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Your technical presentation

  • Consider the audience
    • Faculty in your area, faculty outside your area, graduate students, undergraduates
    • The people making the decision
  • Who is most important?


  • Target the introduction (first 10 min) to the entire audience
    • Convey excitement about what you are doing and create excitement in your listeners
    • Ensure understanding the importance of the work and the key background concept
  • Target the heart of the seminar (next 25-35 min) to the decision-makers
    • Be exceptionally clear (but not simplistic)
    • Tell them what it means, and summarize as you go
    • Establish your expertise in the area
  • Target the conclusion (last 10 min) to the entire audience
    • What does your work mean to the future of the field?
    • What direction are you taking the work next?
      • This anticipates your more detailed talk about future work
    • Leave the audience feeling a sense of excitement about the future of your area and your ability to contribute
  • Be sure to acknowledge colleagues/funders

Talking points

If your work is in two very different areas, work with your mentor(s) to craft a talk that integrates, to the degree possible, what you have done. Focus most on the work that you will build on for the future and what aligns best with the department where you are interviewing (which may mean having to prepare multiple talks to match the relevant department’s interests).

If your work is based on something done by a collaborator, acknowledge that by saying “Research by my collaborator demonstrated that…, and based on that, I designed the following set of experiments…”

Your research presentation

Align the talk with your research write-up, which many faculty will have read

Think about your audience

  • Is there anything you don’t want to share for reasons of being “scooped”? Generally, it’s best to say what you are thinking, but worth considering your audience
  • What background do you need to provide so that they understand your planned experiments?

General advice

  • Make clean slides, no typos, readable font
  • Reference work appropriately
  • Provide an outline and follow it
  • REHEARSE your talk!!!!! Get feedback from a knowledgeable audience!
    • Is the level placed well for your audience? Are you conveying what you wish?
    • Get them to ask questions!!!
  • Go to the room and check out the projector to ensure it works with your computer or flash drive or CD.
    • Hard to recover if you don’t have slides
  • Have a well-practiced (and therefore familiar) beginning
  • Say “Thank you, I’d be happy to answer any questions” at the end.

Talking points

If you don’t know how to target your talk to the level of the audience, talk with your mentor and colleagues. Ask the Department where you are interviewing who will be in the audience. A talk to primarily faculty and postdocs will be different from one that has upper level undergraduates and beginning graduate students, for example.

Answering questions

  • If someone challenges you….stay calm
    • Acknowledge the question
      • Validate it as appropriate or even, if not, say how you have thought about its relevance
    • If you have not thought about it or don’t know what the person is talking about, suggest that you would like to talk with the person individually after the talk on this topic
  • Think about the question(s) you really don’t want to be asked
    • They will be asked
    • Be prepared to provide an answer
  • Don’t over-answer – be concise and clear in your responses

Talking points

Provide list of questions.

Deflecting “tests”

Expect the unexpected

  • If someone asks you to “solve” an equation or do something in his/her office… indicate that you have a limited amount of time together and you’d be happy to talk with them further on the issue, but would like to focus on other things in the time available

Talking points

If you have to use this approach, be thinking in the back of your mind how you will pursue the discussion. Draw the person who asked the question out and get them to help in formulating the answer in an interactive way. Be sure to say how much you appreciate the question.

The visit

  • Ask about impact of recession on the institution, on the department
  • If you get different answers from different people, ask the Chair to clarify the situation

What to do when…

  • Someone asks a question forbidden by law (e.g., Are you married? Do you have children?)
  • Possible responses
    • Refocus (e.g., “My husband’s job is very portable”)
    • Follow up with a question of your own (“Can you tell me something about relationships between the department and industry in this area?”)
    • Indicate that you would prefer not to answer
    • Note that the question is outside the boundaries you understand for this process… and many more options
  • You feel uncomfortable with the situation…
    • Refocus what is happening by asking a question in a different direction or move away with murmured good wishes if that option exists
    • Pull someone else into the conversation
    • Excuse yourself to go to the restroom

Talking points

Participants ALWAYS bring up this question. Answer in a way that you feel comfortable, but indicate that there are many ways to respond — either answer the question directly, deflect the question, don’t answer, challenge the person... the individual has to come up with something with which they are at ease, and in that case it is likely that the questioner will also be at ease.

Ending the process

  • Thank the Chair (or person with whom you end the process) for their time, the information, and their input.
  • Some candidate write brief emails to the individuals they met during the interview (not clear whether this is a good idea or not, so do what feels right to you).

Relax and enjoy the process

  • Relaxing is not easy, but you will perform better and be more effective if you have a level of calm and your wits about you
  • If you can’t enjoy the process, try to be present to what is happening (not just responding) and learn from the process


Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Rice university’s nsf advance program’s negotiating the ideal faculty position workshop master collection of presentations. OpenStax CNX. Mar 08, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11413/1.1
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