical can you be?
  • How much time do you have to present? How much time do you need to allow for the Q&A portion of your presentation?
  • What kind of content are you expected to include?
  • What sections might you include in your presentation?
  • How much time should you allot for each section / slide?

B. Reflect on presentations you’ve sat in on before – not only the Chemistry department’s seminar series this semester, but student presentations and class lectures, as well.

  • Which talks did you enjoy the most? Which talks did you enjoy the least? Why?
  • Now think specifically about any visual aids used. Which did you like best? Which did you like least? Why?

C. For your visual aids, consider:

  1. Colors used:
    • Text vs. Background
    • For emphasis / focus
  2. Font style
    • Simple vs. complicated
    • Size of text (for Headings vs. body)
  3. Balance of…
    • Content vs. empty space
    • Text vs. images
  4. Graphs vs. charts vs. tables


D. Spend a few minutes taking a look at these links for suggestions on how to give a great presentation:

Poster presentation tips

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