Journal Club Presentation Tips

Don’t present EVERY figure

Many papers have an extensive list of figures including supplementary files. It is impossible to present and explain all the figures of some papers in a reasonable time. Some figures may be largely redundant. Choose only the most important figures that really tell the story.


Do have ALL the figures at the end of your powerpoint file

Have all the figures and tables as slides at the end of your powerpoint file. If the discussion leads to one of those figures, then you have a slide everyone can see for the discussion.


Put the paper in context

Chances are there are other papers and/or information necessary to fully tell the story. Find figures from review articles or the internet to really tell a story. Are there other papers or data that contradict or support your current paper? Show that data! Is there historical information necessary to understand this paper in context? Be sure to include it.


Tell a story

Every paper tells a story. Some papers tell the story well, but some papers do not. Tell the story in your way. You can change the order of figures if you think the story will flow better.


Know your audience

This is a retrovirology journal club. Unless it is truly necessary to orient the group, you don’t need to show the retrovirus life cycle. However, if you’re presenting a paper on the intricate details of one aspect, you might need to show a refresher slide. For example, we all know how reverse transcription, but if your paper focuses on the plus strand strong stop DNA, then you should probably show a slide of reverse transcription that highlights which particular DNA species is the plus strand strong stop DNA.


Take a stand

Do you find the data compelling? What are the flaws of the paper? What are the best points of the paper? Don’t be afraid to state your opinion.

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