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Nadim Boukhira • August 27, 2022

Communicating Science Using Art – A Guide for Oral Presentations

The inception of this guide happened during Dawson College’s ScienceFest. This is an annual science conference where students present talks about their science research projects in front of an audience. Several students had very interesting topics to present, but due to a lack of coaching, their presentation could not capture and engage the audience as much as it deserved to. It became clear then that a resource that would help students with their oral presentation was needed. 

This guide is broken down into three sections. The first section, “the art of choosing the right things to say”, covers the contents of the presentations. This includes advice on how to choose a topic, how to build the structure for the presentation, how to adjust the level for the audience, how to construct the different sections of the talk, and how to go more in depth. The second section, “the art of making the perfect slides”, focuses on the visual side of the presentation. This includes aesthetic choices such as color scheme and layout, as well as general advice on how to improve the clarity of the slides. The third section, “the art of making the perfect speech”, focuses on oral communication. This includes advice on how to use the voice and the body, how to rehearse, how to answer questions, and how to deal with anxiety.

This guide is useful for anyone who plans to make an oral presentation in front of an audience. Because the scope of the guide is wide and addresses all the important aspects of the presentation, there is relevant information for everyone regardless of experience and comfort with public speaking.

This guide is modular, each section is independent and self-sufficient. As you progress through your project, you can jump into the guide and read the sections relevant to current issues you are facing. The sequence of sections in the guide corresponds to the order in which they are likely to be used.      

About the author

Nadim Boukhira has been teaching physics at Dawson College since 2000. A scientist with a creative mind, he dabbles in writing, photography, music, and improv. He brings his showmanship, sense of humor, and passion for physics to the classroom, where he believes that hard work and fun are not mutually exclusive. Borrowing from his martial arts training, he also likes to go beyond the course material, to teach life skills and to help his students become a better version of themselves.

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