- It may sound clichéd, but your presentation will be most successful when you properly prepare.
- Visit a few colloquia of other students. Colloquia are open to the public, so you are free to visit them.
- Consider the audience that will attend your colloquium, and make sure not to overcomplicate matters. Not everyone attending is a specialist and people might not know anything about your topic, so go easy on the jargon, etc.
- You might want to discuss the general course of the presentation with your supervisors.
- Give a practice presentation to friends or fellow students. This is extremely important. For while you might believe you've got the presentation down pat, you will only know this for certain when actually giving it. You will also feel more confident when having given it once before.
- Have a look at the room in advance and also check the equipment you plan to use. This can best be done during a break. Consult with the building manager or reception staff.
- Start your presentation with an overview of what you will be talking about (content or structure), so your audience will know what to expect.
- Slides and sheets are presentation aids and should only be used to support what you're saying. So don't fill a sheet with text.
- Slides and sheets should be clear and easy to read, also for people in the back of the room, so keep this in mind when selecting font and font size.
- Go easy on the amount of text - your audience is listening to you and doesn't have the time to read entire paragraphs - and the special effects, as these are only distracting.
- Don't use too many slides.
- Be well in time.
- Make sure that all equipment you're going to use is in proper working order.
- Avoid just reading out a piece of text, but explain what you are showing.
- Look at the audience, do not tilt your face towards the screen, as nobody can understand you when you do this.
- Do not talk too quickly, it's fine to have a few short silences.
- Do not be afraid of being or looking nervous: the audience usually does not notice it at all.
- Keep an eye on the clock.
- Try to avoid verbosity, keep things simple.
- Make sure to reserve plenty of time for questions by the committee and the attendants (consult on this with your supervisors beforehand).