Presentations (2) let’s begin

What do you start your presentation with? I hear a roaring choir of voices shouting: “The outline!”


If people don’t have a clue on what you are going to talk about, the outline will be spoiled. Your first slide should be a sort of abstract: “I am working in this field, there have been lots of advances, we are currently here, and my talk will present how to move to there”.

Let me illustrate it with an example (it’s not a real presentation, just one I rapidly cooked up for this post). Suppose I want to present the research reported in this nice collaboration between my student Yimin and a group in Bilbao. The title is “Ultrafast gates in circuit QED”. The outline would look something like this:

Hmmm… apart from the fact that “introduction” and “conclusion” are sort of obvious… what is coupling to what? what is a qubit? a gate? come on, what are we talking about? The public can’t appreciate this outline, they will forget it even before you switch to the next slide!

However, consider putting this slide BEFORE the outline:

(it would be even better to add a drawing and maybe some references).

Now it starts making more sense — at least, if you are a little bit into quantum optics. We are speaking of some things that behave like atoms; we want to couple them using some field, in a regime that was not explored before. Now go back to the outline: the talk will describe (1) this new regime, (2) how to build the artificial atom, (3) the proposal for the gate that couples two such atoms.

OK, if you completely unfamiliar with this part of physics, you are as much lost as before on the specific topic of our paper… but you have got the idea concerning the presentation, have you not 😉


About valerio

Principal investigator at Centre for Quantum Technologies and professor at National University of Singapore

Posted on October 14, 2011, in Talks & presentations. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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