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The Annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium

Presentation Tutorials

Friday, May 21, 2010 in Mary Gates Hall

When preparing to share your research, it is important to consider various aspects of your presentation.

You may decide to accompany your presentation with a visual slide show (e.g., PowerPoint) or handout for the audience, or include a live demonstration, performance, and/or audience participation. The format and length of your presentation may depend on the discipline and venue in which you are presenting. See below for guides to various components of your presentation.

Presenting your Work

by: Don Wulff, Associate Director, Center for Instructional Development and Research


What are some of the major issues to consider in planning for the presentation?

  • Do some audience analysis.
  • Decide on a purpose.
  • Determine how much time.
  • Work in an overall format of three parts. (introduction, body, conclusion)
  • Organize in a research format. (questions, transitions?)

    Also think about:

  • Attention, Motivation, Overview (Pull audience into the topic.)
  • Rationale/Need
  • Approach/Method
  • Results (statistics, examples-avoid imprecise words, e.g., "stuff, tons of. . .
  • Implications
  • Closure (Re-emphasize or reinforce, next steps, check understanding.)


What are some special caveats to consider for successful delivery of the research presentation?

  • Be in control. (Distance, posture, eye contact, gestures, pauses, voice)
  • Think in terms of frameworks.
  • Adapt if/when necessary. (Avoid references to time)
  • Avoid speaking too quickly.
  • Engage the audience. (Humor, examples, stories)
  • Signal the audience (Remember, they are not reading but listening).
  • Avoid verbal clutter. (Ahh, um, ya know, thinking out loud)
  • Control fear. (Accept it, practice, analyze, visualize success)
  • Leave time for questions.
  • Smile


What are some ways to assess how you did after the presentation?

  • Decide how well you achieved your goal(s).
  • Remember, there is no one best way.
  • Think in terms of things to change/improvements (not weaknesses).
  • Think back to audience reaction.
  • Do not be hard on yourself.

Preparing Presentation Slides

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