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UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Foundational AI



Presenting to UltraLeap, Reflections on giving talks to Industry Partners by Zak Morgan

By sharon.betts, on 18 January 2023

Zak Morgaan

Zak Morgan is a second year PhD candidate

During an EU Research project meeting, I was invited by one of the industry partners (UltraLeap) to give a talk at their company regarding my PhD project so far. Since it is my first talk aimed at industry specifically I was unsure on what to expect and so here I’ll lay out some of my reflections on the process with the aim of helping those who find themselves in my shoes in the future.

Like in my previous blog post, I’d emphasize that the content you prepare, whether it be a slide deck, poster or other materials, is only the spring board for discussion. Whilst my slide-deck for the formal presentation was 10 slides, I ended up showing many other results and work to aid answering questions in the Q&A afterwards. I’d highly recommend having a collection of supplementary material, like in an academic paper, to aid in answering any questions that might arise from the discussion.

Overall, I found the talk incredibly productive, and I’d like to think both me and the employees found the talk helpful. In particular I can share findings that I am able to carry out due to the nature of my work not being profit-focused, whilst they can provide engineering details and polish on thoughts, that are simply not valued in a research context.

I’d also advise you talk to your supervisors beforehand and the company to make sure you know what they want you to talk about, and what you can talk about. Sometimes this may require signing an NDA if you want to see particularly cool stuff that goes on in industry and not doing so will result in you missing out on a lot of the cool inner-workings at these industrial partners!

On a final note about preparation, if you find yourself in this position, although the talk may only have half an hour, or an hour scheduled, make sure you’re free for a much longer period. A talk over lunch before or with certain people afterwards can be just as productive as the meeting itself!

A massive thanks to UltraLeap for the opportunity, and I’d highly recommend other PhD students to make sure they’re utilising the great connections you can make during your research.


This work was supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering Chairs in Emerging Technology Scheme (CiET1718/14)

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