Many of the following resources were found by undergraduate researcher Noor Doukmak:
How to give an effective math talk
How to Talk Mathematics by Paul Halmos
Touches on the issues of simplicity, details, proofs, problems, organization, preparation, brevity, techniques, flexibility, and short talks.
Talks are not the same as papers by Terry Tao
Technically speaking by Lew Ludwig
These NSF-funded video vignettes illustrate common presentation mistakes and how to correct them.
How to prepare a presentation? by Olivier Bernardi
This brief handout discusses not only the characteristics of an effective presentation but also the process of preparing one.
Advice on Giving Talks, by Joseph A. Gallian, 2006. Addresses writing a title and abstract, preparing transparencies, checking the room, delivering the talk, and after the talk. See also Gallian’s advice for PowerPoint presentations below.
The (Martial) Art of Giving Talks by Matilde Marcolli
This webpage describes the differences among various kinds of talks (colloquium talks, job talks, seminar talks, conference talks, short communications, and public lectures); provides advice for chalk talks and slide talks; and provides advice for handling various types of disruptive audience members.
Preparing a Math Presentation, by Susan Ruff. This 3 page handout for students addresses how the differences between reading a paper and watching a presentation affects how to craft a presentation to meet the audience’s needs. Touches on issues of audience, purpose, structure, technique, and handling questions.
Math Talks by Curtis Bennett and Frank Sottile, from Concerns of a Young Mathematician, an electronically distributed digest for discussions of the issues of concern to mathematicians at the beginning of their careers. Includes specific advice for different types of talks: colloquium talks, research seminars, talks at a meeting of specialists, and job talks.
How to present math in talks from a Social Science Statistics blog by Amy Perfors
“suggestions for how to present math in the most painless and effective way possible.”
How to Give a Good Colloquium by John E. McCarthy
Excerpts: “prove only tautologies” “subsidize graduate students who dine with the speaker.”
Tips for talks: crafting a strong math presentation by Patrick Bahls
Guidelines/expectations written for a specific REU program’s assignment.
Excerpt: “Feel free to be yourself when you deliver a presentation.”
How to Give a Talk: Advice on Preparing and Presenting Technical Talks in the Mathematical Sciences Slides by Tammy Kolda
Excerpt: “Giving a good talk is important, particularly for students and recent graduates! More people will see your talks than will read your papers or will speak with you in person.”
Tips on giving talks (author unknown)
Excerpt: “…there is not a suggestion here that I haven’t seen violated by someone. Often that someone was me; that’s how I know this is good advice.”
Preparing a poster presentation
- How to prepare a poster, by Sven Hammarling and Nicholas J. Higham of SIAM
- Mathematics at the 2010 SACNAS National Conference
This page includes a video and pictures that illustrate what an undergraduate math poster session is like.
- Making a math conference poster with Inkscape, by Felix Breuer
This webpage includes a beautiful math poster that can be used as a template.
- The Joint Math Meetings include an undergraduate student poster session. The MAA provides tips on poster design for this session, including a link to a website about poster design (not specific to mathematics.
Resources for teachers (relevant literature)
- Jessen, H. and L. Ludwig, “Technically speaking: fostering the communication skills of computer science and mathematics students,” SIGCSE ’07 Proceedings of the 38th SIGCSE technical symposium on Computer science education, Vol. 39, Issue 1., March 2007, pp. 185-189
- A research paper outlining the positive effects mathematical multimedia presentations have on students’ learning and perception of mathematics
- Let’s Talk About Student Presentations, by S Doree, R. Jardine, & T. Linton, PRIMUS, Vol 17, No 4, Oct 2007, pp. 338-352. (ERIC record)
- “A Few Tips on How to Use PowerPoint for Mathematical Presentations”
- “The cognitive style of better powerpoint”
- J. Gallian, “Advice on Giving a Good PowerPoint Presentation” Math Horizons, The MAA, 2006.
- Two pages of advice on how to give a good powerpoint presentation
For links to rubrics, see the page Feedback and Assessment for Presentations.
If you know of other good resources for giving math talks, please contribute them for this page.