Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Random thoughts on conference presentations

  1. When giving an invited talk at a general TCS conference, do not assume that everyone in the audience is interested in the technicalities of your subject. Focus on the main message, tell the story of the ideas and why you think they are important. Give everyone something to take home. 
  2. Do not assume that you do not need to introduce the setting for your work because someone else has done it before or on an earlier conference day. Not everyone will have attended the talks where the background and motivation were presented.
  3. Do not run over time.
  4. Never speak with your hands on your mouth, even if it feels good :-)
  5. Do not let your voice drop to an inaudible level as your sentence progresses. Dare to speak slowly and loudly.
  6. Ask yourself: How many slides do I really need for a 20-minute talk? Most of us will only use a few, and those should convey the message of the talk at a suitable level of abstraction.
The advice we give others is the advice we ourselves need.

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