Tips & Resources

"If you can crystallise your years and years of intense study into three minutes that will captivate, entertain and educate a non-specialist audience, I’d say there isn’t a grant you can’t get or a job you can’t secure."      — Simon ClewsMaking the Most of Your Three Minutes

Past Videos

Looking at how past competitors performed is a good way to pick up presentation tips:

Slides and Templates

* 3a Heat PPT template.ppt
Powerpoint template for competitors
* 3MT-Finals-EVENT SLIDES.pptx
2013 SFU competition slides
* 3MT finals.pptx
2014 SFU competition slides

Around the Web

* Melbourne-3MT.pdf
University of Melbourne: Making the Most of Your Three Minutes

SFU Library Resources

The SFU Library has a list of resources to help you improve your presentation skills

The Library also offers SFU users free acess to's training library. It's mostly used for learning software, but they also have a great 1-hour video on Effective Public Speaking, including tips on body language. (You may need to login through the SFU Library and then do a search for "public speaking" to get to this video for free.)

There are also a large number of tutorials on Powerpoint as well as on design topics — the designing a poster tutorial would be useful for designing a good 3MT powerpoint slide.


Melissa Marshall she shares powerful tips on presenting complex scientific ideas to a general audience.

Julia Lane from the Faculty of Education gives some tips on "what not to do" in your 3 Minute Thesis presentation.

Three Minute Thesis – 2018 SFU Finals 

Watch the videos from the SFU Finals

First Place and People's Choice Winner: 

  • Danielle Hoefele, Biological Sciences master’s student: European fire ant foraging and communication

Second Place Winner:

  • Brea McCauley, Archaeology master's student: Ritualized Finger Amputation in the Classic Maya

Danielle will compete at the Western Regional Competition at the University of Regina on April 27, 2018. Good luck, Danielle!

All of the presentations were informative and interesting. Thank you to all who competed this year, including:

  • Alison Butler, Public Policy master's student: Room to grow: Building better rental stock for Vancouver families
  • Allison Carter, Health Sciences doctoral student: Desires embraced: A critical analysis of sex, love, and relationships among women living with HIV
  • Shaun Fickling, Engineering Science doctoral student: Brain vital signs after concussions
  • Ankit Gupta, Interactive Arts and Technology doctoral student: How can wearable technology support self-management of Arthritis?
  • Michelle La, Sociology & Antrhopology master's student: Sneakerheads and their practices of trading
  • Gioachino Roberti, Earth Sciences doctoral student: Volcanoes in a changing climate
  • April Wang, Computing Sciences master’s student: How modern learning resources fail conversational programmers
  • Matthea Wiebe, Archaeology master's student: Exploring Neanderthal Fire-Starting technologies through microarchaeology