ENEE 698B - Spring 2006
Tips on making a good
The following are the hallmarks of a good presentation. You will be
evaluated on each of these; together they will determine your overall
presentation grade. They are listed below roughly in order of importance,
most important first.
It is highly recommended that you read this list
before and after preparing your talk!!
- Good choice of papers. The papers should be as in the topic
described, must be as recent as possible, and must cover interesting
ideas. An overview paper, if available, is desirable as a second paper
(but must not be the main paper). Credit will be lost if I am aware of
more recent papers that you did not mention in your talk, though they need not
be one of your selected papers.
- Thorough understanding of the main paper. Your understanding
must show through in your talk. In my past experience in ENEE 698B, a lack of
a thorough understanding, especially under questioning by the audience, is by
far the biggest cause of poor presentations.
- Breadth of the overview portion of your talk. Your talk must
discuss the topic in as much breadth as possible. Breadth usually
follows from an understanding of all aspects of the topic.
- Clarity of your explanation of the technical portion. Simple
and easy-to-understand examples and pictures usually make for a good
explanation. Your audience must understand the important technical ideas
of your main paper (without details) by just listening to your talk, without
- Time weightage. Make a judgement of what is most important in
your main paper, and spend time on a sub-topic proportional to its importance.
As a rough guide, for your 30 minute talk, you should spend 15 minutes or so
on overviewing the broad topic, and the remaining time on describing the
technology in the main paper.
- Slide layout. Use a large font in text
and in figures. Put only a small amount of
text on each slide. No long sentences. Avoid reading of long passages
from the slides. Use high-contrast colors for different objects, as otherwise
they become hard to distinguish upon projection.
must keep track of the time of your presentation. Your grade will be deducted
significantly for a presentation that is too long (more than 2 minute too long),
or too short (more than 5 minutes short). Students should practise the
presentation ahead of time to ensure that they stay on this strict time budget.