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Showing posts from February, 2013

Grad students: Learn how to give a talk

I've been to roughly a hundred academic conferences and listened to thousands of talks, mostly by grad students. Over the years, the quality of the speaking and presentations has not gotten any better -- if anything, it's gotten worse. A typical grad student talk is so horribly bad, and it's surprising how little effort is put into working on presentation and speaking skills, especially given how important this skill is for academics.

Grad students need to learn how to give good, clear, compelling presentations. Especially those who think they want to be professors one day.

It is difficult to overstate how important presentation skills are for academics. This is about much more than "being a good teacher" (which is a nice trait to have, but not actually that important for an academic's career in the long run). There is a huge division between the professors who are influential leaders, and those who are also-rans. In almost all cases that I can think of, the…