Yesterday I received an email that I have to give a two minute scientific presentation as part of an interview for a masters program on this coming Monday. Now I am really struggling whether I have to include scientific data in my presentation or that I can explain a concept. My time is very limited. The email just states: "You are requested to give a 2 minutes (max. 7 slides) scientific presentation about a topic of your own choice". What do you advise me to do?

  • 4
    My advice would be not to use 7 slides in a 2 minute talk.
    – StrongBad
    Apr 30, 2016 at 18:00
  • 1
    Good lord, my current rate is 1 slide every 30 minutes! Apr 30, 2016 at 18:12
  • @DanielR.Collins Then I'd have to say that you have way too much information on each slide!
    – mkennedy
    May 2, 2016 at 18:45
  • @DanielR.Collins Well, your use case is obviously not suitable for the OP either. I'll delete my comments, if you delete your "db-y" one.
    – mkennedy
    May 2, 2016 at 21:40

2 Answers 2


There is not much that you can explain in two minutes; therefore, the key is to choose a topic that you can do justice to in such a short time. Choose a topic that you are interested in and confident about. Additionally, make sure that the topic is relevant to the course you are applying for. Create an interesting PowerPoint presentation of 4-5 slides. Check out some short scientific presentations online to get some ideas.

  • Short scientific presentations are about 10-15 minutes :'). I feel like I have to pitch now. Thank you for the tips!
    – user53411
    Apr 30, 2016 at 22:28
  • 1
    I think in 2 minutes you could pull off a mini-review. Define: a topic, one exploratory direction within that topic, 1-2 recent efforts (papers) in that exploration, a question that still remains, and a way to tackle that question.
    – CKM
    Apr 30, 2016 at 23:53

First of all congratulations on receiving an interview for a master's program. As part of your application, "you are requested to give a 2 minute presentation about a topic of your own choice." Since your question is quite broad "What do you guys advice me to do?", the best answer possible is to stick to the fundamentals of a good speech and be sure to give a relevant presentation in a clear and concise manner. This is only one step in the application process, so do not overthink it too much.

  • Thank you for your advice! It is an interview via Skype-call, making it even harder to get the message across
    – user53411
    Apr 30, 2016 at 22:26

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