Simon Peyton Jones, John Launchbury, John Hughes, SIGPLAN Notices 28(11), Nov 1993.
Writing papers and giving talks are key skills for any researcher, but they aren’t easy. In this presentation, I’ll describe simple guidelines that I follow for giving talks, which I think may be useful to you too. I don’t have all the answers—far from it! Please also see my talks on how to write a great research paper and how to write a great research proposal.
- The paper
- Powerpoint slides of the talk [updated 2016]: PDF PPT (you should feel free to repurpose these slides for your own use as long as you acknowledge ownership)
- Other languages
- Emery Berger’s helpful guide for session chairs.
- Nick Nethercote also has a useful 2-page guide about giving a talk
Photo © James Millar/TEDxExeter. Licensed under creative commons.
Here are some pointers to other useful advice:
- You and your research, Hamming’s famous 1986 talk on how to do great research.
- The Navigators Research Book of Style is a slide deck from the Navigators research group at the University of Lisbon. It covers choosing a research topic, doing research, and writing and submitting a paper.
- Research tips (including how to do research, how to write and present a paper, how to design a poster, how to review, etc), by Sylvia Miksch
- Notes on presenting theses, edited by Aaron Sloman, gives useful guidelines and ideas for PhD students writing their thesis.
- Chris O’Leary’s essays about writing an “elevator pitch”. This stuff, especially the list of attributes in the “Elevator pitch 101” page, is very relevant to writing a good grant proposal.
- Guide for preparation and publication of abstracts and A scrutiny of the abstract, both by Kenneth Landes in Geological Notes. These short notes give guidance about writing the abstract of your paper.
- Norman Ramsey’s notes about his class on Technical Writing.
- Mathematical Writing, by Donald E. Knuth et al. The first three sections constitute a minicourse on technical writing: only eight pages long. The time to read it will repay itself many times over.
- How to Write Mathematics, by PR Halmos.
- Gian-Carlo Rota’s excellent talk Ten lessons I wish I had been taught, which, among other things, has a bit to say about giving a talk.
- David Patterson’s talk How to have a bad career in research/academia has many wise things to say on a related topic.
- Mark Leone’s page has a good collection of links to other resources.
- Papers about measurement:
- Producing wrong data without doing anything obviously wrong! Mytkowicz, Diwan, Hauswirth and Sweeney, ASPLOS 2009.
- How not to lie with statistics – the correct way to summarise benchmark results Fleming & Wallace, CACM 29(3), pp218-221, March 1986.