Confessions of a researchaholic

April 13, 2011

My attitude towards rejections

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:25 am
Tags: ,

Thank you very much for providing all the motivations I need.

I am going to prove you wrong by outperforming whomever you think is better than me.

My meaning of life

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:23 am
Tags: ,

Life is a (serious) game, so play hard, be triumphant, and (most importantly) have fun. The game is very short and you might only play it once, so do not waste your time.

April 11, 2011

How to give a paper presentation

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:18 pm
Tags: ,

Congratulations that your paper has been accepted to the most prestigious conference in your academic field. You can have a sigh of relief and take a vacation. You deserve it.

But your job is not over yet. You still have to present the paper.

It is important
The presentation is essentially a promo for your paper, and to some degree, for yourself. So it is to your advantage to give a good talk. And if you are relatively junior in the field, you should do it yourself (instead of your adviser or another co-author). This will give you the necessary exposure and recognition.

It is a sales pitch
This can be a personal preference, but for me, a conference talk is more of an advertisement than an education. A very common mistake is trying to cram in all the information into a presentation, hoping that the audience will understand everything. Unfortunately, the talk slots are usually too short and the audience too distracted for this to happen.

Instead, consider the conference as a social event, and your talk a sales pitch. Your goal is to attract people to get interested in your paper, so that they will later spend time reading it. And if you can give a good talk, it also helps sell you as a good researcher. This can translate into long term benefits, like job offers.

The content of your talk should be mainly about the following: (1) why people should care about your paper, (2) why they should read it after your talk, and (3) what are the key points of your paper. Remember, it is more of an advertisement (1 and 2) than education (3).

Actually, there is one more: (4) what a cool and smart guy you are. But you really need to know what you are doing. And if you do, you are beyond this post already.

Finally, practice your talk, both with yourself and in front of an audience. If you are relatively inexperienced or have a certain degree of glossophobia (most people do), practice enough times so that you can give the talk while sleeping. I practiced at least 20 times for my first SIGGRAPH talk, even though nowadays I usually do just once or twice to avoid cruising through my talk with a too rigid or scripted performance.

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