Oral Presentation Assignment

Speaking assignment

  • Give a 10-minute presentation about your research (APS March Meeting style). If possible, talk about your own research that will be part of your upcoming PhD Oral exam or Masters exam. Tips for preparing your talk.
  • After the presentation, listen to feedback from classmates. Take notes of their feedback (bring a pen and paper).
  • Make adjustments to your talk.
  • Present your improved talk at the end of the quarter.

Listening assignment

  • Be an active audience member when listening to classmates present their talks. At the end of each talk, support your classmate by sharing what you see as a strength and what you see as a place for improvement.


Learning presentation skills requires that you spend time on both sides of the stage. As an audience member, develop a critical eye for the techniques used by other presenters. What worked, what didn't work? As a speaker, practice the techniques. The more ideas you try in your own presentation, the more you will notice in other presentations.

Oral presentation skills will continue to evolve throughout your life. Every scientific result brings with it unique communication challenges. Your work as a communicator is never over. It will always be important to find friendly test audiences who can critique your practice talks. And you will always learn new communication techniques by watching others.

Time saving tips in powerpoint

Powerpoint (and other presentation making software) has some time saving features you should be aware. Ask Ethan to give a demo.

  • Clip a screen capture
  • Drag and drop into power point
  • Adjust axis number size
  • Align objects
  • Group objects
  • Duplicate slide for poor man's animation

Additional Resources