Giving a Talk

July 29, 1993; HTML Version: January 16, 1995; Revised September 24, 2000.
Copyright (c) 1993, 1995, 2000 by Frank R. Kschischang

This document is also available in Portable Document Format (PDF) .


``Studies show that fear of public speaking ranks higher than the fear of dying. I guess this means that most people at a funeral would rather be in the coffin than delivering the eulogy...''
..................Jerry Seinfeld

Often in your career you will be faced with the prospect of ``giving a talk,'' that is, making an oral presentation before an audience. These notes are a collection of a few simple guidelines for preparing and delivering a ``talk.'' The basic principles are applicable in defence of your thesis, at conferences, in giving research progress reports and the like.
     These notes are intended to supplement---rather than replace---standard texts on public speaking and effective oral communication. The suggestions given here have worked well for the author and his friends; perhaps they will work well for you too!



The Basics

  • Define your message.
  • Know your audience.
  • Prepare well.

Delivering Your Presentation

  • Tell'em what you're going to say...
  • ... Say it ...
  • ... Tell'em what you've said.

Preparing Slides

  • One slide, one simple idea.
  • Use lots of pictures, few equations.
  • The mechanics of slide preparation.

Other Useful Tips

  • Relax!
  • Learn by Observation
  • Further Reading


Next Page (The Basics) Contents
Frank R. Kschischang, September 4, 1995,