On Giving a Talk

Advice for Honors College Members Presenting Talks at the
University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum
April 5, 2002

Prof. Jim Zacks
Department of Psychology
Michigan State University

Links to websites offering advice on giving talks

I did a search on "giving a talk" using Google, a great search engine that has MSU roots.  [One of the co-inventors of this site is Larry Page, an East Lansing native and the son of Carl Page, a former faculty member in Computer Science (now deceased) at MSU.]  If you have questions that are not answered by my presentation or the websites below I recommend using Google to search on the specific question that you have.  It is a very productive way to find more information.

Giving a Talk, a website written by Frank R. Kschischang from the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronoto.  His advice is sensible and addresses most of the important issues to ponder in preparing to give a talk.

Pointers on Giving a Talk [also called How to Give a Bad (Good) Talk], is a one-page table contrasting the wrong and right ways to do some of the important things in a talk.  It was written by David G Messerschmitt, from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.  It is a very concise presentation contrasting how to (and how not to) accomplish some of the most important things in a talk.  It is not a comprehensive recipe for a good talk, but does include some useful pointers.

Giving a Talk, a somewhat humerous set of tips on giving a talk that is on the webpage of Bruce Randall Donald, Department of Computer Science, Dartmouth College.  The emphasis is on the mistakes to avoid, providing alternative ways of doing things right.

Tips for Preparing Scientific Talks and Using Visual Aids, is a somewhat more ponderous set of tips with some cute cartoons and quotes along with useful advice. This is from an Office of Naval Research website.

(Although several of the websites above are from Electrical Engineering or Computer Science departments, the advice is quite general.  They happened to be the best sites that popped up in my search.)

Downloadable Microsoft Word Outline of a Talk entitled:  On Giving a Talk

Delivered to members of the Honors College, 2001.

Click here to download the file entitled:  GivingTalks3_01.doc