The main function of most research conferences is to present original research to a qualified audience. This bringing together of specific members of a field of study for the purpose of sharing original research and, in turn, receiving valuable feedback has a long and noble history. It may be a turning point to start a discussion which leads to an important discovery or making a scientific theory.
Oral presentations are a richer medium than written documents. They allow you to establish stronger contact with the audience and better convince them of your viewpoint through verbal and nonverbal methods, as well as the ensuing interaction. Preparing effective oral presentations, like writing effective scientific papers, takes time, but it is time well invested.
The simplest way to make an excellent introduction is to first assume that no one in your audience has any background in your research. You will have to introduce your motivation, your methods, your equipment, and so forth, one step at a time. This background may well take up over half your presentation, but it is well worth it if it means that you do not lose your audience.
First of all you must thank your session chair for his kind introduction and then make a connection between you and your audience by introducing yourself. You should interact with your audience by verbal and non-verbal communication methods and also be active in your gestures. Use your hands, wave them around, point to things.
You must clearly explain the motivation behind your research. How will it impact mankind in general? Please remember that the most interesting presentations and conversations are those that connect humans.
Focus on what your main results are, and tailor your presentation around that and do not add unnecessary complications to your presentation for no reason. Keep the text to a minimum.
Once you have finished your presentation, you should practice delivering it at least five times. “Practicing” means standing up, speaking aloud, doing your normal range of body gestures, and timing yourself.
Do not go over your allotted time. Respect time limits. Your audience is likely to be on a tight schedule, and going over your allotted time is disrespectful to your audience, organizers and fellow presenters. Follow the 1-minute-per-slide rule of thumb if you are using slides.
You should review all existing scientific literature before any research presentation. It shows that you have done your homework, and it helps the audience by positioning your research into the broader scientific context.
You should cite the source, if any, when you bring up images, results and ideas. This allows the audience to evaluate the impact of your presentation. Your citation style should be consistent across your entire presentation.
Acknowledge your supervisors and collaborators who have helped with your research. Thanking the audience for their attention does not hurt either and provides a nice segue into the question-and-answer session.
The Q&A session is the key to show your subject knowledge. But it can make or break your presentation. Be respectful to the person asking the question, even if they seem overly critical. Take a moment to compose your thoughts. Start by repeating the question back at the audience because audience voices can project poorly and makes sure that you understand the question asked. Then answer the question to the best of your ability, finishing your answer by asking “Did I address your question?”.