Editor's Note: "For many of us, giving a scientific presentation can be stressful," writes Duke University Medical Center molecular neurobiologist and cell biologist Robert R.H. Anholt in his book Dazzle 'Em With Style (New York, W.H. Freeman and Co., 1994), a guide to presenting an effective talk. "Yet," he adds, "the ability to deliver a polished oral presentation in front of an audience of peers is an essential skill that is indispensable for a successful scientific career. . . . The skill of presenting an engaging and well-structured seminar often determines our professional reputation and future success--especially when the seminar is part of a job interview." Anholt teaches an annual seminar course in which students are required to prepare and deliver lectures to fellow students and faculty members. An excerpt from the book follows.

A scientific presentation should always be prepared with the audience in mind. To blindly offer a...

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