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74

If somebody asks a dumb question, they're not going to feel good about the interaction whatever happens. If possible, get them back on the right track but avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as sarcasm and move on as quickly as possible. The most likely thing is either that the questioner has missed something obvious or misunderstood something ...


56

Firstly, I should note that the examples you give are certainly somewhat agressively formulated (more so than would be common in my field), but not in themselves invalid questions. It is certainly "allowed" to be critical of the presented work, and there is nothing the session chair can or should do about this. As a speaker, it always helps to think in ...


55

Just to put what's already in the comments into an answer: Yes, you should convey the information you've told us to the hiring faculty. If you've gotten a campus interview for a faculty position, they are already extremely interested and satisfied with your on-paper qualifications. Final decisions are often strongly motivated by who they think will take ...


54

I am a student and I much prefer lecturers who write on the board than the ones who use slides. Profs using slides generally go into loop mode where they have the objective of going through all the slides before the end of the class. As such, profs tend to go in a very fast pace. Writing on the board brings some dynamism to the lectures. The lecturer tends ...


51

The best way is to be highly active in your field. (Note: this will take work.) Here are my suggestions for accomplishing this, and I hope others will post more in the comments or other answers: Do awesome work. It all starts here. As a PhD student, this typically requires being in an awesome lab under an awesome professor, but it is possible to achieve ...


51

I would say the two most important points are to make slides you are comfortable with and not to limit your oral presentation to reading your slides. Furthermore, if you are presenting a research paper, i.e., where more written material is available to the audience, then the objective is usually to make people want to read your paper, instead of explaining ...


44

You might be interested in Advanced Google Image Search, where you can search by copyright status. More information about the Usage rights search can be found here. For example, here are freely useable images searching for "Mars". And here is an example searching for "IBM". Note: See the important remark by @jb. in the comment below — you should verify ...


41

We are in full agreement that there are in fact dumb (or, more accurately, non-productive) questions, and I do not think that it is your responsibility as a speaker to make the asker of the question feel better about himself to the expense of the rest of the audience. When this sort of thing happens to me, I try to answer accurately, politely and to the ...


41

Speaking for longer than the allotted time is unprofessional, and it can be very damaging and offensive in some circumstances. For example, if a conference schedules talks back to back, then it's not acceptable for one speaker to try to use part of the next speaker's time. It may not be quite as bad in other cases, but it's still disrespectful to the ...


38

From less esoteric to more (I've seen all these things happen): Make sure you know how to "send the image to a projector". Not all laptops do this automatically, and I'm surprised at how many people don't know how to do it. I've also seen people be confused by the mirroring feature on Macs. Verify that there's a power outlet or some place to plug in your ...


38

Take a cue from TV. Pretty much every serial show I watch ends with "next time on..." It is simple, not prone to misunderstandings like trying to be funny, and actually serves a purpose of indicating what the students might look at before they come in for the next lecture. This is how I wrap up my lectures even though I do not use slides in the classroom. (I ...


38

As others have noted in the comments, there's a difference between questions that have legitimate content but an unnecessarily aggressive tone (e.g., "Isn't it obvious that won't work for reason X, you fool?"), and questions that are purely verbal attacks with no real substance ("How did you even get accepted to this conference?"). As a speaker, the best ...


37

It is important to recognize that this is not happening to you because you are a junior researcher. At every point in your career, somebody will feel (and, distressingly often, openly state) that your work is not good enough, goes into the wrong direction, is not "real" science, tackles the wrong problems, uses the wrong tools, or is in some other way ...


36

One minor point to add to eykanal's awesome answer: One of your advisor's jobs is to help you publicize your work. Take every possible advantage of their existing research network. Ask them to introduce you to people at conferences, workshops, and other meetings; ask them for help arranging invitations at other departments/labs. (Ideally, you shouldn't ...


35

Since the OP specifically mentions the case of job talks and none of the other answers do, let me concentrate on that in my answer. 1) In a job talk, unless you specifically know otherwise, you should assume that everyone in the audience is someone who could have a direct hand in hiring you. In the job talk I gave at my current university, a graduate ...


34

Logos are often trademarked, and therefore you are not free to recolor them according to whatever color scheme your template happens to use. However, many companies and universities do have multiple versions of their logo available, for precisely this reason. You should contact your university's (or organization's) press office (or similar office) to see ...


33

A good-looking report will put me in the mindset that you took the assignment seriously, and aimed to turn in quality work. I think that counts for something, not nothing. That said, if a report is just that – good looking, with little substance behind it – I will see through the façade very quickly, and all those superficial niceties might even count ...


32

Matt Might, a rather young professor, has an interesting style, encompassing the minimalistic approach. Have a peek at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaPsYmOmgcI He also provides some useful guidelines for preparing a presentation: one of the most important is considering your audience: http://matt.might.net/articles/academic-presentation-tips/. ...


32

As a presenter I believe that the best advice I can give is be honest, be yourself, and be prepared. This goes for your presentation and any research/material surrounding your lecture. I have given many presentations/lectures/seminars in the field of computer science. Many of these at one point in time revolved around trade automation within direct ...


31

This really depends on your audience. At a department colloquium, I assume very little background, probably an undergrad degree in math, but not even an undergrad class in my research area. Here the audience will often be smart, but ignorant of the relevant background. At a research seminar with lots of undergrad and/or masters students, I still don't ...


30

A slide being self-explanatory? Why would you be presenting then? What's the purpose of YOU being there? IMHO the slides should enhance your presentation not be the presentation. YOU are the presenter and the slides should help you convey your message better. Having self explanatory slides takes away the attention from you which is a nonstarter for a good ...


30

I'd like to add several items to your list of pros: Dissemination. You will make your work known to a whole new field of possibly interested people. If you're going there, I presume there is an interesting application in sight. Possible follow-ups. Lots of opportunities. Interdisciplinary collaboration. To be avid and down-to-earth, lots of citations might ...


29

How can I balance the details of research without losing the audience on key points? From my perspective, the key to giving a 15 minute talk is to omit all of the details. Many audience members don't care, the few who do can read your paper, and in any case it's impossible to convey any serious details clearly and correctly in such a short time. If ...


29

The PhD students I remember the most are the ones who came up to me and made meaningful comments or suggestions regarding my work. They get extra bonus points if in the middle of the night the next week they offer more meaningful comments or suggestions. This can happen in the context of a faculty visit, a conference, or even online. The most powerful ...


28

First of all: note that there is a difference between an academic CV and a resume. An academic CV typically lists everything you've done related to academia; every talk, every conference paper, every award, every grant, every mentored postdoc, grad, and possibly undergrad. A resume is a two-page document that summarizes your work/academic experience. ...


28

According to proper etiquette you may use Master as a title (as in “Master Segovia”) if and only if you are: the heir apparent of a Scottish viscount or baron a boy not old enough to be called “Mr.” The New Oxford American Dictionary (which gives the above information) also lists the archaic use as a “title for a man of high rank or learning”, but (a) ...


27

You could consider making your last slide a reminder of what are the expected learning outcomes of the lecture, possibly with a link to other past, or future learning outcomes. e.g. In this seminar we looked at: Differentiation, from first principles, A graphical representation of differentiation, and The general formula for differentiating a function ...


27

As an economist I can rant for hours about people's ulterior motives... as a speaker I can tell you that this reaction springs in me spontaneously, when the question has good timing with what I am presenting, meaning that it is a good opening for the next issue (or next aspect of the current issue) I was about to start speaking on. It makes a presentation ...


27

Is this colleague really an academic? How on earth did he get a job in academia? How does he manage to retain it? He sounds like a teenage boy from your description of his style of arguing. He's a troll, so best ignored. He also sounds like he's realised he's way out of his depth, and this is bluster to cover it up. Formulate a single sentence that lets ...


26

A natural presentation comes from practice, and lots of it. From practice comes confidence. Excellent speakers rarely have more than a few words bullet pointed on their slides. This means that the audience's attention is focused on the speaker. The speaker then tells the audience what the speaker wants them to hear, or directs the audience's attention to ...



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