A Good Researcher = Strong Research Skills + Strong Presentation Skills

Presentation skills are crucial for a researcher, but people often overlook their importance.

We often hear complaints about reviewers: “Reviewers don’t understand my paper. The answers to their questions are already mentioned in the paper.” “Why can’t the reviewers get the point of my work? Isn’t it obvious?”

Indeed, the quality of reviewers has decreased in recent years. But on the other hand, could it be that the paper’s structure is not clear enough, and the writing is not sufficient to quickly convey the research contributions to someone with a relevant background?

Good research results alone are not enough. If you cannot convince others that you have done valuable research and solved significant problems, your research will not be appreciated. It’s like someone claiming to have solved an extremly challenging mathematical problem, but no one else can understand the proof. In most cases, people won’t take it seriously.

Good presentation skills are not only useful when submitting papers but also beneficial for presenting research, job interviews, marketing yourself, and even meetings with your advisor. When you do a perfect job but your presentation makes others think you only did a mediocre job, you are at a disadvantage.

So how to improve presentation skills?

Try introducing your research to others in a very short time, such as 10 minutes, 5 minutes, or even 2 minutes. The shorter the time, the more challenging it becomes, as you must summarize your contributions concisely. You will gradually learn what should be the “punchline” for your work.

Try explaining your research to people with different backgrounds, including experts in the same field, undergraduates with the same major, or even your family members. Learn to avoid technical jargon and use simple language to make your contributions understandable to those without a background in your field. After your presentation, ask the listeners to summarize what they heard to see if there is a gap between your presentation and their understanding. This way, you can identify where they began to lose focus and refine your presentation accordingly.

To become a successful researcher, both research skills and presentation skills are equally important.