10 Commandments for Academic Project Presentations

10 Commandments for Academic Project Presentations

Project presentation is not just about telling about what have you done or what are you going to do, it is about presenting your idea and you have to do present in best way. Students being non-professional presenters make many mistakes while presenting their work so after a while audience retreat to their mobile phones. Before panicking about your project presentation or presenting a terrible one, keep following 10 Commandments for Academic Project Presentation in mind.

1. Timing is most important

Time is a very valuable thing because it is scarce. You have to be very careful about the time. Come at least 30 minute earlier of your presentation. Be very careful about the time you take on each slide. It is a very good tactic to divide the time on the slides equally. Don’t take too much time on presentation only so you can spare some time for the question and answer session as well. Presentation Guru recommends 1 minute per slide but actually it depends on the complexity of the idea you are presenting. So, all depends on you that how much time you need to present your idea efficiently without boring the audiences.

2. Double-check everything

The main purpose to come earlier is check everything. Following checklist will be helpful for you,

  • Multimedia is working fine
  • Slides are aligned properly
  • Media in slides are appearing or not
  • Grammatical or Technical Errors in the slides
  • Proper title and Presenter details
  • Ratio of content in each slide
  • Time required for each slide

3. Use PowerPoint Efficiently

Any presentation software you are using either it is PowerPoint or something else, use it very efficiently. There are several best available templates for PowerPoint presentations, download them and use them. Following are the 5 mistakes that you make while designing your PowerPoint presentation

  1. Too much information on slides is not helpful so don’t vomit everything on them. If you are going to write down How to use powerpoint efficiently in academic project presentations.everything on the slides then please hand-over the slides and take the seat. There is a quite difference between a document and a presentation. If your audiences are reading word by word from the slide then what is the purpose of you being there. So, it is better to do some hard work and turn that data into something meaningful. Tip: Keep one main point per slide.
  2. Visuals make your presentation more attractive so it is better so add some interactive graphs and illustrations. Avoid using the graphics available in Microsoft Office suite and download some free stock-images. Adding flow charts in presentations enhances the presentation of your idea.
  3. Avoid using childish visuals, be professional and look for some better designs. Be careful in using the fonts, You can down beautiful fonts from Google, download them and try them in your presentation. If you think that you are not enough creative then spend some money and buy better templates for you.
  4. Proper alignment of the components in each slide is very important. Effective use of white spaces makes presentation very effective. Be careful while using different color schemes, you can get help about color schemes from colorlovers.com
  5. Design, Don’t just slap things together. 1 hour of presentation requires 30 hours of preparation, this is what the experts say. So, spend some time in designing your presentations if you are really want effective results.

4. Be Formal

Academic talks are need to be very formal. Avoid the use of any kind of slang or humor that doesn’t sound cool infront of teachers. Your dressing also needs to be formal, if there is any specific uniform of the institution then go for it otherwise go for a suit. Your dress must be slightly better than your audience. Avoid check shirts and ties with designer logos or other illustrations. View this presentation on dress code of men and women during presentation.

5. Maintain a Pace

Poor pace is one of biggest blunders made by the newbie speakers. Pace can make or break your presentation. Most of the newbie presenters speak too much quickly which is the natural effect of fear and nervousness. Gurus says that fast pace cause your audience to understand 10% of your words. So, you have to control your Adrenalin. Only speed is not the issue, constant pace is also not recommended, this makes you appear as robot in front of your audiences. Following tips can be helpful in that,

  • Look people in the when speaking
  • Breathe more often
  • Pause between phrases

6. Practice Practice Practice

Yes you have to do this a lot of times. Marvelous proposal and nice slides can’t save you if you present poorly. You have to repeat each and every word you are going to speak as rehearsal. Looking slides just 1 hour before presentation will end you up as fool in front of your audiences. I wrote the word practice 3 times because you have to do this in three different ways,

  1. Present in front of Mirror
  2. Invite few volunteers and deliver your presentation to them
  3. Record your presentation and watch it by yourself

7. Avoid slide-reading

It’s the deadliest sin which most of the presenters commit. If your presentation is only about reading the slides then why you even bother to come to the podium, the audiences can read it by themselves. Your slides must contain the keywords or keypoints of your presentation. Presentation is a kind of formal talk with your audience. Not looking towards someone while talking to them is not a good manner.

8. Don’t be a Robot

Sticking to a place and just keep on speaking will make your presentation boring and unabsorbable for your audiences. Use your hands and head movements to give gestures to the listeners and change your position as well on the available space. It is not recommended to walk in the audiences if it is an academic talk. But if you are a speaker or trainer then it is a highly effective strategy to gain the attention of attendees.

9. Audience Analysis

This is the must-do thing in every kind of talk or presentation. Understanding the expectation of your Audience always helps to deliver a better talk. In delivery an academic talk, surely the experts are sitting in front of you but its better to understand that they are expert of what field. Some of the main audience analysis factors are following,

  • Audience Expectations – Everytime audience comes with some expectations and if you violate those expectations, audience will be offended. Let’s say a politician is planned is deliver a talk to the villagers, they are expecting to hear some news about electricity and roads in the village but the politician starts talking about the legislative matters of the parliament house. He will not only attention of the villagers but the credibility also.
  • Knowledge of Topic – Don’t ever underestimate the knowledge of your audiences when delivering a presentation on your research proposal. For example, your research topic is something in Genetic engineering and you are explaining them about what DNA is then definitely you will look fool.
  • Attitude towards Topic – It is necessary to know the attitude of the audience about topic. It can be possible that the audience are quite interested in your research proposal but they worried about some ethnic and religious issues. So, it would be better to address those issues with more detail in your work.

10. Deliver an Effective Talk

This point is missed by around 98% of the people. Giving a presentation is about telling the about your idea. Keep in mind, there is a motivation in every talk, Academic presentation doesn’t have to be a boring one always. Keep the following points in mind,

  • Fluctuate the tone of voice and convey feelings.
  • Relative descriptive details when necessary.
  • Show sense of humor but not all talks require jokes.

To enhance the delivery of your talk, show enthusiasm, make eye contact, and smile.

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The Definitive Guide to Academic Websites

The Definitive Guide to Academic Websites

If you have ever wondered “What are Academic or Scholarly Websites?” This is the perfect guide for you to know what exactly they are. As the name depicts, the Academic Websites websites are the collection of webpages related to education. There are certain properties of academic websites which distinguish them from others. Few of them are:

  • First thing First, it is not-for-entertainment as most of the websites are.
  • It is backed by some government, society, institution or at least volunteer students and faculty.
  • Scholarly websites are more authentic as compared to others.
  • Most of times, content is better proof-read to check with fact and figures.

There are several types of academic websites which are following:

Institutional Websites

These academic websites belong to different universities, colleges or schools used to run their different operations such as:

  • General information about the Institution
  • Posting announcements about admissions
  • Information about different departments and faculty
  • Portal for Students and Faculty

Conference Websites

To reach more attendees for the conference and attract potential donors for the conference, Conference websites are being built. It serves the following purposes:

  • Information about the conference.
  • Registration process or online form.
  • Profile of the speaker.
  • Information about organizers and sponsors.

Portfolio Websites

Scientists are most shy humans on the earth but not everyone. Few wants to interact more with the people especially those who are working in development or social studies. A portfolio website can used for the following purposes:

  • Information about the Person
  • His/Her work
  • Smooth way of contact
  • Blog

Project Websites

It’s not always better to roar if you are not yet ready to strike but in few cases you need to show the world your work so you can gather as much support as you needed. Project websites are good for:

  • To Show what you are building
  • Gather funds and support
  • Let people to contribute if it is an open source project
  • Get comments and feedback.

Research Center

If it is not something for Project x then you surely want to interact with the people interested in the services of the research center. Most of the university, government-funded or private research labs have their websites which may contain following:

  • Information about the Affiliation of the Research Center
  • Profiles of the researchers working in the Research lab
  • Contact information
  • Services offered by the research lab

Workshops and Training

Workshops are the efficient way of teaching small and important things to faculty, students or interested individuals. Scientific workshops especially computer trainings ( Yes scientist are non computer geeks ) are organized by universities, colleges or commercial organizers as well, free or paid. A website can be good medium for reaching more trainees.

  • What is Workshop about?
  • Who can attend?
  • How to Attend?
  • Who is organizer?


These are the rich ones! Journals are scientific publishing houses that publishes new research periodically. The content is mostly peer-reviewed and then finally published. Most of the today’s journal publish their content in electronic form and website serves the purpose.

  • Publish Research Papers, Review Papers, Editorials and News.
  • Contain the Information about the Journal Affiliations
  • Profiles of Editors and Peer Reviewers.
  • Journal Submission Guidelines
  • Submission Form

Society Websites

Social media pages are not enough to keep updated the members of the society about the activities and upcoming meet-ups. So, most of the societies have their own websites not only to keep updated their members but also to reach more registrations by telling people about their cause.

  • Information about the Society
  • Recent and Upcoming events of the society
  • Registration form
  • Board of the society
  • Affiliation of the society

E-learning Websites

You have probably heard about Edx or Coursera, if not, these are the websites which are free* online courses and resources on several academic topics through affiliations with several academic institutions. Well, If you have to teach online then you do need a website. It may contain

  • Complete E-learning System or Learning Management System.
  • Information about the courses and reading material
  • Profiles of the Instructors
  • Details of the affiliations of the organization.


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Scholarly Publishing and Metrics needs to be revised

Scholarly Publishing and Metrics needs to be revised

Scholarly publishing is completely broken and favoring no one except the publishers. Starting from an early researcher, it takes average 5 years to complete a research and publish it online. Guess what, more time is spent in publishing. Whenever a researcher submits its article to journal XYZ which have a great impact factor (I will nail it later), good rejection rate and more academic subscribers, it usually takes a whole year in proof-reading, editorial review and peer-reviewing process. After that researchers get the date of further 2 years. Until that, the mammoth becomes the elephant.

Now, being a taxpayer I want to have the access to the research which I’ve sponsored. But every bit of information is vaulted behind a paywall of a publisher unless researcher is forced to the pay the publication fee.  This way the publishers are exploiting the researchers. Now what happens when a researcher tries to publish its content in a journal ABC which have low Impact factor, the dean of the department will advise him to not to do that so that it can come on department’s portfolio and CV of the researcher so he can get the raise in his pay.

Now let’s have an idea about the Impact Factor which is being used by the publishers to earn a lot of worth. The impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. The Journal Citation Reports (JCF) is the issuing authority of Impact Factor. JCF is neither a public organization nor a community-driven project, actually it’s a Product of “Thomson Reuters” which is itself a big publisher. Not enough? Let’s look into the formula used by the JCF to calculate the Impact Factor of any journal,


Impact Factor Formula

To increase the impact factor, the journal needs to decrease the denominator by increasing the rejection rate which is another so-called Metric to measure the rank of the journal and increase the nominator which can simply done by in-bound citations (Motivating researchers and authors to cite their sister-journals). That’s how their rank figures are hatching like bee eggs and growing bubble bigger and bigger. Even Thomson Reuters explicitly mentioned in their Product’s overview video script, “While Impact factor is a useful Metric, Thomson Reuters doesn’t recommends that you depend solely upon the citation data in your journal evaluations, Citation data does not meant to replace informed peer review, and we recommend to pay careful attention to the many conditions that can influence citation rates such as language, journal history and format, publication schedule and subject specialty”. If even Thomson Reuters is not that much confident on their formula to evaluate any research journal than why we?

Professor of Technology and Publishing at University and London submitted an application in parliament via MP Ann Mckechin against Elsevier/RELX group for abusing the dominant market position through ScienceDirect. This was co-signed by several other well-known professors around the UK including Dr. Jonathan Tennant, Professor of Imperial College London.

Under such conditions where the scholarly publishing is completely broken, we need to come up with a better and sustainable solution which can overcome to all the above issues while maintaining the quality publishing but not delayed. A system that benefits, both the researcher and the taxpayer reader. A system that can exist without charging any of them. A system that is Author-reader friendly. Along with that, an improved Metrics that can be used to rank the Journals in better way such as not including the in-bound citations (a single example but can be more improvements).