Preparing a Lecturer/Presenter

What do you tell the presenter?


UCTV serves a general audience. It is reasonable to assume they are watching because they have an interest in your subject, but they are not experts.

In contrast to the audiences you may be more accustomed to, this one won't rely on or require the conventional presentation of data to understand the subject. For this general audience, aim for a broader perspective and present your conclusions rather than multiple examples of data that support it.

In presenting data, statistical trends, or general concepts of the work, try to think visually, and when possible use a metaphor, analogy or comparison. For example, one common difficulty is with units of measurement. The audience is not immediately familiar with a number like 10 to the minus 23. While use of such units is not discouraged, it is helpful to illustrate those quantities. "Really, really small, a billion of them would fit on a period at the end of this sentence" or "really big, more than all the grains of sand on the beach," are examples of how one could help the audience grasp the concept, and in turn, expand their knowledge.

It is important to be aware of the duration of your presentation. If it is too long it will need to be edited to fit the time slot.


There is no particular dress code. Present yourself the way you are comfortable in front of an audience of strangers. For television purposes, muted or earth-toned colors and muted patterns are best. Try to avoid bright colors or high contrast, either in color or a pattern. A white shirt is fine, if it is under a coat for the duration. Avoid tight stripes, herringbone and busy patterns. Minimize the amount of reflective and/or loose jewelry, as it can be a distraction. For the purposes of affixing the microphone, clothing with a collar or a button placket is helpful.

Lights and sound

Television lights may be added to create the best possible image quality. You may be wearing a microphone – if not, you’ll need to stay in close proximity to the microphone on the lectern. Even if the room can hear you, without amplification, the video will not pick you up. Your movement may be somewhat restricted.


You may need to provide a copy of any PowerPoint used for editing purposes. Click here to learn more about making a video-friendly PowerPoint (PDF).


When possible, hold substantial Q&A until after the presentation. Only questions to clarify technical points, to verify that the audience is following the presentation, or that are designed to solicit interaction should be addressed during the body of the talk. Questions should be repeated for the benefit of everyone in the room and in the television audience.

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