Skip to content Skip to navigation

Session (Or Workshop Or Program Briefing) Presentation Tips

Tomorrow's Research

Message Number: 
181

Folks:

Here is a simple yet quite effective set of guidelines on giving

professional presentations at conferences. It is from a flyer included in

registration packets put out by the American Association of Higher

Education.

Regards,

Rick Reis

Reis@stanford.edu

UP NEXT: Globalization and Higher Education

Tomorrow's Research

 

------------------ 543 words ---------------

SESSION (OR WORKSHOP OR PROGRAM BRIEFING) PRESENTATION TIPS

How to Help Participants Get the Most from Your Session

 

1. DELIVER ON WHAT YOU'VE PROMISED.

Revisit your session description and make sure you're planning to do what

you outlined. If you must deviate from the plan, make that clear up front.

2. KEEP IT FOCUSED ON THE BIG POINTS AND ON YOUR AUDIENCE'S NEEDS.

Frame your session in terms of the problem or question you will address.

Ask "How can this session help others be more successful?" Focus on a few

big points and emphasize what is transferable. Your audience of campus

practitioners will be looking for ideas they can take home, adapt, and

apply.

3. FOCUS ON FINDINGS, LESSONS LEARNED, AND CHANGES THAT RESULTED.

Once your audience understands the "so what" of your presentation, they'll

be much more interested in hearing about the what, how, and why of it. Keep

the conference theme and the key emphasis area you've chosen to address in

mind and outline how your campus has made changes or advances in these

areas.

4. REHEARSE - BEFOREHAND.

Particularly if you're on a panel, find a way to discuss and run through

what each panelist is going to do, when, and how. Telephone conference

calls can be a great help in this process, as can email. (If you need

assistance tracking down phone numbers or email addresses, feel free to

contact us at AAHE and we'll try to help.)

5. KEEP PANEL SIZE SMALL.

We've found that enormous panels aren't very effective. Please limit your

group to 3 or 4 presenters, as requested in the Call for Proposals. If you

simply must have more than this, clear it with us and make sure that each

presenter is aware of time and topic parameters.

6. INVOLVE YOUR AUDIENCE (PARTICULARLY IF YOU'RE PRESENTING A WORKSHOP).

There are many ways to involve them, from allowing adequate question/

comment time (at least 10 minutes for any type of session) to building in

interactive exercises. Workshops, in particular, are expected to be highly

interactive in nature. In the end, your session will probably be remembered

less for what you cover than for what you help participants uncover.

7. SPEAK TO BE HEARD ... NOW AND FOREVER.

Please speak directly into the microphones and repeat audience questions

and comments so that you (and they) will be captured for future audiotape

listeners. (Note: FFRR Conference Workshops are not taped.)

8. KEEP VISUALS BIG, BOLD, AND SIMPLE.

9. BE PREPARED FOR DISASTER.

Although we make every effort to ensure that AV equipment is ready for

action, disaster can strike at any time (particularly with computer-based

visual aids). Please come prepared with low-tech substitutes: backup disks,

downloaded files and/or good-old fashioned overhead transparencies, just in

case. Remember, AAHE does not provide computers for presenters, so please

plan on bringing your own laptop and connecting cables and allow ample time

to set it up before your session.

10. GET FEEDBACK. This year, we will be providing session assessment forms

in addition to the conference assessment forms. Ask participants to fill

them out', and allow them time during your session to do so. If you don't,

they won't. This will help us to plan future conferences and to provide you

with feedback on your presentation.

FFRR - 7/99 pjb