Objective: To explore how techniques for compressing, abridging, and reinforcing key information can be used to create effective introduction and conclusion sections for audio-visual presentations of scientific research.
Background: Trainee researchers first become familiar with the highly conventionalized IMRaD structure through reading primary research articles; but their first experience as presenters of their own work is often in the distinct genre of a slide presentation. These presentations are usually ten-fifteen minute summaries of ongoing research given at a national or international conference, and provide one of the first opportunities for junior researchers to showcase their work and establish a profile within their discipline.
Problem: Inexperienced presenters often transfer the IMRaD article structure directly to slides. This approach reflects a failure to consider how audiences’ needs change with the shift from reading a static text to the dynamic, multi-channel flow of information that takes place in an audio-visual presentation. Presentations often have excessive background detail and contain hard-to-view text and graphics in over-crowded slides. Such poor preparation compounds the oral communicative problems faced by some presenters who are non-native speakers of English.
Solution: Effective communication to a conference-hall audience requires simplified layouts, abridged schemes, and frequent back-referral to reinforce key messages. Focusing on the presentation of objectives and conclusions, this poster explores ways in which these aims can be achieved. Clearly signposted objectives and conclusions provide an efficient way of anchoring the audience’s attention to create a lasting impression.
Simon Bartlett has a background in biomedical research, and for the last five years has worked as an author’s editor at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares in Madrid, Spain.