A Generic Conference Talk Outline
The guidelines below were prepared for academic conference talks. As stated
below the " ... outline is a starting point, not a rigid template".
This conference talk outline is a starting point, not a rigid template. Most
good speakers average two minutes per slide (not counting title and outline
slides), and thus use about a dozen slides for a twenty minute presentation.
- Title/author/affiliation (1 slide)
- Forecast (1 slide)
Give gist of problem attacked and insight found (What is the one idea you want
people to leave with? This is the "abstract" of an oral presentation.)
- Outline (1 slide)
Give talk structure. Some speakers prefer to put this at the bottom of their
title slide. (Audiences like predictability.)
- Motivation and Problem Statement (1-2 slides)
(Why should anyone care? Most researchers overestimate how much the audience
knows about the problem they are attacking.)
- Related Work (0-1 slides)
Cover superficially or omit; refer people to your paper.
- Methods (1 slide)
Cover quickly in short talks; refer people to your paper.
- Results/Findings (4-6 slides)
Present key results and key insights. This is main body of the talk. Its
internal structure varies greatly as a function of the researcher's
contribution. (Do not superficially cover all findings and results; cover key results well.
Do not just present numbers; interpret them to give insights. Do not put up
large tables of numbers.)
- Summary (1 slide)
- Future Work (0-1 slides)
Optionally give problems this research opens up.
- Backup Slides (0-3 slides)
Optionally have a few slides ready (not counted in your talk total) to answer
expected questions. (Likely question areas: ideas glossed over, shortcomings
of methods or results, and future work.)