Advice for an applied math talk

1.  Begin with a thorough discussion of your Table of Contents. This will help the audience follow your presentation.

2.  Aim for about three slides per minute. For example, 72 slides is good for a 25-minute talk.

3.  Report error estimates and computer timings to at least six digits of accuracy. For example, it’s more precise to say you got an error of 3.22005e-8 in 5.52723 seconds than 3.2e-8 in 5.5 seconds.

4.  Present numbers, not plots. Plots leave a vague and fuzzy impression.

5.  Be sure to give details of the proofs. A proof without details isn’t rigorous.

6.  Aim the laser at the screen and wave it around the part of the slide you’re talking about. This helps the audience pay attention.

7. As your time slot nears its end, speed up if necessary. Don’t risk failing to cover all your material.

[6 December 2018]


7 thoughts on “Advice for an applied math talk

  1. And perhaps:

    8. At the end of your talk, flip through slides of the references from all papers you have used. About three slides of bibliography are appropriate.

  2. 9. If you are using Beamer, make sure that the Beamer navigation symbols are
    present at the bottom right of every slide, even if you never use them. Do
    not under any circumstances turn them off with
    \setbeamertemplate{navigation symbols}{}

  3. great stuff. On top of that, I also recommend 8. Fully exploring the animation features of powerpoint. Having objects just appear will quickly bore your audience. But a flashy bouncy appearance of objects will keep your audience entertained and focused on the slides.

  4. Don’t forget:

    9 3/4. It does not matter if you have to use a very small font size, you have to be very detailed with your proofs and other mathematical info you want to show!

  5. 9. Avoid looking away from your slides to cover as much material as possible. Audiences might get provoked into asking questions if you look at them.

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