Preparation Materials for LoboBITES
The following are some strongly recommended practices and articles to help you prepare your LoboBITES presentation. Please also refer to the contest rules and judging criteria as you craft your talk. Good luck!
Preparing Your Slide
Each LoboBITE presenter is allowed one static image (such as a PowerPoint slide) to accompany their presentation. When preparing your slide, keep these guidelines from ThinkWrite in mind (original document available here):
- Keep it simple. The slide should support you as you talk, but should not take over. It will be physically bigger than you, but your energy, enthusiasm and expertise should make the bigger impact. Remember that the slide will be present throughout your talk, so if it is too complex the audience will spend too long decoding it and not listening to you. Select content that takes seconds to understand and is ‘readable’ when viewed from the back of a large room.
- Choose an eye-catching visual. Is there is a specific image that sets the scene for your project? It may be a molecule, an object, a diagram, a landscape, a philosopher, an artwork… on the other hand it could be a key finding in graphic form. You could think of this as the equivalent of your brand logo. It helps to make you and your project more memorable, not only in this competition, but also on conference posters, or in illustrated talks you may give in the future.
- Do you want to switch the focus: speaker→slide→speaker? A dynamic speaker will first engage the audience, then take them on a journey, verbally, visually, or both. In some successful 3-minute thesis presentations the speaker lets the slide speak for itself and does not refer to it. This can work if the image is easily accessible for the audience and gives a clear idea of the focus of the project. In other presentations there is a 15-30 second section when the audience is invited to switch their attention from the speaker to the slide in order that specific aspects of the research can be explained. If you choose the second option, plan the moment when you want to switch the focus to the slide. Can the image(s) you present help to explain complex ideas? Can it provide an effective visual summary of the scope, trajectory, highlights, or anticipated outcome of your project? How (and when) will you bring the focus back onto you?
Videos of Successful Presentations
While browsing the videos below, we recommend finding talks from disciplines similar to yours. Take notes about what makes these presentations effective, and then apply these principles to your own speech.
- Previous winners of LoboBITES: Fall 2018 and Fall 2017
- Examples of successful presentations from similar competitions
Articles & Tutorials
- "Your Time Starts Now!" by Simon Clews, director of the Writing Centre at the University of Melbourne
- "How to Talk About Your Thesis in Three Minutes" by Inger Mewbern, RMIT University
- "Top Ten Tips for Writing and Delivering Very Brief Speeches" by Bill Cole, Founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants
- "10 Most Common Rookie Mistakes in Public Speaking" by Terry Gault, Managing Partner and Vice President of the Henderson Group
- "Tips for Effective Design and Use of the 3-Minute Thesis Slide" by ThinkWrite
- "3MT: The Three Most Common Mistakes": Video outlining the three most common mistakes when giving a three-minute research presentation.
- Presentation practice is available through Centennial Library's D.E.N. 2, a private interactive space with an overhead projector and other equipment. Click here to reserve. You can check out a video camera from the Centennial service desk to record and review your presentation. Practice makes perfect!
- While we're on the subject of practice, be sure to practice your talk in front of a trusted faculty member (such as your advisor), friends, and peers and ask for their honest feedback. Be sure they understand the basic premise of the competition (a non-academic talk about your research in three minutes) so they can give you the most effective feedback possible.