Day 13 Blog June – Presentation skills

I think this may be my be first ever blog post on professional matters (please be gentle on me).

I may have not done a lot of conference presentations myself but after going to a lot of conferences and seminars you start to pick up on what constitutes a good presentation. What will keep you engaged as an audience member and what makes you fidget, lose interest or worse still, fall asleep.

At the recent conference I went to at mpow on digital healthcare I was amazed to still see presenters with text heavy slides, reading directly from their slides and trying to pack their entire research project into a 15 minute presentation. More experienced presenters had slides filled with images and key points of text but the presentations from inexperienced presenters, mainly university researchers, were so text laden I struggled to keep focussed. Their topics were interesting but I drowned in too much detail.

So it got me thinking. Are oral presentation skills something libraries need to teach researchers along with data management and scholarly publishing? I definitely think that the oral dissemination of research output via conferences and seminars is, or should be, as important to researchers as written outputs.

From a quick and dirty search of 10 university library websites in Australia*, I found that Monash University Library was the only one that mentions oral presentation skills in the services they offer to researchers.

Do other libraries offer this as a service and I just couldn’t find it mentioned in my quick and dirty search?

If not, do you think libraries should offer presentation skills as a service to researchers?


*Please note I have no affilation with any university and I only searched those that I could think of at the time. This is only meant as a fact finding mission on my part to see whether that this is something that is already happening and I just didn’t know about.

2 thoughts on “Day 13 Blog June – Presentation skills

  1. Sam

    Hi Rachel – my impression is that oral presentation skills training could be offered for undergrads as part of study skills support (which can be in the library, but not always) and for postgrads (and maybe staff) sometimes under the umbrella of the Graduate School or Office for Research rather than the library. I would be interested to hear what others think though!

  2. Liz

    I work in a public library and have recently been asked to give a presentation to a group of High School Students on “how to give a presentation”. The invitation came as part of a partnership project we are involved with where students are meeting seniors to record their stories. After further discussion, my presentation will also incorporate advice on conducting oral history interviews as well. I work as a Local and Family History Librarian.