BME: structuring your talk

It’s important to have some structure in your talk. How do you do that? Well here’s a simple idea. How about having a beginning, middle and end?


A beginning, middle and end.

And a very nice and simple structure is to link your beginning and end.


Link you ending back to your beginning.

For example:


Linking the end back to the beginning.

Sometimes at the start of my workshops for PhD students I tell a story about a PhD student called Frank and some of the difficulties he faced and in particular the isolation he felt along the way.

Then I move on to other content but at the end I sometimes say: Remember at the start I talked about Frank. Well he applied some of the strategies I’ve talked about today; he developed networks; he got a routine going and made some small changes. And the good news is that just recently he sent me an email saying that his PhD had been accepted. (Frank by the way is real, although I always change names to protect the innocent.)


Some phrases you can use to make the link between the beginning and the end are:

As I told you at the start …

Remember at the start I mentioned …

When I started I told you the story…

Which brings us back to where we started …

As I said at the start it’s important to have some structure in your talk. And how do you do that? Well as you’ve seen a simple way is to have a beginning, a middle and an end.

Extract from Presenting your Research with Confidence, Hugh Kearns


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