Undergraduates in the early stages of their careers are some- times forced beyond the exciting world of their studies and are requested (or required) to present at scientific meetings. Often students travel to their first meetings,
thumb drive and notes in hand, without knowing what a meeting even is,
let alone what presenting a poster or talk entails. This article provides an
overview of meetings and more specific advice on giving talks.
Although a 10-minute talk or a poster on brand-new data may not
seem like a big deal, it is. If you’re not now a fourth-year graduate student
with employers lined up to hire you the second you defend, one day you
may be. Do not minimize the significance of your work or yourself (or
your mentor’s work!) by a sloppy poster or careless presentation.
On the following pages is a list of 12 common mistakes beginning
speakers unwittingly make that torment their listeners — followed by
suggestions on how to avoid them.
Surefire Strategies to Ruin
Your Presentation and
Anesthetize Your Audience