Career Skills Toolkit: Designing Effective Science Presentations

The goal of any scientific presentation is to connect with your audience. What should you do before and during your talk to ensure that happens and you feel comfortable and enjoy the process? Following common guiding principles, such as knowing your audience and rehearsing ahead of time, will help you craft and deliver engaging messages.

To help you design an impactful talk, SfN has created a toolkit on the three overarching elements of successful science presentations: structure/narrative, visual aids, and delivery.


Explore the toolkit’s ready-to-use presentation to learn how to:

  • Know your audience and help them understand and appreciate your talk
  • Structure your presentation to tell a compelling story
  • Use visual aids effectively, including how to format your slides with text, colors, and graphics
  • Deliver your talk, including what to pay attention to in terms of pacing, eye contact, and setting
  • Handle your nerves
  • Answer questions from the audience

This toolkit can be shared with an audience or used to improve your own public speaking skills.

Download the presentation.

Then, review the background notes under each slide and this list of additional resources to help you prepare for the presentation.

This presentation is the second part of SfN’s Career Skills Toolkit series, aimed at helping neuroscientists develop the nonscientific skills they need to excel. Explore the first part, Career Skills Toolkit: Leadership, Management, and Team Building.

Sparking Global Conversations Around Neuroscience