class: center, middle, inverse, title-slide # Academic Presenting ## How to get it right and make it work ### David Ubilava ### October, 2021 --- # Why should we care? - Presentation is a crucial part of the research life-cycle. - Once the complete draft of the paper is ready, the authors present the work to interested parties. - When done well, a presentation can play a decisive role in the ultimate success of the paper * measured by the quality of the journal it will end up in, or the number of citations it receives. - It can have important career implications for the authors. --- # In a nutshell - Giving a good academic presentation is important. - Preparing a good presentation is half the battle. --- class: inverse, center, middle name: github # Getting it right --- # The formulas - A typical research paper consists of * the introduction (see [Keith Head's post](http://blogs.ubc.ca/khead/research/research-advice/formula)), * the 'middle bits' (see [Marc Bellemare's post](https://marcfbellemare.com/wordpress/12797)), and * the conclusion (see [Marc Bellemare's post](https://marcfbellemare.com/wordpress/12060)). - The proportions and composition of different parts change as we map a paper onto a presentation. - Generally, what is true about the paper is also true about the presentation... with some adaptations. --- # Get to the point soon(er) - It is important in papers, and more so in presentations, to get to the point of the study early. - **In the paper**: * state the research question on the first page. - **In the presentation**: * state the research question on the first slide. * offer the 'answer' to the question—the takeaway message of the study—on the next slide. - When done this way, the message will stick with the audience throughout the presentation. --- # Use words (and slides) scarcely - A slide should have as few words as possible, but not fewer. * (Do as I say not as I do). - Each slide counts. - Each bullet point matters. - The word-count is not the number of words that appear on a slide, rather it's the number of words the presenter says while on that slide. * (One slide per one minute of a talk is my rule of thumb). --- # Use illustrations generously - A picture is worth a nine-hundred-and-ninety-five words * (the other five words are reserved to label the axes). - **In the paper**: * a figure should be self-contained. * this is usually achieved by properly labeling the axes, and by providing coherent footnotes. - **In the presentation**: * you are the 'coherent footnote.' --- # Use tables... NOT - A table is not worth a slide. - **In the paper**: * a table can be useful as it documents exact values of some important statistics. * a table, like figure, should be self-contained. - **In the presentation**: * convert tables to figures or to words. * (you and your audience can thank me later). * if you must have a table, keep it small (no more than a few rows and columns) even if its 'paper variant' is large. * create the slide-specific table, do not paste its snapshot. --- # Maths and equations - Use equations sparingly unless, of course, the paper is about the equations. - **In the paper**: * explain every detail of each equation, every bit of its Greek and Latin characters. - **In the presentation**: * provide just enough detail for the key equation(s), refer the audience to the paper. * type equations, do not paste their snapshots. --- class: inverse, center, middle name: github # Making it work --- # Adopt your style, adapt to audience - People and topics vary, and so will the presentations. * these slides do not offer the presentation formula. * these slides merely offer a formula to a presentation. - Audience and forums vary, and so should the presentations. * know your audience. * respect your audience. --- # Invite the audience to your journey - The point of the presentation is to make the people in the room start caring about your work. - They may or may not like it, and they may or may not have a good reason for that, but so long as they care enough to participate in the dialogue, you have won the audience. --- # Have a conversation - A presentation is meant to be a dialogue, not a monologue. - It is, indeed, a conversation among the peers, and everyone in the room is part of it. - You just happen to know the most about the topic—because it is *your* topic—and, thus, you get to lead the conversation. - Lead the conversation! - But take questions from the audience gracefully because, you know, that's how conversations work. --- # Practice makes perfect - Giving a presentation can be stressful—it often is. - Experience reduces the degree of stressfulness, but that takes time (years). - In the short run: practice makes perfect. --- # Enjoy the process - No presentation is perfect in absolute sense, however. - But it doesn't have to be perfect for it to be enjoyable. - Enjoyable to you as well as to your audience. - Aim for that, and everything else will just fall in place. --- # Further reading These slides have been inspired by these excellent sources: [How to Give an Applied Micro Talk](https://www.brown.edu/Research/Shapiro/pdfs/applied_micro_slides.pdf) by *Jesse Shapiro* [Public Speaking for Academic Economists](https://mfr.osf.io/render?url=https%3A%2F%2Fosf.io%2Fd8wm9%2Fdownload) by *Rachael Meager* These slides have greatly benefited from *Jonathan Newton*'s thoughtful feedback. His [An Alternative Guide for the Young Economist](https://jonathannewton.net/wp-content/uploads/An%20alternative%20guide%20for%20the%20young%20economist.pdf), which is an insightful resource in and of itself, offers a nice illustration of an effective presentation.