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Your technical presentation

  • Consider the audience
    • Faculty in your area, faculty outside your area, graduate students, undergraduates
    • The people making the decision
  • Who is most important?


  • Target the introduction (first 10 min) to the entire audience
    • Convey excitement about what you are doing and create excitement in your listeners
    • Ensure understanding the importance of the work and the key background concept
  • Target the heart of the seminar (next 25-35 min) to the decision-makers
    • Be exceptionally clear (but not simplistic)
    • Tell them what it means, and summarize as you go
    • Establish your expertise in the area
  • Target the conclusion (last 10 min) to the entire audience
    • What does your work mean to the future of the field?
    • What direction are you taking the work next?
      • This anticipates your more detailed talk about future work
    • Leave the audience feeling a sense of excitement about the future of your area and your ability to contribute
  • Be sure to acknowledge colleagues/funders

Talking points

If your work is in two very different areas, work with your mentor(s) to craft a talk that integrates, to the degree possible, what you have done. Focus most on the work that you will build on for the future and what aligns best with the department where you are interviewing (which may mean having to prepare multiple talks to match the relevant department’s interests).

If your work is based on something done by a collaborator, acknowledge that by saying “Research by my collaborator demonstrated that…, and based on that, I designed the following set of experiments…”

Your research presentation

Align the talk with your research write-up, which many faculty will have read

Think about your audience

  • Is there anything you don’t want to share for reasons of being “scooped”? Generally, it’s best to say what you are thinking, but worth considering your audience
  • What background do you need to provide so that they understand your planned experiments?

General advice

  • Make clean slides, no typos, readable font
  • Reference work appropriately
  • Provide an outline and follow it
  • REHEARSE your talk!!!!! Get feedback from a knowledgeable audience!
    • Is the level placed well for your audience? Are you conveying what you wish?
    • Get them to ask questions!!!
  • Go to the room and check out the projector to ensure it works with your computer or flash drive or CD.
    • Hard to recover if you don’t have slides
  • Have a well-practiced (and therefore familiar) beginning
  • Say “Thank you, I’d be happy to answer any questions” at the end.

Talking points

If you don’t know how to target your talk to the level of the audience, talk with your mentor and colleagues. Ask the Department where you are interviewing who will be in the audience. A talk to primarily faculty and postdocs will be different from one that has upper level undergraduates and beginning graduate students, for example.

Answering questions

  • If someone challenges you….stay calm
    • Acknowledge the question
      • Validate it as appropriate or even, if not, say how you have thought about its relevance
    • If you have not thought about it or don’t know what the person is talking about, suggest that you would like to talk with the person individually after the talk on this topic
  • Think about the question(s) you really don’t want to be asked
    • They will be asked
    • Be prepared to provide an answer
  • Don’t over-answer – be concise and clear in your responses

Talking points

Provide list of questions.

Deflecting “tests”

Expect the unexpected

  • If someone asks you to “solve” an equation or do something in his/her office… indicate that you have a limited amount of time together and you’d be happy to talk with them further on the issue, but would like to focus on other things in the time available

Talking points

If you have to use this approach, be thinking in the back of your mind how you will pursue the discussion. Draw the person who asked the question out and get them to help in formulating the answer in an interactive way. Be sure to say how much you appreciate the question.

The visit

  • Ask about impact of recession on the institution, on the department
  • If you get different answers from different people, ask the Chair to clarify the situation

What to do when…

  • Someone asks a question forbidden by law (e.g., Are you married? Do you have children?)
  • Possible responses
    • Refocus (e.g., “My husband’s job is very portable”)
    • Follow up with a question of your own (“Can you tell me something about relationships between the department and industry in this area?”)
    • Indicate that you would prefer not to answer
    • Note that the question is outside the boundaries you understand for this process… and many more options
  • You feel uncomfortable with the situation…
    • Refocus what is happening by asking a question in a different direction or move away with murmured good wishes if that option exists
    • Pull someone else into the conversation
    • Excuse yourself to go to the restroom

Talking points

Participants ALWAYS bring up this question. Answer in a way that you feel comfortable, but indicate that there are many ways to respond — either answer the question directly, deflect the question, don’t answer, challenge the person... the individual has to come up with something with which they are at ease, and in that case it is likely that the questioner will also be at ease.

Ending the process

  • Thank the Chair (or person with whom you end the process) for their time, the information, and their input.
  • Some candidate write brief emails to the individuals they met during the interview (not clear whether this is a good idea or not, so do what feels right to you).

Relax and enjoy the process

  • Relaxing is not easy, but you will perform better and be more effective if you have a level of calm and your wits about you
  • If you can’t enjoy the process, try to be present to what is happening (not just responding) and learn from the process


Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
While the American heart association suggests that meditation might be used in conjunction with more traditional treatments as a way to manage hypertension
Beverly Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Rice university’s nsf advance program’s negotiating the ideal faculty position workshop master collection of presentations. OpenStax CNX. Mar 08, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11413/1.1
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