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Drafting Effective Speaker Notes for a Scientific Presentation



An effective presentation includes a summary of the main points in the slides, but the presenter should add additional content in the speaker notes to help explain each point. Some presenters have the the ability to memorize the details through cues in the outline of the presentation, and some can even speak off the cuff. However, for this project, you will create speaker notes for the slides in your presentation, which is due in Module Eight. This will help you consider the outline of your presentation and the content you want to include on each slide.


For this assignment, you will be drafting the speaker notes that will accompany your 5- to 7-slide presentation. The speaker notes can be bullet points related to each item on the slides, or more developed paragraphs that help you fill in the details you wouldn’t include on the slides. This choice is up to you, but either way, the speaker notes should contain substantial details that address each of the required parts of your presentation.

Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed: 

I. Provide a brief overview of the scientific background of your issue and question. How does the issue relate to the natural sciences? 

II. Explain how the issue impacts the audience. In other words, how is the issue relevant to members of the audience? Why should the audience care about the response to your question or the outcome of your hypothesis? Support your response with specific examples from your research investigation. 

III. Describe the empirical evidence you have to support your conclusions about the impact of the issue on you personally and on your audience. Support your response with specific examples from your research investigation. 

IV. Explain why this issue is important to you personally. In other words, why did you select this issue to investigate? 

V. Illustrate how your investigation of the issue impacted the way you thought about the issue. In other words, how did thinking like a scientist to research, develop a question, and formulate a hypothesis affect what you thought about the issue you selected? How did scientific thinking change the lens through which you viewed the issue? Support your response with specific examples from your research investigation. 

VI. Communicate your message in a way that is tailored to your specific audience. For instance, you could consider your vocabulary, your audience’s potential knowledge of current natural science (or lack thereof), and what is specifically important to the audience. This element will not necessarily be a separate slide or step in the process. In your notes that address the previous six prompts, note word choices or pieces that are specifically tailored for your audience.


Guidelines for Submission: The draft of your speaker notes can be bullet points or paragraphs related to each item on the slides. Submissions should be 2–4 pages, double spaced, with 12-point Times New Roman font and one-inch margins. You should use current APA guidelines (or another format approved by your instructor) for any references. For your final project, please keep in mind that these speaker notes will accompany 5–7 slides.

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