Recently I had a talk about the topic of my master thesis with the professor I currently work for (he wasn't involved in the thesis). I mentioned that there are interesting results and that I would like to present them, if he'd agree. He proposed to not only give a presentation but a seminar.

I've just graduated from my Master's and never given any lecture, course or seminar before. I would be happy to take this opportunity as I enjoy teaching and I expect a good experience.

If I'm willing to do it the professor expects a scheme of the seminar and that's the point where I am stuck. For how long of a seminar time should I aim for? Introductory or deep into the matter? What exactly is the difference between a seminar and merely presenting my thesis again? In my understanding seminars include practical approaches. Should I focus more on practical issues or my own work?

The subject is quite technical in detail but this is not very obvious from the topic alone. I expect students to may have heard of the methodology but never employed it themselves.

I'm quite lost on how to tackle this task though excited to have this opportunity. I realise that my question isn't really well fleshed out but I'm happy to hear opinions nevertheless.

  • 3
    I'm not sure what the difference is between a "seminar" and a "presentation" unless by "seminar" you imply a semester-long series of lectures.
    – Suresh
    Apr 17, 2014 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


If you have presented your thesis before, the seminar could be something similar to it. However, a seminar is usually given to a wider range of audience, and thus you need to make it more accessible for someone in the audience who may not be familiar with the subject. Aim for an accessible introduction, and save the technical details to the second half of the talk.

As for how long the seminar should be, you need to ask the professor how much time you have to talk, and how much time you have for questions and answers.

  • At my university, I see that a 1hr seminar is filled with around 30 minutes of questions and answers. Audience interupts speaker when something is unclear. This varies with the topic and method (e.g. a highly technical paper which nobody gets; or a straightforward internally valid experiment which makes a lot of sense). Most speakers can't even get to their results or conclusion so allocate time well. Your audience may not give you a hard time as you are 'only' a master student. Your professor can indeed tell you more about the seminars. Prepare well, good luck and most importantly, HAVE FUN!
    – user4507
    Apr 17, 2014 at 17:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .