This is a post recording the feedback I got from participating the ACM student research competition at SPLASH 13. I won a third place for undergraduate category. I gave a 6 minute presentation on HJ-Hadoop during the competition. The feedback are from Professor Patrick Lam from University of Waterloo. I found the feedback extremely useful and plan to go back to it to improve my presentation skills. The slides I used can be found in the “Presentations” page.
I’d try to get started more quickly with the presentation, explaining what you are doing and why you are doing it without starting by talking about Hadoop in general. I might consider saying “We have clients who want to do certain kinds of queries. They use Hadoop. But each different instance has its own copy of the state.” Motivate your particular problem.
In the same vein, you started with probably more context about yourself than you really need.
Minor things: make more eye contact with the audience, not with your slides; and do not switch slides too early. (Several times, you switched slides and then continued talking about the previous slides.