Conference Presentation Guidelines

Overview

In this article you will find session guidelines for your presentation. If you have any questions after reading through your guidelines, please contact us

Conference Presentation Guidelines

We have a strong commitment to providing opportunities for conference participants to interact, converse, and learn from each other. Built into the conference program are a number of ‘in person’ and ‘virtual’ session types that are designed specifically to promote interactions among members of the Research Network.

Please carefully review each Conference Presentation Type description for detailed descriptions of each ‘in person’ and ‘virtual’ session type.

Conference Equipment

Within each Conference Presentation Type the equipment provided is listed. Equipment provided varies by session type, so please be sure to note your session type. Depending on the conference venue, additional equipment may be provided. For a complete list of onsite equipment at a particular conference, please visit the ‘Program’ page of the specific conference in question.

1. Themed Paper Presentations

2. Focused Discussions

3. Poster Sessions

4. Workshops

5. Colloquiums

6. Innovation Showcase

7. Virtual Poster Sessions

8. Virtual Lightning Talks


Themed Paper Presentations

General Information and Format

Thematic Sessions are comprised of individual paper presentations that are organized into topic areas by the conference program committee. Papers in the session are presented sequentially in 20-minute presentation blocks, with ample time reserved after all the formal presentations for group discussion. This format allows for greater participation and enhanced discussion of the ideas and implications arising from the set of papers.

What does a Themed Paper Presentation Session look like?

Thematic Sessions will consist of either 3 paper presentations in a 75-minute block, or 4 paper presentations in a 100-minute block. Please prepare for 20 minutes of formal presentation, focusing your verbal remarks on the major conclusions and implications that are the essence of your work. This structure allows for 15-20 minutes of extended discussion following the presentations, during which time the presenters have the opportunity to elaborate on their work in response to questions from the audience or ideas generated by other papers and group discussion.

Visual Aids

All Themed Paper Presentation session rooms are equipped with screens and data projectors. Conference delegates are asked to bring their own laptop computers. If you are a Mac user, please be sure to bring the correct Mac VGA adaptor. Note that overhead projectors for transparencies are not provided in session rooms.

Preparation

During your 20-minute Themed Paper Presentation, be sure to state the structure and main points of your argument explicitly and clearly at the outset and again in the summary. Visual props and key word slides are helpful for offering variety and illustration of your arguments. However, reading your talk from PowerPoint slides should be avoided. Rehearse your presentation out loud several times, if possible in front of a listener who can give you feedback on both form and content. If you will be showing slides or media along with a text, mark in your text where each slide or clip will occur and include this in your rehearsal. You should also be sure your talk fits into the allotted 20 minutes of your presentation. Graduate Scholars in the room will have to cut your talk short, should it run over, to ensure all presenters in a themed paper session are allotted their full presentation time.

Questions

This structure allows for 15-20 minutes for extended discussion following all presentations, during which time the presenters have the opportunity to elaborate on their work in response to questions from the audience or ideas generated by other papers and group discussion.

At the Session

Arrive early, make your way to the front of the session room, and make yourself known to the Graduate Scholar who will serve as chair and moderator during your session.


Focused Discussions

General Information and Format

Focused Discussions offer unique opportunities for learning and professional exchange, are excellent venues for giving and receiving targeted feedback, promote engaging in-depth discussions, and facilitate meeting colleagues with similar interests.

What does a Focused Discussion Session look like?

In a Focused Discussion Session each presenter is assigned to a specific table where attendees will have the opportunity to have an in-depth discussion with presenters. On entering the room, you will see tables with 6-8 chairs in each grouping. Each session presentation will be identified with a number in the center of each table of chairs. Please refer to the program or conference announcement board onsite to reference your presentation number.

Visual Aids

Focused Discussions do not have traditional audio-visual aids available, but most presenters bring handouts illustrating their work. Many presenters also opt to display visual aids from their personal laptop screens, which is optimal for this more intimate presentation type. Focused Discussions are excellent venues for getting targeted feedback, engaging in-depth discussions, and meeting colleagues with similar interests.

Preparation

Although Focused Discussions rely heavily on discussion, this does not negate the need for advance preparation. You should develop the presentation portion of your session and practice it until you are comfortable sharing your thoughts and ideas. The sessions are intended to be interactive, so presentations that include handouts, activities and engaging questions for the audience are highly encouraged.

Handouts

If opting to provide handouts, an estimated 8-10 copies to share with session attendees are recommended. Be sure to include your contact information on the first page to encourage follow-up.

Questions

While your attendees may be eager with questions, it is useful to have one or two prepared questions ready that you can use, if needed, to stimulate the discussion. Questions need not only be for you as the presenter, they may also be directed to the attendees at the session, encouraging their participation, feedback, and the sharing of insights and lessons learned.

At the Session

Arrive early and greet those in attendance. A Graduate Scholar will be in the room to assist you in finding your grouping and to assist delegates looking for specific presentations. During your presentation, speak clearly, offer your personal insights, and encourage questions and discussion. Take advantage of the expertise and insights from other attendees to build your professional network.


Poster Sessions

General Information and Format

Poster Sessions advertise your research. They combine text and graphics to make a visually pleasing presentation. As viewers walk by, your poster should quickly and efficiently communicate your research. The author must remain by his/her poster board for the duration of the session.

What does a Poster Session look like?

Unlike the fast pace of a slideshow or verbal presentation, a Poster Session allows viewers to study and restudy your information and discuss it with you one on one. Authors will hold discussions with the registrants who are circulating amongst the poster boards. Many authors find it helpful to present a brief introduction to answer the obvious questions and allow the remainder of time for more in-depth discussions.

Provided Equipment

Depending on the venue layout, posters could be displayed on a wall or mounting board. Conference organizers will provide tape or tacks depending on the mounting surface available. Please be advised that any and all special mounting materials required are a delegate’s responsibility and are not provided by the conference (materials that leave holes or marks on walls are not allowed). Note that audiovisual equipment will not be available for poster presentations. Presenters are responsible for producing their actual poster and visual materials that comprise the presentation, specialized mounting materials, printing of any handouts, and Sign-up sheet and/or business cards to record interest or follow-up for the presentation.

Preparation

Although Poster Sessions rely heavily on discussion, this does not negate the need for advance preparation. You should develop the presentation portion of your session and practice it until you are comfortable sharing your thoughts and ideas. The sessions are intended to be interactive, so presentations that include handouts, activities, and engaging questions for the audience are highly encouraged.

Size Specifications

To allow adequate room for all presenters, posters should be a maximum of 3ft(h) x 4ft(w) (.91m x 1.2m).

Handouts

If you are considering distributing handouts, approximately 20-30 copies are recommended. Be sure to highlight the authors' names and address information in case the viewer is interested in contacting them for more information. It's also a good idea to bring business cards with you to have handy in case additional interest is generated.

Questions

While your attendees may be eager with questions, it is useful to have one or two prepared questions ready that you can use, if needed, to stimulate the discussion. Questions need not only be for you as the presenter, they may also be directed to the attendees at the session, encouraging their participation, feedback, and the sharing of insights and lessons learned.

At the Session

Presenters are permitted to set up their posters prior to the start of their session, provided this is done during the break and the room is not in use. Posters must be removed prior to the start of the next session or by the conclusion of the conference day if the session is held during the day’s last parallel session, as the room may be used for presentations the following morning.


Workshops

General Information and Format

This Interactive Session is a time in which skills or concepts are taught, demonstrated, or explored. These sessions are scheduled for 45 minutes and should be structured so that some explanatory or introductory information is provided, with ample time for audience interaction, participation, and involvement.

What does a Workshop Session look like?

Workshop Sessions involve extensive interaction between presenters and participants around an idea or hands-on experience of a practice. These sessions may also take the form of a crafted panel, staged conversation, dialogue, or debate – all involving substantial interaction with the audience.

Appropriate considerations for this Session format may include, for example: a workshop, demonstration, performance, exhibition, staged conversation, debate, or extended dialogue with the audience.

Visual Aids

All Workshop Session rooms are equipped with screens and data projectors. Conference delegates are asked to bring their own laptop computers. If you are a Mac user, please be sure to bring the correct Mac VGA adaptor. Note that overhead projectors for transparencies are not provided in session rooms.

Handouts

If you would like to provide handouts (perhaps summarizing background, methodology, or other information to supplement your presentation), 10-15 copies is a good estimate. Please note that there may not be printing or copying facilities on site, so please prepare these materials in advance of the conference

Preparation

The 45-minute Workshop is an interactive session; the key is to include audience participation as much as possible. Be sure your session engages your audience and involves them in as many aspects of your presentation as possible.

Questions

These sessions are scheduled for 45 minutes and should be structured so that some explanatory or introductory information is provided, with ample time for audience interaction, participation, and involvement.

At the Session

Arrive early, make your way to the front of the session room, and locate the Graduate Scholar who will serve as chair and moderator during your session.


Colloquiums

General Information and Format

Colloquium Sessions are organized by a group of colleagues who wish to present various dimensions of a project or perspectives on an issue. Four or five short formal presentations are followed by commentary and/or group discussion.

What does a Colloquium look like?

Though Colloquiums are only 90 minutes long, they are typically scheduled within 100-minute parallel session blocks. Within the allotted time, members of the Colloquium structure their presentations in the way that suits their group presentation best. It is suggested that 15-20 minutes are left at the end of the session for a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Visual aids

All Colloquium Session rooms are equipped with screens and data projectors. Conference delegates are asked to bring their own laptop computers. If you are a Mac user, please be sure to bring the correct Mac VGA adaptor. Note that overhead projectors for transparencies are not provided in session rooms.

Preparation

During your 90-minute Colloquium, be sure to state the structure and main points of your argument explicitly and clearly at the outset and again in the summary. Visual props and key word slides are helpful for offering variety and illustration of your arguments. However, reading your talk from PowerPoint slides should be avoided. Within you group, be sure to rehearse your presentation out loud. If you will be showing slides or media along with a text, mark in your text where each slide or clip will occur. Should you wish to divide the session between presenters, a Graduate Scholar will be present in the room to help moderate.

Questions

It is suggested that 15-20 minutes are left at the end of the session for a question-and-answer session with the audience.

At the Session

Arrive early, make your way to the front of the session room, and locate the Graduate Scholar who will serve as chair and moderator during your session. Since the Colloquium structure is left to the group of colleagues presenting, please let the Graduate Scholar know if and when you would like them to moderate the session.


Innovation Showcase

General Information and Format

Innovation showcase offers researchers and innovators the opportunity to present products or research and development. Presentations should be grounded in presenters' research experience. Promotional conversations are permissible; however, products or services may not be sold at the conference venue.

What does an Innovation Showcase Session look like?

Please prepare for a 20 minute presentation, focusing your verbal remarks on the major conclusions and implications that are the essence of your work, product and/or service. Discussion can take place during the session or at its conclusion.

Visual Aids:

All Innovation Showcase session rooms are equipped with screens and data projectors. Conference delegates are asked to bring their own laptop computers. If you are a Mac user, please be sure to bring the correct Mac VGA adaptor. Note that overhead projectors for transparencies are not provided in session rooms.

Preparation

During your 20-minute presentation, you can present your products in a powerpoint or through discussion. Ideally, product/service presentation should be grounded in your research experience. Graduate Scholars in the room will have to cut your talk short, should it run over, to ensure all presenters in an Innovation Showcase session are allotted their full presentation time.

Handouts

If you are considering distributing handouts, approximately 10-15 copies are recommended. Be sure to highlight the authors' names and address information in case the viewer is interested in contacting them for more information. It's also a good idea to bring business cards with you to have handy in case additional interest is generated.

Questions

While your attendees may be eager with questions, it is useful to have one or two prepared questions ready that you can use, if needed, to stimulate the discussion. Questions need not only be for you as the presenter, they may also be directed to the attendees at the session, encouraging their participation, feedback, and the sharing of insights and lessons learned.

At the Session

Arrive early, make your way to the front of the session room, and make yourself known to the Graduate Scholar who will serve as chair and moderator during your session.


Virtual Posters

General Information and Format

Poster Sessions advertise your research. Virtual Posters are ideal for presenting preliminary results of work in progress or for projects that lend themselves to visual displays and representations. They combine text and graphics to make a visually pleasing presentation. As viewers walk by, your virtual poster should quickly and efficiently communicate your research.

What does a Virtual Poster Session look like?

Virtual Posters are submitted as PDF's and are presented as a part of the in-person poster session or during a parallel session. Virtual Posters are presented as a group and are generally presented as a looped presentation. Audio components to your presentation are not supported in the virtual poster sessions. Additionally, we highly encourage virtual presenters to include contact details (e.g. email address) on their Virtual Posters, or to use a QR code to direct people to more detailed information.

Preparation

Virtual Posters must be submitted to the conference organizing team one month prior to the conference start date, posters submitted after this date will not be accepted. For additional assistance, please view our Step-by-Step Guide for creating your Virtual Poster.

At the Session

In-person conference participants will view the Virtual Posters during the scheduled time slot in the program. There is not an interactive component during the conference, however, after the conference, virtual presentations are shared with the Research Network in the post-conference report and materials. As a reminder, please be sure to include contact details (e.g. email address) within your presentation, so interested community members can contact you about your work.


Virtual Lightning Talks

General Information and Format

Lightning talks are 5-minute "flash" video presentations. Authors present summaries or overviews of their work, describing the essential features (related to purpose, procedures, outcomes, or product). Authors are welcome to submit traditional "lecture style" videos or videos that use visual supports like PowerPoint. Final videos must be submitted at least one month prior to the conference start date. After the conference, videos are then presented on the community YouTube channel.

What does a Virtual Lightning Talk look like?

Virtual Lightning talks are 5-minute videos presented on our Research Network YouTube channel. Virtual talks are presented as a group, at designated times throughout the conference, and are typically displayed at stations near the conference registration desk. We highly encourage virtual presenters to include contact details (e.g. email address) at the beginning and end of the presentation, or to use a QR code to direct people to more detailed information.

Preparation

Virtual Lightning Talks should be submitted to the conference organizing team one month prior to the conference start date. For additional assistance, please view our Step-by-Step Guide for creating your Virtual Lightning Talk.

At the Session

In-person conference participants will view the Virtual Lightning Talks during the scheduled time slot in the program. Although there is not an interactive component during the conference, after the conference, virtual presentations are shared with the Research Network in the post-conference report and materials. As a reminder, please be sure to include contact details (e.g. email address) at the beginning and end of the presentation, or to use a QR code to direct people to more detailed information.