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How to take seminars effectively?

 

Scientific Method

1) Please communicate clearly with your audience in this area - your presentation should demonstrate that you have evaluated the scientific merits or faults (as discussed in this course) of the research you are presenting, at least for Round 1 (where you present on a scientific paper)
2) For Round 2, please present the results of your project (either the 3 or 9 credit honors project or guided readings) in a way that makes it clear you have developed one or more hypotheses, deduced predictions from it/them, and tested it/them. If you are doing guided readings, you can present your work by beginning with the question or hypothesis that motivated the readings you did. Then, describe the scientific results you found in those readings and whether the results supported your initial hypothesis.

Organization

1) Be straightforward and logical, think of it as telling a story - you want a less expert audience to be able to follow along
2) Be certain to start with a brief introductory summary of what you will cover (outline!!!)
3) Provide sufficient background so that the audience can appreciate the significance of the paper (who cares???)
4) Use visual aids as appropriate, flow-charts can be very helpful when explaining methods and experimental designs
5) At the close of your seminar be certain to summarize the main conclusions and provide the audience with the most significant point(s) from the seminar* (don't leave the audience wondering why they sat through the seminar)

Clarity

1) Speak clearly and 'speak up' - project your voice without shouting at your audience
2) State the objectives, hypotheses and rationale of study right at the start of the talk
3) Be certain to relate the seminar to the larger context (Can we predict something better because this study was conducted? Do have better knowledge of a basic pattern in nature?)
4) Your seminar should be understandable to a general audience (remember: you have read paper or done the research - the audience won't have the same degree of preparation as you)
5) Be certain that you understand the work yourself and do not use a word that you could not explain! (avoid "bafflegab", especially if you don't get it yourself).

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