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The Conference Presentation Lynda Gagne University of Victoria October 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "The Conference Presentation Lynda Gagne University of Victoria October 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Conference Presentation Lynda Gagne University of Victoria October 2004

2 Overview Preparing for your presentation Giving your presentation Chairing a session Discussing a paper Concluding comments

3 Preparing for your presentation Knowing your audience Knowing yourself Knowing your subject Selling your research question Selling your methodology Choosing the right media What to include in your presentation Practicing for your presentation

4 Knowing your audience Are the participants experts in your field of study, are they peripherally related to the field, or can you expect some of both groups? How much do you expect participants to know about your research methodology? How much do you expect participants about the policy relevance of your research question?

5 Knowing yourself How often have you presented and how much confidence do you have in presenting? What are your weaknesses? How much preparation do you need?

6 Knowing your subject What have other people done in your field of study? Do you have a good handle on the literature? What specifically did you do? What data did you use (if any) and what’s the story behind this data?

7 Selling your research question Why is your research question interesting? What policy relevance (if any) does it have?

8 Selling your methodology What’s innovative about your methodology or your research? Are you using a new method? Are you using a well-accepted method with new data? What differentiates what you have done from what all the other work that has been done in the area?

9 Choosing the right media Power Point slides have become a standard in many conference presentations However, in some disciplines, simple transparencies are still the norm

10 What to include in your presentation The chair should introduce you Start with a “front” page that includes Title of your presentation Your name and affiliation [Date, name of conference, paper prepared for…] [Your next page should include] Acknowledgement to granters, assistants, etc. [Any required disclaimers]

11 What to include in your presentation Introduction Tell the audience what issues you are addressing Place your work in the context of the existing literature Identify your specific research questions

12 What to include in your presentation Methods Describe your data (if applicable) In an academic conference, describe your methods in moderate but sufficient detail that listeners would be in a position to criticize your methods (if needed) In a policy conference, use heuristic devices to convey complex methodology

13 What to include in your presentation Findings Summarize the key aspects of your findings Use graphs and charts whenever possible or applicable Graphs and charts should be adequately labeled – you may want to test them on others before your conference

14 What to include in your presentation Discussion/conclusion Discuss the (policy) implications of your findings Point out the limitations of your research [Make suggestions for further studies]

15 Practicing for your presentation Practice giving your presentation to insure that it is the right length – adjust accordingly Practice voice control Learn your materials to remember the order in which they are

16 Giving your presentation The presentation Question period

17 The presentation Engage your audience Make eye contact Use voice projection Show confidence – the people who took the time to come to your presentation are interested in your work Smile and try to build rapport with light humour (if you’re comfortable with that)

18 The presentation The chair will usually defer questions to the end of the presentation If someone interrupts, be friendly and do answer clarification questions Postpone responding to substantive question until the question period

19 Question period Thank the people who ask questions (oh yes, very good point, I’ll check into it; oh yes, I did address this, but …) Disarm the obnoxious (active listening, as above) Avoid protracted debates Take notes

20 Chairing a Session Chairing a session is often expected of presenters Carefully review the terms of your engagement Contact participants shortly after you receive your assignment to agree on process (or to inform them of the process)

21 Chairing a Session Decide on order (presentations, discussants, question periods) Begin the session by describing the process (unless the process is standard) Introduce each section/speaker You are the time and order keeper

22 Discussing a paper Often required of conference presenters, or others – usually allotted around five minutes Junior people should accept these assignments, although they are time- consuming, because of the exposure You will need to become sufficiently familiar with the related literature and the paper (ideally you should discuss a paper in your area of research)

23 Discussing a paper You enjoyed reading the paper, or you found the paper interesting Brief summary / key points Paper’s contribution to the existing body of knowledge Ideas for extensions or revisions (constructive criticism)

24 Concluding comments Attending a conference is an ideal way for academics and students to make useful connections and to communicate their research findings Students will get the opportunity to suitably impress potential employers with their work and presentation skills Don’t forget to bring your business cards!

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