Group meeting philosophy
The two main objectives of group meetings are to: 1) discuss group research and 2) hone individual presentation skills. Group meetings also provide a forum for sharing information.
Meetings help to define a group identity. Group research can be diverse but we generally share our scientific approach irrespective of the data or models we use. Cross-fertilisation of ideas can and does happen on occasion.
To achieve those meeting objectives your slides have to be clear. That's different from making them flashy. A presentation should be something you can put together in one working day from the analysis you're already doing. Think about how you want to present your material so you get your message across, e.g. look what I've found, I can't get this to work for some reason, this is where I am in my research...
Take in account the diversity of the group. This strength means that some group members will need to be reminded, for example, why exoplanets are important or why PM2.5 affects human health. Include a few reminder (recycled) slides at the start of your presentation.
I am NOT looking for a final product. The best group meetings are transparent in what has worked and what hasn't. You should be generating reasonably high-quality plots as you go along in your research. Meetings are a catch-up for the group.
Rule of thumb: aim for material that can be presented in 30 mins and be prepared for questions.
- Think about the amount of text on your slides.
- Think about your plots - titles, axes labels, units. No one likes more than one or two plots on a single slide.
- Think about the logical flow of your presentation. This will come with time but try to tell a story.