PROM-2 (ENG) Presenting Scientific Research

PROM-2 / T1.A2

Course type


Course load

3 Graduate school credits / 2 ECTS

Hours per meeting

4 hours (6 meetings in total)


Drs. M.J.Y. Wackers -

Course dates

PhD students TU Delft: see Coachview for upcoming course dates; external participants: contact Jolanda Lander (

This course is best suited for students who are in the second or third year of their PhD project

A conference presentation, an elevator pitch or a TED talk: a researcher will have to give many presentations to different audiences, such as colleagues, experts and non-experts. Getting your message across effectively in different presentation situations is a valuable skill to develop. This course deals with presenting scientific research from a rhetorical perspective. Therefore, in this course you will:

  • (further) develop insight into effective presentation techniques;
  • increase your skills in applying presentation techniques in a range of situations (presenting research for experts or mixed audiences, formally in a conference setting or informally for a small audience).

The entire course and all the presentations will be in English. Please note though that Presenting Scientific Research is not an English language course. For PhD students wishing to refine their (writing) skills in English, relevant courses can be found on 
this page.

Detailed description
The following subjects will be treated and practiced with:

  • preparation of a presentation: from abstract to performance
  • delivery skills: voice, posture, eye contact, showing enthusiasm
  • argumentation and structure: how to select, order and connect information in a talk
  • keeping an audience attentive with a clear narrative and rhetorical techniques
  • using visual aids (e.g. Power Point or props)
  • managing questions and reactions during and after a presentation in a structured way
  • effectively dealing with difficult questions and questioners (e.g. hostile, emotional or vague questions)
  • chairing a presentation: introducing and thanking speakers, leading the discussion after another speaker’s presentation
  • peer reviewing of and giving feedback on presentations
  • reflecting on your individual presentation skills

Organisation/teaching method
This course is a lively and intensive workshop that requires a lot of practice and active participation. It consists of six four-hour meetings, divided over three weeks. The maximum number of participants is 12, to ensure there is ample time to discuss each presentation. During the course, each participant will give a short elevator pitch, a 5-minute presentation, a longer conference presentation (15 to 20 minutes) and the introductory part of the participant’s fictitious TED talk. Short additional exercises will also be done, including improvised presentations. Each presentation will be recorded and discussed extensively. A course certificate will be provided upon satisfactorily completion of all course assignments.

Course material
The following book will used and will be available at the start of the course: 

  • Van der Laaken, M. & Van der Laaken, B. (2013). Presentation Techniques. 2nd. ed. Bussum: Coutinho. 

Additional materials and useful links will be provided via Brightspace.

Course fee
If you are a PhD candidate at TU Delft, the Graduate School will pay your course fee. For participants who are not in the TU Delft Graduate School (e.g., lecturers, or researchers at IHE), the course fee is €425. If you are associated with the TU Delft, your department will pay with a baancode; external researchers will receive an invoice.

Registration & Schedule
Registration for TU Delft PhD students is via Coachview. Courses involve 6 meetings of 4 hours each, divided over 3 weeks. 

Courses usually take place end of October/early November, January, April and end of June/early July. Specific course dates and times for upcoming groups will be published in Coachview.

External participants can contact Ingrid Rensen ( for more information about registration for the course and upcoming course dates.

Secretary ITAV: tel. + 31 (0) 15 27 83646
Email: (for administrative questions)
Email: (for questions about the course content)