John RamosJohn Ramos,

Wrote the book The Super Student’s Guide to Presentations


Excellent question! Most technical presenters do not put any effort into their presentations at all. To me, that always came a bit as a disappointment – in today’s world, the best science is not made inside the lab, it’s made outside, communicating with our peers.

I have presented my Masters’ thesis in the form of poster and slide presentations in the past. Every time I did I tried not to put my audience to sleep, by following these steps (note that I assume that you’re planning, researching and rehearsing correctly apart from all of this):

  • Assume that most of your audience will not understand most technical terms. No, I have no idea of what ubiquitin is – I study brain imaging! Explain your project slowly and carefully, making one point at each time.
  • Use pictures and diagrams as much as you can. Explaining Science through words alone is painful. It’s much easier to use diagrams, charts or pictures from other papers or that you created on your own.


  • Organize your speech so that you don’t go over the allotted time.

  • Stress the innovation in your project. I’m assuming that your thesis or project isn’t’ merely a repetition of past papers – it must have something new (even if slightly) about it.



  • Think positively and look upbeat. It’s important to transmit positivity to the audience, instead of just boringly vomit hardcore immunology over them. Be excited about your own project! Most of all, be proud that you get the chance to present technical work that you developed to hundreds of people.

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