Research Methods

Lecture 15: preparing presentations

Video of 2009 lecture

Compare this year's lecture with the 2009 version. You can view the 2009 version either on the University of Cambridge streaming media service or on Vimeo.

How to prepare a presentation from Neil Dodgson on Vimeo.


  • Presentation Zen — Garr Reynolds approach to great presentations
  • Made to Stick — Dan & Chip Heath's explanation of why some ideas survive and others die

Hints & tips from the lecture

The ten minute talk

  • Who? — title, author, venue, date
  • What? — the key idea
  • Why? — why it is important
  • How? — some technical details (if there is time)
  • Where? — where it leads next

The right questions to ask

from Presentation Zen, Garr Reynolds

  • How much time do I have?
  • What is the venue like?
  • What time of day?
  • Who are the audience?
  • What is their background?
  • What do they expect of me?
  • What do I want them to do?
  • What is the fundamental purpose of my talk?
  • What is the story?
  • What is my absolutely central point?

SUCCESS criteria

from Made to Stick, Dan & Chip Heath

  • Simplicity
  • Unexpectedness
  • Concreteness
  • Credibility
  • Emotions
  • Stories