I’ve written before about INTRO, a neat acronym for structuring the start of a presentation:

  • Interest: start by sharing something that will grab the audience’s attention.
  • Need: say why what you’re going to talk about is important.
  • Title: share the title of the talk.
  • Range: talk about how long you’ll speak for, what you might cover and how you will take questions.
  • Objective: close your introduction by sharing the goal of your presentation.

There’s a nice flow to this process, both for planning and delivering a talk. As with so many tools like this, I think there are wider applications that spring forth with a little reflection.

What about planning for viva prep? Take a blank sheet of paper and consider the following points:

  • Interest: start by writing a few lines about the value of your research.
  • Need: write five key points that you need to address in your viva prep.
  • Title: clearly print “All of this will help me become Dr Somebody!” on the sheet of paper!
  • Range: think carefully, then write one or two possibilities for how you could structure your time to get the work done.
  • Objective: for each key point expressed so far, write a clear goal that leads to progress.

From one sheet of paper we have the beginnings of good viva prep. And with INTRO we have a useful way of starting a presentation.