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Guidelines for Speakers

All speakers are requested to recruit an individual who will introduce them to the seminar audience at their presentation. The speakers are also requested to provide an abstract of their presentation to Dr. Weinberg at least two weeks prior to the date of their talk. The seminar session is scheduled each week for a maximum of 50 minutes and will contain the following components:


General Departmental Announcements
Question time and Discussion

With this in mind, actual presentation should be no more than 40 minutes. Optimum time is 30-40 minutes with 10-15 minutes of discussion.

Recording your presentation for our archive

We realize that you may be presenting some new unpublished material and will respect your desire to keep this secure, but as far as is reasonably possible we would like to make a video recording of your seminar that will be archived on a remote site for others to listen to/view in the future. The software used to record the session does not allow for any copying or downloading of material. Student presenters have found the recording useful as both a pedagogic toll to help improve their presentation skills and also as a resource that they can make available to potential employers.

Visual Aid Resources

Most presentations in this series use Powerpoint that can be projected on two large screens with the following options:

  1. From your own portable computer but let us know in advance if using a Mac as special formatting may be required. Do not use a Mac if you haven't informed us at least a week in advance
  2. You may borrow a laptop from the audio/visual (a/v) department.
  3. You may bring a USB "key" to load your presentation onto the computer in the seminar room (in which case remember to delete it from that computer after the seminar)
  4. You may access you presentation from a remote site via file transfer protocol if you are knowledgable about its use.

Speakers are strongly urged to discuss their needs with a/v services in room 233 Rosenau (tel #919-966-6536) well in advance of their presentation and to become comfortable and acquainted with the electronic operations in the seminar room. You are encouraged to make equipment reservations well in advance of your presentation to help ensure their ability to meet your needs. You may reserve equipment online at  It is also recommended that the speaker arrange with the teaching assistant for a time to meet and both learn and test out the A/V equipment with their presentation to make certain it projects correctly and that all the text can be read at the back of the room. It is best not to use tables copied from a text.


Presentations should be aimed at a general audience remembering that students in attendance will come from a a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. They should all expect to gain something from your presentation so please have an expanded background or introductory component. For student presenters this isn't a run-through for your PhD final exam but an opportunity to enlighten everyone about what excites you. Everything about the seminar from the title to the flyer, the slides, and the talk should be fun for you and the audience and in a language that everyone can understand. Think of it as an opportunity to tell the lay taxpayer how their money is being spent!!!!

Make a strong effort to minimize specialty prose or use of acronyms without introducing them both audibly and visually. Finally, put your presentation in the context of global environmental sciences and emphasize the contribution of your work in a broader perspective.

Online Resources for Preparation of your Presentation

The best all-around site about making professional presentations is from the Kansas University Medical School:

Thank you on behalf of the ESE community for offering to be a part of this series.
We look forward to your presentation.