How to Give a
Klaus D. Toennies
Computer Vision Group
• Purpose of oral presentation and the paper
• Structure of an oral presentation
• Aspects of the parts of the talk
• Good and not so good slides
• Differences between oral presentation and the paper
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Talk vs. Paper
! Oral Presentation
! A listener has only few seconds to understand your point.
! Interaction between audience and presenter is possible (during and after
! Use of multiple media is possible and easy (e.g. slides, film, voice, gestures…).
Main problems: limited time and little redundancy of content presented.
! Reader has time and expects to understand the topic based on the text only.
! Text may be read repeatedly according to the reader‘s rate of understanding.
! Multiple media and interaction is impossible.
Main problems: limited space and no interaction.
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Structure of a Talk
• Content: Explain what the listener is about to hear
• Motivation of the work presented: Tell the listener why he/she
should listen to the talk.
• Relation to other work: Explain why yet a new method is needed in
view of the current state of the art.
• Explain work presented in the paper in such a way that the listener
has at least a rough idea of how the method is working
• Results: How do they support the original hypothesis
• Conclusions and Future Work: Where are we now and what needs
to be done next.
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Structure of a Talk
Since, in a seminar, work of other people is presented,
the presenter should try
• to evaluate importance,
• to assess relevance,
• to judge conclusiveness of the work.
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Guidelines for an Oral Presentation
• Explain things clearly but as simple as possible.
• Prefer examples over detailed explanations.
• Use formulas sparingly.
• Use slides to provide redundant information but not up to the point
that it bores the listener.
• Do not read your own slides or a prepared text.
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• In what (application) field is the work situated.
• What kind of problems need to be solved.
• Why is the presented work important within this field.
• What goal do the authors have.
Relation to other work:
• What other solutions do exist in the problem domain.
• To what extent do problems still exist and why.
• What is new in the presented approach with respect to existing work.
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• Modules (aspects) of the work, if there are any.
• Detailed decription of the modules (preferably using examples).
• What are the hypotheses, what are the problems to be solved.
• How can they be tested.
• Presentation of results and evaluation with respect to hypothesis/es.
Conclusion, Future Work:
• How conclusive are the results with respect to expectations.
• What are still open questions.
• What should be done next.
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• Use of slides or the blackboard complement oral presentation
• Slides can be read even if the presenter is not understood.
• Slides allow exploration at the individual of everybody in the audience.
• Drawings, pictures or films may explain a fact faster than the spoken word.
• Slides and oral presentation have different functions:
slide: structure, details, examples.
oral: dependencies, any kind of reasoning.
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• Letter size: recognisable on screen at a distance of about 1-2 m (> 18 pt).
• Do not mix styles.
• Use color intentionally.
• Structured with few blocks and levels.
• Not too much text in a block (1-2 lines).
• Structure may also be presented through drawings.
• Pictured examples simplify understanding.
• Few (if any) and simple formulas.
• Design is important.
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Example (Direct Volume Rendering)
Direct Volume Rendering is a technique for displaying a threedimensional data set, e.g. from computed tomography, on a
twodimensional output device using a transfer function.
The transfer function is applied to the threedimensional data set.
An image is created by projecting the voxels in the direction of the viewer.
The result per pixel is the accumulated opacity as defined by the transfer function.
Example from an application to CT
data from a foot
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The presenter should try to have understood the topic such that he/she has
his/her own opinion about it.
The presentation should take into account the limited/varied background
of the listeners
• tell, what you are going to tell.
• then, tell it.
• then, tell what you have told.
Be brief but exhaustive ☺.
Examples are best if the presenter has developed/found them him/herself.
Convince yourself that you WANT to tell the others about the topic.
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! Purpose: to explain the presented method.
! Paper should follow the same structure than the talk.
! Use full sentences (i.e., tell a story).
! Put in all the necessary details (important formulas etc.) not
presented in the talk.
! Use pictures and drawings to provide redundant explanations.
! Be brief.
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An presentation about a scientific subject should explain the subject in
enough detail to enable a first evaluation of the method presented.
Self motivation and well-structured presentation support a successful
transfer to the listener
The presenter must have understood the method that he/she presents.
Oral presentation, accompaning slides and written paper present redundant
information but serve different purposes
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