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Demystifying the Academic Chalk Talk


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farran_briggs1

You should assume that different people may be attending your chalk talk and may not have seen your seminar. I like to begin by giving a brief overview of the material I covered in the seminar and asking if there are additional questions. But don’t spend too much time there (5-10 minutes maximum). You may need to revisit specific background as it relates to the aims or points of your chalk talk.

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constanza.cortes

Fit is usually a highly used term during chalk talk debriefings. Some consistent conversations I hear from that side of the table are: Was the applicant able to engage the audience? Were they able to keep the discussion flowing? Did they have a well thought out plan to execute they research aims? Were the aims feasible within 3 years (or whatever length the faculty start-up package may last)? Have they identified trainee sources and funding opportunities that will help them execute the aims? Is this someone we can see ourselves working with for the next ten years?

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arianna_maffei

msapiurka2,
in many cases the chalk talk is during a second visit. A brief summary of the main points of the talk is useful if they are functional to the goals of the future research, and can help getting started.

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qiaojie.xiong

A few minutes (~5 min) to bring up the big picture and summarize your seminar talk before your Aims, and then revisit the specific point as you need in explaining your aims/plans.

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Amanda Kimball

When preparing for a 10 min talk, how do you decide what points you should take the time to write on the board?

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arianna_maffei

yes, you can still use power point for teaching! Although some of my colleagues like the white board for that too.

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farran_briggs1

10 minutes is very short. Chalk talks are typically at least 1 hour, often more. If you are giving a 10 minute scientific presentation, I’d recommend using slides and practicing carefully so you know you can get through all your material in the time allotted.

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arianna_maffei

what works best in my opinion is the hypotheses to be tested or the aims of a grant proposal. This way people will have the opportunity to go back to them as they listen to how you plan to achieve your research goals. A diagram of the system you study is also helpful

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