Transcript Document

Preparing a Captivating
Conference Presentation
Tips and Tricks from the OWRC’s Graduate Tutors
The Application
• Differences across disciplines and conferences
• Panels, roundtables and poster sessions
• Relevant and novel
• Bring your submission to the Odegaard Writing
and Research Center (OWRC)
It’s Accepted: What Now?
• Funding the conference
• Graduate School Fund for Excellence and Innovation
• Graduate and Professional Student Senate
• Center for Statistics and Social Sciences (for affiliated
• Check with your department, the specific conference, and your
• Plan ahead
• Expectations
• Research the conference
• Bring your presentation in multiple forms
• Practice
So I already have a seminar paper…
Papers written for class are a great starting point for presentations, but you
will need to modify your work for a new situation and audience.
Consider the following during revisions:
- READABILITY: If you do read from a paper, keep sentence structures
simple and make sure you can pronounce all names/concepts.
- LENGTH: Fifteen min. means fifteen min - actually it means twelve. It
takes the average reader 2 min. to read one page of double-spaced
writing outloud.
- THEME: If there is a theme at the conference, make sure your argument
and research question respond to that theme.
- AUDIENCE: Based on your research, who will be there? What
background will they need? What are they interested in or what do they
want to know?
- CUTTING: You’re going to be cutting from your lit review, your argument,
parts of evidence. Make sure the message is still consistent and the
argument is logical even as you cut back on information.
Putting Together the Paper
• Hook. An interesting anecdote or hypothetical situation is a nice way to bring
people into your talk. This anecdote can serve as an “anchor” which you
can come back to illustrate your theory or evidence, and to play around
with intellectually during the Q&A session.
• Question. A single intriguing question is essential. While your paper may
contain more than one question, your presentation should only focus on
one. Feel free to note that there are some other ancillary questions that
arise, but keep the focus on one.
• An explanation. Follow up the question with a brief, abstract answer to your
question. Note: you may rearrange the explanation and evidence sections
if you field/work is more inductive than deductive.
• Evidence. Present the proof for your explanation in the most concise, neat
and understandable manner possible.
• Conclusion. Other questions that remain (to “plant” questions for the Q&A
section) or implications of the study.
From: Dr. T’s Professional Pointers – “Your Fifteen Minutes of Fame”:
Native Americans in The Pacific
There are many Native American tribes in Washington state, including the Cowlitz ,
Hoh, Jamestown S’Klallam, Kalispel, Lower Elwha, Lummi, Muckleshoot, Nisqually,
Nooksack, Puyallup, and many others. Today they only have small reservations
scattered throughout the state, but once they moved freely across the land and
lived here and were happy.
White people arrived in the Americas and brought smallpox. An epidemic around
the 1770’s killed a lot of the Native Americans. The first explorers from Spain came
in 1775. The Spanish claimed this area, then the British, then the Americans.
In the 1830’s, missionaries came to try to convert the Indians to Christianity. One
of them was Marcus Whitman. After a lot of Indians died from European diseases,
they got mad at Whitman and killed him and a bunch of other white guys.
Washington became a state in 1889. There was a lot of logging. Native people
were forced off their land and into reservations as their ancestral homeland was
chopped down by greedy Americans. Life has not been good for the Native
Americans in Washington State.
Do’s and Don’ts for PowerPoint
• Maximize color contrast
• Use readable fonts
• Use legible type size
• Use visuals
• Don’t overuse effects
• Don’t read off slides
• Don’t have large amounts of text
Talk Nerdy to Me!
(just replace “science” with “specialization”)
Let’s take a
trip to Prezi
Experiencing a Conference: Creating
Conversations and Networking
Attendance: Beyond panel sessions and keynote
lectures, be sure to attend luncheons, informal
discussions (often “un-conferences”), and happy hour.
Networking: Conferences are a great opportunity to
meet leading academics in the field and like-minded
colleagues! Remember that academia is a small world.
You are likely to run into these people over and over
again, and you may need them to help you get a job
someday. Connecting over Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn
might be preferred depending on the average age of
conference goers, but business cards don’t hurt.
Asking Questions: ASK, ASK, ASK! Ask questions during
the Q&A (panelists will remember you)! Ask the other
presenters on your panel questions!
Creating Conversations: Use the language of the field! It
helps to begin with larger questions (a line of inquiry)
rather than jump into your specialized research. Keeping
your questions open allow for more interdisciplinary