How to make scientific presentations and posters interesting

4 and 5 May 2009


Professor Jeremy N. McNeil, University of Western Ontario, Canada

summary and pre-course assignment

The objectives of this course is to provide guidelines for the preparation and delivery of effective oral and poster presentations.

Each student will be required to:

(i) Give two 10 min. oral presentations.

The first will be based on a manuscript chosen by the student (not one from their own laboratory or one that is key to their actual thesis work) and approved by Professor McNeil. However, it will be in their field of research, and they will be expected to present the work "as if they had done it".

The second will on the student's own research but prepared for an audience of 10-year old school children.

(ii) prepare one poster

This is to be in Powerpoint format. It should be based on the student's current research, but should not be one already presented at a meeting.

Each student will receive an electronic copy of all posters a week before the class starts and must be ready to comment on the positive and negative aspects of each one. However, each student will be specifically assigned the poster of one other student... and they will be expected to lead the discussion when this poster is discussed.

The powerpoint files of the two talks and the poster MUST be sent to Professor McNeil no later than 20 April. at  jnmcneil (at) gmail.com

All students will participate in constructive discussions concerning the strengths and weaknesses of each oral and poster presentation.

general information

Dates:  4 and 5 May 2009

Schedule: 8.55 - 17.05

Location: University of Neuchâtel, Faculté des sciences, UniMail, building C (Animalerie), room 001

Credit points: 1.5 credit points (Communication)

Evaluation: Active participation including preparation (home work as described; please note the deadlines)

Information: Please contact the education officer Dr. Christiane Bobillier or Prof. Jeremy McNeil

Travel expenses: NCCR Ph.D. participants are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, and 2nd class). Please send the original tickets (no copies, except for the general abonnement) at the end of the term  to Dr. Christiane Bobillier.  No reimbursement for bus, taxi or car travel expenses will be paid.


This course is opened to all Ph.D. students. Minimum number of participants: 8, maximum: 12. Course full.

This course is free, but the effective cost is approx. CHF 500.00 per person. Therefore a waiting list will be prepared to ensure that there are no empty seats.

Registration through the web only: closed

Deadline: 9 April 2009