Graduate Student Lightning Talks

3/30/2022 5:00:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time) - 3/30/2022 7:00:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time) Zoom - Free Registration Required

The ASABE Graduate Student Community is hosting an opportunity for graduate students to present research in what we call a Lightning Talk. Whether you’d like to present or observe, we welcome you to join us on Wednesday, March 30 at 4:00 PM CST. This event challenges students to communicate their research and its significance to a lay audience. Presenters will prepare a single slide to present in under 3 minutes that describes an element of their research.These Lightning Talks will be a competition in which participants will compete against other graduate students to impress a panel of judges. Prizes will be awarded for top placing finishers. This session of Lightning Talks is limited to the first 15 presenters, so sign up soon! The deadline to sign up to present is March 23. Contact sara.weyer47@gmail.com with questions. 

Event Details:

The purpose of this event is to convey what is very often highly-technical research, to a lay audience. The idea is to have audience members with little or no background in the research topic engaged and understand the research being presented. This event is intended to help students prepare to engage the public with their research and gain support. Presentations should adhere to the following rules:

  1. A single static slide is permitted (no transitions, animations, or movement on the slide). This slide should be emailed to sara.weyer47@gmail.com by Friday, March 25. 
  2. No electronic media (sound and video) should be used
  3. The presentations are limited to 3 minutes. Those exceeding 3 minutes will be promptly stopped by the moderator. 

Because these presentation are intended for a lay audience, the following are some tips we recommend for a successful Lightning Talk:

  1. Write for your audience: Avoid academic jargon and highly technical language your audience members won’t understand. Explain outcomes of your research or the desired outcome. Imagine that you are explaining your research to a friend or family member who asks “so what exactly is your research about?” 
  2. Tell a story: It’s not easy to condense your complex research into 3 minutes, but presenting it as a narrative is likely to cause your audience to lose interest. You’re excited about your research, so it’s important to convey that excitement to your audience!  If presented as a boring narrative, your audience is likely to lose engagement. 
  3. Have an outcome in mind: If you know what you want your audience to take away from the presentation, it can often be easier to craft the presentation. Knowing what you want the audience to walk away with is like having a roadmap to the end destination–don’t stray from the map!

What not to do: Don’t use academic jargon or technical words (most audience members will not understand these terms.) Shorter words and sentences can help lay audience members remain engaged in your presentation.