I am going to attend my first IEEE conference on Electronic Design/Verification and am feeling quite nervous about my first oral presentation.

I want to make sure to "sell" my point and ensure all questions are being tackled, and so I am looking for advice related to the organization of my slides. For example,

  • How can the slide material complement my speaking?
  • How do I ensure that the end-product is not dry/heavy?
  • If my work is on for example, SRAM or Post-silicon technologies,is it recommended to begin my presentation with a foil on a collage of the latest news snippets about these topics? This could probably draw their attention rather than picking up some lines from my camera-ready's introduction section.
  • Also, how many slides should I ideally allocate for each section of my paper?

I am forced to ask such "trivial" questions as my Professor is on a sabbatical currently and has little/no access to mail for the next few weeks. I have searched the Internet and found some generic advice, like "How to give a bad talk" by David Patterson.

There are some related questions on this site that do not seem to directly address how to organize the content of the slides. How to do a flawless and natural presentation? asks about becoming a more effective orator. Inspiration for great presentations asks about effective design elements (not content organization) for slides.

  • 1
    ... I am a huge fan of Latex. Just do not use it for presentations. You can use the PDF export of TEX on a full screen, which is also universally supported everywhere.
    – Alexandros
    Jan 7, 2015 at 17:09
  • Note: removed no-longer relevant meta comments related to previous versions of this post
    – ff524
    Jan 8, 2015 at 7:37
  • Edited my question to differentiate from the linked one. Jan 8, 2015 at 13:51
  • I removed some vestiges of the old post that no longer seem directly relevant to the focus of the new question, and reopened. Good luck with your presentation :)
    – ff524
    Jan 9, 2015 at 6:45
  • I just stumbled upon this question. I wanted to know if it is wrong in requesting experts in that forum to post an example of their/others' presentation and the associated conference paper. More than advice, I am looking at a "template" for my presentation. Jan 12, 2015 at 11:05

1 Answer 1


It is better to finish early than late (if they would let you). Do not try to say too much. Then try to be informal, to give a feeling and intuitive understanding for what you are doing. If you include an equation, you probably want to explain it informally. It is often unlikely that most people will follow details that are too technical.

Part, or all, of the presentation is really advertising for the paper. Make then understand the concepts, and why it is interesting and new. But you should probably skip the technical details of proofs or programs. However, relating your work to existing work is important: the audience will want to understand why they should spend time reading you paper, what advances they will get beyond what they already know. If they are interested in a specific detail they consider crucial, they will as a question. But you are unlikely to know in advance what it will be.

Remember, you will not tell your whole paper in one talk. Else the talk would be longer, or the paper shorter.

If you think that some details are important and that you may have question about them, though they would overload your talk, you can prepare slides to answer questions about them. And you use them if needed. But do not mix them with the other slides, put them at the end.

Your PDF (PDF is generally accepted) should be organized so that you do not have to think about it during the talk. You will be busy enough.

  • Thank you. Do you have some examples regarding the advertising part? If you can provide links to papers and publications by undergraduate researchers, it would be of great help. Jan 14, 2015 at 11:02
  • @AgrimRaghav I wrote on the basis of personal experience. No precise example available. What I mean is that you have to put forward the key ideas that make your work interesting, with enough details to be credible, but not more than people can swallow in the alloted time, after attending many other technical presentations. What matters may be dependent on topic. Relating to previous work is needed, but then your work may be interesting for the result, for the techniques used to get it, for the potential applications, or possibly for its new perspectives on the problems (rare, but important).
    – babou
    Jan 16, 2015 at 12:18

You must log in to answer this question.

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