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How To Ace Your Journal Club Presentation

Scientific journal clubs are a fantastic opportunity to sharpen your presentation skills in an informal atmosphere composed of your peers.  Furthermore, regular attendance will help keep your knowledge of the scientific literature up to date and foster good scientific relationships with your colleagues. The following are a few tips to make the most of your presentation.

  1. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Give yourself sufficient time to thoroughly read the article you have chosen to present. Make sure you are familiar with the background of the paper.
  2. Know your audience. When choosing a paper to present, keep your audience in mind. Choose something that is relevant to the particular journal club.
  3. Keep your presentation slides simple. Minimize the use of excessive text. If giving some background information, stick to diagrams that give an overview or an important result from a previous paper. Remember the saying: “a picture speaks louder than a thousand words”.
  4. Keep your audience engaged. Carry out a practice run to make sure you are happy with the flow of your presentation and to give you an idea of your timing. It is important to stick to the time that is allotted for you. It is good practice for more formal conference settings where you will be interrupted and stopped if you run over time. Its also good manners and shows consideration to your colleagues.
  5. Be open to questions and critique. Journal clubs are a great way to dissect and critique a paper with your peers. One can learn a huge amount from more established colleagues.

My advice is, relax and enjoy journal club presentations! If you take your time and don’t rush through the slides, you and your colleagues will be able to ask questions and engage in a genuine discussion of the paper.

What are your tips for acing a journal club presentation?

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