Five simple rules for oral presentations
Continuing our "Simple rule series", we focus here on what it takes to hold an excellent oral presentation at a major medical conference. Clear and consistent delivery of your research is key to your scientific career.
- Target your audience. Meaning: Prepare a presentation perfectly targeted to your audience. It is thus crucial to know your audience, notably their knowledge, background, and expectations. And you then present what your audience wants to hear…
- Use visual aids sparingly. Presenters exhibit different styles. Experienced speakers are able to captivate the audience with no visual aids, while others are unable to deliver a speech without graphs. Do not overuse slides! A useful rule of the thumb: only one visual aid for each key message and for each minute of talk!
- Cut your presentation by two. A common error for inexperienced speakers is to say too much. They often feel compelled to prove that they know a lot. Nonetheless, showing a research finding and limiting what you say may prove more powerful.
- Repeat key messages twice. It is very easy for the audience to miss a talk’s core message. Hence, repeat critical points twice, at least. To this end, you must not deliver the same slide twice; rather show a new slide to re-emphasize your point.
- Practice your presentation. This is particularly key for novice speakers. Notably, a major talk should not be given first to experts. Set up your presentation and rehearse it in front of your colleagues. Rehearse it twice or more often. Practice makes perfect!
We have been collaborating for several years with Dr Chantal Rothschild, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, editing scientific reports, translating research papers into English, or adapting publications to the Instructions for authors.
Dr. Chantal Rothschild is in charge of the Paris International Hemophilia Training Center (IHTC), which follows over one thousand patients with hemophilia or other bleeding disorders like von Willebrand disease or Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia. A coagulation laboratory is associated to the Paris IHTC.
Optimization of prophylactic therapy
The scientific research of Dr. Rothschild is oriented towards clinical trials with new therapies, national follow-up of the incidence of inhibitors, and optimization of prophylactic treatment. Results of a 15-year nationwide program have recently been published and can be accessed under https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25623936
Should this research succeed in the forthcoming future, this would pave the way for a more individualized hemophilia treatment. To achieve this, clinical experts will likely need to take into account the specific properties of the therapeutic agent, as well as patient characteristics like age, joint status, and lifestyle. This is a real opportunity for hemophilia patients worldwide.
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