Uri Alon is a professor in Department of Molecular Cell Biology at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. His work is focused on biological networks and protein circuits. He is one of the pioneers in the emergent field of systems biology with many important insights on regulation of gene expression and network analysis.
Uri is also a very prolific writer. Apart from stellar original research carried out in his lab., he writes articles about doing good science and topics like how to create a motivated research group. Some of these articles have appeared in recent issues of Molecular Cell. Here is a video of him talking about how to give a good talk, i.e., a scientific talk.
A Quick Summary for those who don’t have the time to watch the videos:
1. Every slide should have a “premise” – the main idea, which should be expressed as a full sentence. If it’s not a grammatically correct, full sentence, it’s not a premise.
2. Memorize the first 5 words of your talk to overcome stage fright.
3. Finish the talk ahead of time. It makes the audience feel good.
4. Spend good time on introduction, as it always feels good to listen to things you already know.
5. Don’t look at your slides while ignoring the audience; instead, look towards the audience and into their eyes.
6. Use long pauses, startling gestures (like a clap) to get back audience’s attention (for advanced stage speakers only).
7. When taking questions from audience, listen completely to the question, and then repeat the question back in the questioner’s own words. Then, after a pause, reply to the question.
8. Defuse the aggressive questions by changing the dramatic action of the question. Dramatic action refers to the underlying tonality of the question.