Giving presentations are an important part of our seminars as well as the final stage of your thesis.


  • Important: You should make an appointment with your supervisor at least one to two weeks before your presentation to discuss your complete set of slides. It is the rule (not the exception) that this results in changes to the slides. So please make sure that you allow yourself a sufficiently large time window for necessary changes.


  • The length of the actual presentations should be between 25 and 30 minutes. The presentations are followed by a short open discussion, which can refer to the content of the presentation but also to the presentation itself (slides, language).

  • You will find further valuable information on the structure of a presentation, the layout of slides and holding the presentation itself on the following pages:

    1. Simon Peyton-Jones (Microsoft Research, Cambridge): How to give a great research talk
    2. Andreas Zeller (U Saarland): Der perfekte Seminarvortrag
  • The language of the slides should be English. It is up to you whether you give the presentation in German or in English.

  • To create your slides, we can recommend the LaTeX-Class Beamer.


  • The content of the presentation should explain the problem/algorithm in detail and perhaps demonstrate it using 1-2 examples. Emphasize what makes the problem interesting and/or tricky. You should spend the rest of the presentation (1) discussing possible solutions (there can be several conceivable solutions) and (2) presenting the realization of the solution you have chosen and implemented.

  • Your program to solve the problem will typically contain an algorithmic core, often a few lines. You can and should show and explain this core, possibly shortened and simplified if appropriate, during the presentation.

  • The actual demonstration of your executable program is also part of a successful presentation. Last but not least, it can be very motivating for your listeners. Here, too, the following applies: use small examples that show the common case and do not deal with the perhaps more esoteric edge cases of the problem and its solution.

  • In general: convey the principle of your solution — a complete presentation of the code is not appropriate. It is also possible to include (excerpts of) the code in the slide set only at the very end of the presentation, on so-called backup slides. These slides are only shown if the discussion after the presentation or specific questions should lead to this. If the path to the solution (not the solution itself) was systematic and included an eye opener, then that can greatly help build understanding. However, the rather random presentation of ‘‘I tried it, but then it went wrong’’-attempts tends to confuse.

Examples of past, (very) good presentations