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Conference Presentation Slides: A Guide for Success

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In our experience, a common error when preparing a conference presentation is using designs that heavily rely on bullet points and massive chunks of text. A potential reason behind this slide design mistake is aiming to include as much information as possible in just one slide. In the end, slides become a sort of teleprompter for the speaker, and the audience recalls boredom instead of an informative experience.

As part of our mission to help presenters deliver their message effectively, we have summarized what makes a good conference presentation slide, as well as tips on how to design a successful conference slide.

Table of Contents

What is a conference presentation

Common mistakes presenters make when creating conference presentation slides, how can a well-crafted conference presentation help your professional life, how to start a conference presentation, how to end a conference presentation, tailoring your message to different audiences, visualizing data effectively, engaging with your audience, designing for impact, mastering slide transitions and animation, handling time constraints, incorporating multimedia elements, post-presentation engagement, crisis management during presentations, sustainability and green presentations, measuring presentation success, 13 tips to create stellar conference presentations, final thoughts.

The Britannica Dictionary defines conferences as 

A formal meeting in which many people gather in order to talk about ideas or problems related to a particular topic (such as medicine or business), usually for several days.

We can then define conference presentations as the combination of a speaker, a slide deck , and the required hardware to introduce an idea or topic in a conference setting. Some characteristics differentiate conference presentations from other formats.


Conference presentations are bounded by a 15-30 minute time limit, which the event’s moderators establish. These restrictions are applied to allow a crowded agenda to be met on time, and it is common to count with over 10 speakers on the same day.

To that time limit, we have to add the time required for switching between speakers, which implies loading a new slide deck to the streaming platform, microphone testing, lighting effects, etc. Say it is around 10-15 minutes extra, so depending on the number of speakers per day during the event, the time available to deliver a presentation, plus the questions & answers time.

Delivery format

Conferences can be delivered in live event format or via webinars. Since this article is mainly intended to live event conferences, we will only mention that the requirements for webinars are as follows:

  • Voice-over or, best, speaker layover the presentation slides so the speaker interacts with the audience.
  • Quality graphics.
  • Not abusing the amount of information to introduce per slide.

On the other hand, live event conferences will differ depending on the category under which they fall. Academic conferences have a structure in which there’s a previous poster session; then speakers start delivering their talks, then after 4-5 speakers, we have a coffee break. Those pauses help the AV crew to check the equipment, and they also become an opportunity for researchers to expand their network contacts. 

Business conferences are usually more dynamic. Some presenters opt not to use slide decks, giving a powerful speech instead, as they feel much more comfortable that way. Other speakers at business conferences adopt videos to summarize their ideas and then proceed to speak.

presentation in conference

Overall, the format guidelines are sent to speakers before the event. Adapt your presentation style to meet the requirements of moderators so you can maximize the effect of your message.

The audience

Unlike other presentation settings, conferences gather a knowledgeable audience on the discussed topics. It is imperative to consider this, as tone, delivery format, information to include, and more depend on this sole factor. Moreover, the audience will participate in your presentation at the last minute, as it is a common practice to hold a Q&A session. 

Mistake #1 – Massive chunks of text

Do you intend your audience to read your slides instead of being seduced by your presentation? Presenters often add large amounts of text to each slide since they need help deciding which data to exclude. Another excuse for this practice is so the audience remembers the content exposed.

Research indicates images are much better retained than words, a phenomenon known as the Picture Superiority Effect ; therefore, opt to avoid this tendency and work into creating compelling graphics.

Mistake #2 – Not creating contrast between data and graphics

Have you tried to read a slide from 4 rows behind the presenter and not get a single number? This can happen if the presenter is not careful to work with the appropriate contrast between the color of the typeface and the background. Particularly if serif fonts are used.

Using WebAIM tool to check color contrast

Use online tools such as WebAIM’s Contrast Checker to make your slides legible for your audience. Creating an overlay with a white or black transparent tint can also help when you place text above images.

Mistake #3 – Not rehearsing the presentation

This is a sin in conference presentations, as when you don’t practice the content you intend to deliver, you don’t have a measure of how much time it is actually going to take. 

Locating the rehearsing timing options in PowerPoint

PowerPoint’s rehearse timing feature can help a great deal, as you can record yourself practising the presentation and observe areas for improvement. Remember, conference presentations are time-limited , don’t disrespect fellow speakers by overlapping their scheduled slot or, worse, have moderators trim your presentation after several warnings.

Mistake #4 – Lacking hierarchy for the presented content

Looking at a slide and not knowing where the main point is discouraging for the audience, especially if you introduce several pieces of content under the same slide. Instead, opt to create a hierarchy that comprehends both text and images. It helps to arrange the content according to your narrative, and we’ll see more on this later on.

Consider your conference presentation as your introduction card in the professional world. Maybe you have a broad network of colleagues, but be certain there are plenty of people out there that have yet to learn about who you are and the work you produce.

Conferences help businesspeople and academics alike to introduce the results of months of research on a specific topic in front of a knowledgeable audience. It is different from a product launch as you don’t need to present a “completed product” but rather your views or advances, in other words, your contribution with valuable insights to the field.

Putting dedication into your conference presentation, from the slide deck design to presentation skills , is definitely worth the effort. The audience can get valuable references from the quality of work you are able to produce, often leading to potential partnerships. In business conferences, securing an investor deal can happen after a powerful presentation that drives the audience to perceive your work as the very best thing that’s about to be launched. It is all about how your body language reflects your intent, how well-explained the concepts are, and the emotional impact you can drive from it.

There are multiple ways on how to start a presentation for a conference, but overall, we can recap a good approach as follows.

Present a fact

Nothing grabs the interest of an audience quicker than introducing an interesting fact during the first 30 seconds of your presentation. The said fact has to be pivotal to the content your conference presentation will discuss later on, but as an ice-breaker, it is a strategy worth applying from time to time.

Ask a question

The main point when starting a conference presentation is to make an impact on the audience. We cannot think of a better way to engage with the audience than to ask them a question relevant to your work or research. It grabs the viewer’s interest for the potential feedback you shall give to those answers received.

Use powerful graphics

The value of visual presentations cannot be neglected in conferences. Sometimes an image makes a bigger impact than a lengthy speech, hence why you should consider starting your conference presentation with a photo or visual element that speaks for itself.

an example of combining powerful graphics with facts for conference presentation slides

For more tips and insights on how to start a presentation , we invite you to check this article.

Just as important as starting the presentation, the closure you give to your conference presentation matters a lot. This is the opportunity in which you can add your personal experience on the topic and reflect upon it with the audience or smoothly transition between the presentation and your Q&A session.

Below are some quick tips on how to end a presentation for a conference event.

End the presentation with a quote

Give your audience something to ruminate about with the help of a quote tailored to the topic you were discussing. There are plenty of resources for finding suitable quotes, and a great method for this is to design your penultimate slide with an image or black background plus a quote. Follow this with a final “thank you” slide.

Consider a video

If we say a video whose length is shorter than 1 minute, this is a fantastic resource to summarize the intent of your conference presentation. 

If you get the two-minute warning and you feel far off from finishing your presentation, first, don’t fret. Try to give a good closure when presenting in a conference without rushing information, as the audience wouldn’t get any concept clear that way. Mention that the information you presented will be available for further reading at the event’s platform site or your company’s digital business card , and proceed to your closure phase for the presentation.

It is better to miss some of the components of the conference than to get kicked out after several warnings for exceeding the allotted time.

Tailoring your conference presentation to suit your audience is crucial to delivering an impactful talk. Different audiences have varying levels of expertise, interests, and expectations. By customizing your content, tone, and examples, you can enhance the relevance and engagement of your presentation.

Understanding Audience Backgrounds and Expectations

Before crafting your presentation, research your audience’s backgrounds and interests. Are they professionals in your field, students, or a mix of both? Are they familiar with the topic, or must you provide more context? Understanding these factors will help you pitch your content correctly and avoid overwhelming or boring your audience.

Adapting Language and Tone for Relevance

Use language that resonates with your audience. Avoid jargon or technical terms that might confuse those unfamiliar with your field. Conversely, don’t oversimplify if your audience consists of experts. Adjust your tone to match the event’s formality and your listeners’ preferences.

Customizing Examples and Case Studies

Incorporate case studies, examples, and anecdotes that your audience can relate to. If you’re speaking to professionals, use real-world scenarios from their industry. For a more general audience, choose examples that are universally relatable. This personal touch makes your content relatable and memorable.

Effectively presenting data is essential for conveying complex information to your audience. Visualizations can help simplify intricate concepts and make your points more digestible.

Choosing the Right Data Representation

Select the appropriate type of graph or chart to illustrate your data. Bar graphs, pie charts, line charts, and scatter plots each serve specific purposes. Choose the one that best supports your message and ensures clarity.

Designing Graphs and Charts for Clarity

Ensure your graphs and charts are easily read. Use clear labels, appropriate color contrasts, and consistent scales. Avoid clutter and simplify the design to highlight the most important data points.

Incorporating Annotations and Explanations

Add annotations or callouts to your graphs to emphasize key findings. Explain the significance of each data point to guide your audience’s understanding. Utilize visual cues, such as arrows and labels, to direct attention.

Engaging your audience is a fundamental skill for a successful presentation for conference. Captivate their attention, encourage participation, and foster a positive connection.

Establishing Eye Contact and Body Language

Maintain eye contact with different audience parts to create a sense of connection. Effective body language, such as confident posture and expressive gestures, enhances your presence on stage.

Encouraging Participation and Interaction

Involve your audience through questions, polls, or interactive activities. Encourage them to share their thoughts or experiences related to your topic. This engagement fosters a more dynamic and memorable presentation.

Using Humor and Engaging Stories

Incorporate humor and relatable anecdotes to make your presentation more enjoyable. Well-timed jokes or personal stories can create a rapport with your audience and make your content more memorable.

The design of your conference presentation slides plays a crucial role in capturing and retaining your audience’s attention. Thoughtful design can amplify your message and reinforce key points. Take a look at these suggestions to boost the performance of your conference presentation slides, or create an entire slide deck in minutes by using SlideModel’s AI Presentation Maker from text .

Creating Memorable Opening Slides

Craft an opening slide that piques the audience’s curiosity and sets the tone for your presentation. Use an engaging visual, thought-provoking quote, or intriguing question to grab their attention from the start.

Using Visual Hierarchy for Emphasis

Employ visual hierarchy to guide your audience’s focus. Highlight key points with larger fonts, bold colors, or strategic placement. Organize information logically to enhance comprehension.

Designing a Powerful Closing Slide

End your presentation with a compelling closing slide that reinforces your main message. Summarize your key points, offer a memorable takeaway, or invite the audience to take action. Use visuals that resonate and leave a lasting impression.

Slide transitions and animations can enhance the flow of your presentation and emphasize important content. However, their use requires careful consideration to avoid distractions or confusion.

Enhancing Flow with Transitions

Select slide transitions that smoothly guide the audience from one point to the next. Avoid overly flashy transitions that detract from your content. Choose options that enhance, rather than disrupt, the presentation’s rhythm.

Using Animation to Highlight Points

Animate elements on your slides to draw attention to specific information. Animate text, images, or graphs to appear as you discuss them, helping the audience follow your narrative more effectively.

Avoiding Overuse of Effects

While animation can be engaging, avoid excessive use that might overwhelm or distract the audience. Maintain a balance between animated elements and static content for a polished presentation.

Effective time management is crucial for delivering a concise and impactful conference presentation within the allocated time frame.

Structuring for Short vs. Long Presentations

Adapt your content and pacing based on the duration of your presentation. Clearly outline the main points for shorter talks, and delve into more depth for longer sessions. Ensure your message aligns with the time available.

Prioritizing Key Information

Identify the core information you want your audience to take away. Focus on conveying these essential points, and be prepared to trim or elaborate on supporting details based on the available time.

Practicing Time Management

Rehearse your presentation while timing yourself to ensure you stay within the allocated time. Adjust your delivery speed to match your time limit, allowing for smooth transitions and adequate Q&A time.

Multimedia elements, such as videos, audio clips, and live demonstrations, can enrich your presentation and provide a dynamic experience for your audience.

Integrating Videos and Audio Clips

Use videos and audio clips strategically to reinforce your points or provide real-world examples. Ensure that the multimedia content is of high quality and directly supports your narrative.

Showcasing Live Demonstrations

Live demonstrations can engage the audience by showcasing practical applications of your topic. Practice the demonstration beforehand to ensure it runs smoothly and aligns with your message.

Using Hyperlinks for Additional Resources

Incorporate hyperlinks into your presentation to direct the audience to additional resources, references, or related content. This allows interested attendees to explore the topic further after the presentation.

Engaging with your audience after your presentation can extend the impact of your talk and foster valuable connections.

Leveraging Post-Presentation Materials

Make your presentation slides and related materials available to attendees after the event. Share them through email, a website, or a conference platform, allowing interested individuals to review the content.

Sharing Slides and Handouts

Provide downloadable versions of your slides and any handouts you used during the presentation. This helps attendees revisit key points and share the information with colleagues.

Networking and Following Up

Utilize networking opportunities during and after the conference to connect with attendees who are interested in your topic. Exchange contact information and follow up with personalized messages to continue the conversation.

Preparing for unexpected challenges during your presenting at a conference can help you maintain professionalism and composure, ensuring a seamless delivery.

Dealing with Technical Glitches

Technical issues can occur, from projector malfunctions to software crashes. Stay calm and have a backup plan, such as having your slides available on multiple devices or using printed handouts.

Handling Unexpected Interruptions

Interruptions, such as questions from the audience or unforeseen disruptions, are a normal part of live presentations. Address them politely, stay adaptable, and seamlessly return to your prepared content.

Staying Calm and Professional

Maintain a composed demeanor regardless of unexpected situations. Your ability to handle challenges gracefully reflects your professionalism and dedication to delivering a successful presentation.

Creating environmentally friendly presentations demonstrates your commitment to sustainability and responsible practices.

Designing Eco-Friendly Slides

Minimize the use of resources by designing slides with efficient layouts, avoiding unnecessary graphics or animations, and using eco-friendly color schemes.

Reducing Paper and Material Waste

Promote a paperless approach by encouraging attendees to access digital materials rather than printing handouts. If print materials are necessary, consider using recycled paper.

Promoting Sustainable Practices

Advocate for sustainability during your presentation by discussing relevant initiatives, practices, or innovations that align with environmentally conscious values.

Measuring the success of your conference presentation goes beyond the applause and immediate feedback. It involves assessing the impact of your presentation on your audience, goals, and growth as a presenter.

Collecting Audience Feedback

After presenting at a conference, gather feedback from attendees. Provide feedback forms or online surveys to capture their thoughts on the content, delivery, and visuals. Analyzing their feedback can reveal areas for improvement and give insights into audience preferences.

Evaluating Key Performance Metrics

Consider objective metrics such as audience engagement, participation, and post-presentation interactions. Did attendees ask questions? Did your content spark discussions? Tracking these metrics can help you gauge the effectiveness of your presentation in conveying your message.

Continuous Improvement Strategies

Use the feedback and insights gathered to enhance your future presentations. Identify strengths to build upon and weaknesses to address. Continuously refine your presentation skills , design choices, and content to create even more impactful presentations in the future.

Tip #1 – Exhibit a single idea per slide

Just one slide per concept, avoiding large text blocks. If you can compile the idea with an image, it’s better that way.

Research shows that people’s attention span is limited ; therefore, redirect your efforts in what concerns presentation slides so your ideas become crystal clear for the spectators.

Tip #2 – Avoid jargon whenever possible

Using complex terms does not directly imply you fully understand the concept you are about to discuss. In spite of your work being presented to a knowledgeable audience, avoid jargon as much as possible because you run the risk of people not understanding what you are saying.

Instead, opt to rehearse your presentation in front of a not-knowledgeable audience to measure the jargon volume you are adding to it. Technical terms are obviously expected in a conference situation, but archaic terms or purely jargon can be easily trimmed this way.

Tip #3 – Replace bulleted listings with structured layouts or diagrams

Bullet points are attention grabbers for the audience. People tend to instantly check what’s written in them, in contrast to waiting for you to introduce the point itself. 

Using bullet points as a way to expose elements of your presentation should be restricted. Opt for limiting the bullet points to non-avoidable facts to list or crucial information. 

Tip #4 – Customize presentation templates

Using presentation templates is a great idea to save time in design decisions. These pre-made slide decks are entirely customizable; however, many users fall into using them as they come, exposing themselves to design inconsistencies (especially with images) or that another presenter had the same idea (it is extremely rare, but it can happen).

Learning how to properly change color themes in PowerPoint is an advantageous asset. We also recommend you use your own images or royalty-free images selected by you rather than sticking to the ones included in a template.

Tip #5 – Displaying charts

Graphs and charts comprise around 80% of the information in most business and academic conferences. Since data visualization is important, avoid common pitfalls such as using 3D effects in bar charts. Depending on the audience’s point of view, those 3D effects can make the data hard to read or get an accurate interpretation of what it represents.

using 2D graphics to show relevant data in conference presentation slides

Tip #6 – Using images in the background

Use some of the images you were planning to expose as background for the slides – again, not all of them but relevant slides.

Be careful when placing text above the slides if they have a background image, as accessibility problems may arise due to contrast. Instead, apply an extra color layer above the image with reduced opacity – black or white, depending on the image and text requirements. This makes the text more legible for the audience, and you can use your images without any inconvenience.

Tip #7 – Embrace negative space

Negative space is a concept seen in design situations. If we consider positive space as the designed area, meaning the objects, shapes, etc., that are “your design,” negative space can be defined as the surrounding area. If we work on a white canvas, negative space is the remaining white area surrounding your design.

The main advantage of using negative space appropriately is to let your designs breathe. Stuffing charts, images and text makes it hard to get a proper understanding of what’s going on in the slide. Apply the “less is more” motto to your conference presentation slides, and embrace negative space as your new design asset.

Tip #8 – Use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation

You would be surprised to see how many typos can be seen in slides at professional gatherings. Whereas typos can often pass by as a humor-relief moment, grammatical or awful spelling mistakes make you look unprofessional. 

Take 5 extra minutes before submitting your slide deck to proofread the grammar, spelling, and punctuation. If in doubt, browse dictionaries for complex technical words.

Tip #10 – Use an appropriate presentation style

The format of the conference will undoubtedly require its own presentation style. By this we mean that it is different from delivering a conference presentation in front of a live audience as a webinar conference. The interaction with the audience is different, the demands for the Q&A session will be different, and also during webinars the audience is closely looking at your slides.

Tip #11 – Control your speaking tone

Another huge mistake when delivering a conference presentation is to speak with a monotonous tone. The message you transmit to your attendees is that you simply do not care about your work. If you believe you fall into this category, get feedback from others: try pitching to them, and afterward, consider how you talk. 

Practicing breathing exercises can help to articulate your speech skills, especially if anxiety hinders your presentation performance.

Tip #12 – On eye contact and note reading

In order to connect with your audience, it is imperative to make eye contact. Not stare, but look at your spectators from time to time as the talk is directed at them.

If you struggle on this point, a good tip we can provide is to act like you’re looking at your viewers. Pick a good point a few centimeters above your viewer and direct your speech there. They will believe you are communicating directly with them. Shift your head slightly on the upcoming slide or bullet and choose a new location.

Regarding note reading, while it is an acceptable practice to check your notes, do not make the entire talk a lecture in which you simply read your notes to the audience. This goes hand-by-hand with the speaking tone in terms of demonstrating interest in the work you do. Practice as often as you need before the event to avoid constantly reading your notes. Reading a paragraph or two is okay, but not the entire presentation.

Tip #13 – Be ready for the Q&A session

Despite it being a requirement in most conference events, not all presenters get ready for the Q&A session. It is a part of the conference presentation itself, so you should pace your speech to give enough time for the audience to ask 1-3 questions and get a proper answer.

a Q&A slide to start the Q&A session

Don’t be lengthy or overbearing in replying to each question, as you may run out of time. It is preferable to give a general opinion and then reach the interested person with your contact information to discuss the topic in detail.

Observing what others do at conference events is good practice for learning a tip or two for improving your own work. As we have seen throughout this article, conference presentation slides have specific requirements to become a tool in your presentation rather than a mixture of information without order.

Employ these tips and suggestions to craft your upcoming conference presentation without any hurdles. Best of luck!

1. Conference PowerPoint Template

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Use This Template

2. Free Conference Presentation Template

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15 Best Tips for Presenting at a Conference

Matthieu Chartier, PhD.

Published on 18 Nov 2021

Presenting at a conference is an important part of a researcher’s life: it allows you to share all the work you’ve been doing for months or years.

At the same time, it also exposes some intimate aspects of yourself to the outside world, like your thought process, your level of knowledge on a topic, or your ability to structure ideas.

I personally found myself frightened about presenting on multiple occasions. I remember my first seminar at the beginning of my master's degree in biochemistry. Coming from a bachelor in ecology, I felt like an imposter in the new department and was scared others would judge my level of knowledge or the quality of my presentation. Of course, these were only negative projections I was making in my mind, but they reflect the stressful vibe one can feel when preparing to give a talk.

On the positive side, a successful presentation leads to a better understanding of your work by the audience. This generates insightful discussions that can provide ideas about what the next steps of your research should be or clues to solve roadblocks.

It also leaves a good impression on the work done at your lab which can attract new collaborators. Also, getting your work noticed, especially at large conferences, can lead to your publications being more cited. If you’re a student, you can be rewarded with a presentation prize that will boost your curriculum when applying for scholarships.

Above all, learning to communicate, especially to the general public, is a valued skill.

So how can you nail your next presentation? There are no magic pills, but in this article, we’ll share some important tips to help you deliver the best presentation at your next event.

1- Do not start by working on your slides

It is very easy to get lost in your slides if you do not plan first. That is why you need to outline your key ideas and the order in which you want to present them BEFORE jumping into building slides in PowerPoint (or another platform).

You can start with bullet points, a flowchart, or something similar. The crucial part here is to make sure you are laying out the information and not just throwing it on the slides as they come to your mind. It is easy to get lost if you just keep adding slide after slide without any concern for length and/or connections between the information.

You can use sticky notes, paper planners, online flowchart generators, or other tools to help you in the layout phase.

Then, equally important to the key ideas is how you tie all of that content together. You should plan a logical transition and a progression between each idea. This will help you define a common thread and establish the flow of your presentation. Ultimately, it will help the audience capture the message you’re sharing.

In summary, knowing what you want to talk about is key. So before working on your slide deck and your handouts, develop this layout that highlights and connects the information you want to share.

2- Have a duration in mind

You’ll have a limited amount of time to get your message across, so you have to plan your presentation around that time frame. If you have 15 minutes to present your work, plan a presentation that lasts slightly less than that time limit.

Another tip for presentations is to use a timer while presenting to ensure you don’t go overtime.

A lot of people do not plan their time wisely and end up skipping slides in their presentation or going overtime. And guess what? Your audience knows when you skip content because you ran out of time. It comes off as unprofessional and may affect the way people see your work. So take your time preparing your presentation around your time constraints.

If your initial mockup is longer than what it should be, start by analyzing what information could be deleted or ways to get the information across using fewer words. 

It’s often just a matter of focusing on the details that matter the most. Don’t explain all the details of the methodology or the results if it doesn’t add to the story. Keep that for smaller group discussions or during the Q&A period. 

Presenter on stage at a conference

3- Use visuals to your advantage

Visuals are a must in any presentation. Whether it is an image, a chart, a graphic, or a video, visuals help with interpretation and can be an effective way to get your message across or grab the audience's attention.

Just because you’re presenting at an academic conference, it doesn’t mean you can’t use images, videos, or even gifs to help get the message across.

Most people deal better with visuals than words , especially when the information is heavy with data and numbers. But even with visuals, remember to keep it simple. The whole purpose of using visual aids is to help your audience understand the message and not to confuse them with too much information. 

If you’re presenting figures or graphs, remember to use the pointer to highlight the key points while you explain your slide. This is something that is easy to forget when the stress level is high, but it can be a good way to stay grounded and focused on the presentation.

4- Know your audience

In any academic conference, knowing your audience puts you one step closer to delivering an effective presentation. Do your research when starting to prepare your presentation.

Skimming the proceedings of past editions of a conference can reveal past participant lists and their profile. Different conferences have different proportions of undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, or principal investigators. Knowing the proportions of each category can indicate the level of knowledge on certain topics and if you need to spend time explaining certain areas so they understand the rest of the presentation or not.

If you find the abstracts, the Powerpoints, or the recordings of talks from previous editions, it can also help you adjust the depth in which you can go when explaining certain concepts.

Do not fall under the trap of assuming your audience knows nothing about your research subject. If they are at your research conference, it is most likely that they possess knowledge of (and interest in) what you are talking about. So, skip the basics that everyone knows if you feel you can.

Use jargon that is easily understood by the community at large and make sure you define less common abbreviations.

Knowing your audience is not always an easy task. If you’re not sure if your audience is familiar with a specific topic, don't be afraid to ask them! It will make everyone feel more involved and you will get their attention for the rest of the presentation. The bottom line, adapt your message to the audience.

5- Practice, practice, and practice again

No one should know your presentation better than you. When preparing for a particular conference, rehearse your talking points out loud and make sure you feel 100% comfortable with the information laid out on your slides. 

In addition, make sure the key ideas and the logical transition between them are crystal clear. One of the worst things that can happen to presenters is getting lost in their own presentation. 

You should practice your speech out loud to become familiar with the words as this will help your tone and confidence. When you sound confident, people are keener to listen to what you are saying.

One additional common but useful tip is to record yourself while practicing. It will help you know where you're lacking and what needs to be improved. 

 For example, some people tend to talk really fast or jump on sentences while others tend to ignore full stops. No matter what the issues are, recording yourself is a great tactic to find and address them.

Microphone close up

6- Present it to a friend or colleague

Outside of practicing it out loud on your own, practice it in front of your colleagues. It will give you an experience that will resemble the real presentation the most.

While you present, notice their facial expressions. They can reveal parts of your presentation that are unclear. Tell them not to interrupt you during the presentation, but tell them to note down their suggestions or questions for the end. Make sure to use a timer to measure how you’re doing on time.

Some people like to present to someone completely detached from the topic. The idea is that if people who are not completely familiar with the subject can follow your presentation, people in the field should be able to easily follow it as well. 

No matter which option you choose, this exercise will help if you have difficulties speaking in public. Do not be afraid of doing these multiple times before your presentation and always ask for honest feedback. The more you practice, the more confident and more fluent you will be.

During my Ph.D., we often presented to our lab members and went through a Q&A section. Not only was it a good opportunity to practice the presenting skills, but it was also a moment to discuss specific aspects and prepare for potential questions. I remember in some instances, the feedback led to reshuffling the ideas completely in a way that made more sense.

7- Appearances matter

Even though people are coming to your presentation because they are interested in your research, appearances matter. The way you speak, how you interact with your audience, and even what you wear, make an impact. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes. 

 If you’re presenting at an online event, make sure the lighting comes from in front of you and not from behind or it will make your face appear darker. Not seeing a presenter clearly can distract the audience and decrease attention.

Also make sure there isn’t anything distracting in the background, like television or someone walking. The best background is usually solid-colored walls.

8- Sleep and eat well before the event

Get a good night of sleep the night before the event. You will feel well-rested and ready to tackle the presentation. It can be tempting to practice your slides and go over your presentation late at night, but it is sometimes better to get a good night's sleep.

In addition, make sure to eat well. You don’t want to feel dizzy or be occupied thinking about food when you should be thinking about the presentation.

Lastly, have a bottle of water close to you while you’re presenting. That will allow you to take pauses when needed and give your audience time to absorb the information after you jump into the next slide or argument.

9- Have a backup

If you have your presentation stored on a hard drive, make sure to have an extra copy on the cloud and vice-versa. Hard drives can break and technical difficulties can occur with cloud storage, so always have a backup just in case. 

Depending on the guidelines of the event, you can also send a copy of your presentation to the organizer and/or colleague. Send yourself a copy of the presentation by email as well.

A lot of people also have a paper copy of their presentation. That’s the last case alternative but also nice to have. If you are in a poster presentation, this may be harder to achieve.

If you have videos in your presentation, check out if the platform and/or venue can display that, especially the audio (if it’s important). Not all software or places have the necessary (or compatible) technology to display your presentation as they should.

Person holding USB keys

10- Use body language

Body language has an essential role in presentations, especially online ones. Make sure you use body language the right way, otherwise it can be distracting for your audience. That includes fidgeting, repeatedly fixing your hair or clothes, among other things.

In academic conferences, the presentations are usually heavy on the information and data side, so it is important that presenters take advantage of tone of voice, gestures, and other body language resources to get their point across.

It is best to keep eye contact with people in the audience. This way, they will feel you are talking TO them and not AT them. But make sure to alternate and not stare at one single person throughout the whole presentation. 

Be aware of your posture and if you have any notes, make sure to either hold them or have them at eyesight. It is common to have notecards during a conference talk, but it is important to know your presentation and not depend on the notes.

11- Encourage your audience to interact with you

A big part of your presentation is for you to talk about your research. People are there to listen to you and absorb information, but they are also there to make the most out of the experience, and that includes engaging and asking questions.

Prepare yourself to answer questions from the audience. It is impossible to cover everything in a short presentation, so try to cover as much as possible and if there are questions you think will arise from the audience, prepare to answer them.

Depending on the type of presentation and what’s expected, you can keep questions for the end or allow questions during the presentation.

If there is a question that you do not have the answer to, it’s ok to say it. It’s better to offer to look more into it and get back to them rather than trying to improvise an answer. Provide your contact information in the final slide or at the end of your presentation. Some participants can reach out to you if they have any questions, suggestions, or opportunities that could be beneficial to you.

If you are giving an online presentation, invite participants to ask a question through the conference platform or website. For example, Fourwaves has a built-in Q&A section on each presentation page where presenters and participants can interact.

Conference participants taking notes

12- Structure your presentation and let your audience know

Let your audience know what you will be covering in your presentation. Have a clear outline of the topics and make sure to have this journey clear so the audience understands where you are taking them.

You can start the presentation by highlighting the key messages, but don’t forget to have a summary at the end (your conclusion), where you reiterate the main points of your presentation.

13- Pay attention to design

Adhere to the following basic design principles when building your slides. Avoid distracting colors and mixing more than 2 colors in each slide. If you use a light background, you should use a dark font and vice-versa. Make sure the font size is also big enough and that you are not stuffing too much information into a slide.

A good rule of thumb for your slides is to have about 5 bullet points on each one and give enough time for people to read through them if they need to. Most of the information should be coming out of your mouth and not described in the slides. The slides are just a summary (the bullet points) of what you will cover.

If you are adding visuals, make sure they are big enough so people can see them and they are not covering any information.

14- Take other presentations as an example

You have probably been part of dozens and dozens of presentations in a lifetime. Is there something you liked a lot in those or something you hated? If yes, write it down. If it is positive, strive to replicate that in your presentation. If it is negative, discard it.

If you are taking part in an annual event, you may be able to access presentations from the years before and draw conclusions from there. You can also look for similar poster presentations or templates and get inspiration from those.

Keep in mind that every person has a presentation style. Learn the basic guidelines and find what works best for you.

15- Rely on storytelling

Storytelling is relying on stories (narrative) to talk about something (e.g. personal anecdotes, metaphors, comparisons, etc.). People rely on stories for mnemonic purposes and most of the time, it is easier to remember a story or an analogy than it is to remember a specific situation.

No matter what the topic is, analogies make it easier for people to understand facts. Whenever possible, try to use a metaphor or a comparison

Bonus tip - Remember to stop and breathe during your presentation

It’s normal to feel stressed even if you’re super well prepared and that you know your topic inside out.

Make sure to take the time to pause in between slides and to take a good slow deep breath. It will help you stay focused throughout the presentation.

Practice this during your rehearsals. Not talking for 3-4 seconds can seem long for you, but your audience will appreciate it and it will help you feel calmer.

At the core, preparing for a conference presentation is no different than preparing for any type of public speaking assignment. You need to understand the topic very well, research and practice what you are going to say, and know your audience, among other things.  

Most of all, remember: no one is born with great presentation skills, so give yourself room to improve.

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Building presentations

team preparing conference presentation

Welcome to the world of conference presentations!

Whether you're an academic, a professional, or simply someone eager to share your knowledge, the art of delivering an effective conference presentation is a skill worth mastering.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the ins and outs of conference presentations, from understanding what they are to mastering the key elements that make them successful.

So, grab your "presentation slide" of inspiration and let's dive into the world of conference presentations.

What is a conference presentation?

A conference presentation is a means of conveying information, research findings, or ideas to an audience in a structured and engaging manner. It's a platform for individuals to showcase their expertise, share their insights, and foster discussions on topics ranging from academic research to professional insights. Whether you're presenting at an "academic conference" or a corporate gathering, the goal remains the same: to effectively communicate your message.

Types of Conference Presentations

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty details, let's explore the different types of conference presentations you might encounter:

Oral presentation

The quintessential "oral presentation" remains one of the most prominent formats across conferences, be it academic or professional. These presentations typically span a concise 15-20 minutes, providing a platform for presenters to delve into a wide array of topics:

  • Research findings : Share your latest research discoveries.
  • Completed works : Showcase your completed projects and their outcomes.
  • Innovative concepts : Introduce groundbreaking ideas that push the boundaries.
  • Theoretical Applications : Explore the theoretical underpinnings of your field.
  • Methodologies : Explain the methodologies you've employed in your work.

The structure of an oral presentation allows for a systematic exploration of these topics, followed by a brief Q&A session, providing valuable interactions with the audience.

Poster presentation

On the flip side, "poster presentations" offer a more relaxed and interactive avenue to convey your work. This format involves creating a visual "poster presentation" that succinctly highlights your key points. Here's why poster presentations are worth considering:

  • Concise and visually appealing : Posters condense your work into a visually engaging format.
  • Informal interaction : Presenters stand by their posters in a common area, ready to engage with curious attendees.
  • Networking opportunity : It's an excellent way to network with fellow researchers and gain valuable feedback on your work.

Poster presentations bridge the gap between the visual and the informative, making them an excellent choice for those looking to engage their audience in a more relaxed setting.

Beyond the basics

While oral and poster presentations are the cornerstone of many conferences, there are other presentation formats that cater to diverse objectives and preferences:

  • Panel discussions : Experts gather to discuss a specific topic in front of an audience, offering varied perspectives and insights.
  • Roundtables : In a more informal setting, a small group of individuals engage in in-depth discussions on a particular topic.
  • Workshops : Attendees immerse themselves in hands-on activities to acquire new skills or knowledge.
  • Keynote speeches : Prominent speakers take the stage to deliver inspiring talks on topics of paramount importance to the conference audience.
  • Lightning talks : These brief, high-impact presentations, typically lasting 5-10 minutes, cover a wide array of topics in a succinct manner.

Selecting the most appropriate presentation format depends on the nature of the conference and your personal preferences. If you're unsure about which format aligns best with your objectives, don't hesitate to reach out to the conference organizers for guidance. After all, the key to a successful conference presentation is choosing the format that allows you to shine and effectively convey your message.

How to structure an effective conference presentation

A well-structured presentation is like a well-composed symphony - it captures the audience's attention and leaves a lasting impression. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you create a harmonious presentation:

1. Begin with a clear introduction

The beginning of your presentation is your chance to make a memorable first impression. Start by introducing yourself and your topic. Use a "clear outline" to provide a roadmap for your presentation. For instance, you can say, "Today, I'll discuss the key elements of a successful conference presentation, including effective structure, engaging visuals, and impactful delivery."

2. Create an engaging body

The body of your presentation should contain the main points you want to convey. Here's where your "slide deck" comes into play. Each slide should emphasize a single point, keeping it concise and visually appealing. Remember the "good rule of thumb" - one slide per key idea.

3. Emphasize with visuals

Visual aids, such as graphs and images, can help "emphasize" your message and make complex information easily understood. However, don't overload your slides with visuals; use them strategically to "get the message across."

4. Maintain audience engagement

Your "presentation style" plays a vital role in keeping your audience engaged. Practice "body language" that conveys confidence and enthusiasm. Maintain "eye contact with your audience" to establish a connection. Utilize gestures to "emphasize" key points and establish a rapport with your audience.

5. Summarize key takeaways

As you approach the "end of your presentation," allocate some time to summarize the key takeaways. This reinforces the main points and ensures your audience leaves with a clear understanding of your message.

Do’s and don'ts of a conference presentation

Now that you know how to structure your presentation effectively, let's explore some do's and don'ts that can make or break your presentation.

  • Rehearse : "Rehearse your presentation" practise multiple times to ensure a smooth delivery.
  • Use visuals : Incorporate visuals, but don't let them "distract the audience."
  • Maintain eye contact : "Maintain eye contact with your audience" to establish a connection.
  • Engage the audience : "Give your audience" opportunities to participate, ask questions, or share their thoughts.
  • Time management : Stick to the allotted time. "Conference organizers" appreciate punctuality.


  • Overwhelm with text : Avoid adding slide after slide filled with font text. Remember, less is often more.
  • Lack of preparation : Don't "rehearse" just once. The more you practice, the more confident you'll feel.
  • Reading slides : Don't simply "read your paper" or slides. Your audience can do that themselves.
  • Ignoring questions : Always address "questions from the audience" respectfully and thoughtfully. Avoid being unprofessional.
  • Going off topic : Stay on track. "Unrelated tangents" can confuse your audience.

Summarizing Key Takeaways

In this comprehensive guide, we've covered the essentials of crafting an "effective conference presentation." From structuring your presentation to engaging your audience, you now have the tools to shine at your next conference.

  • Conference Presentations are a means to share information or research effectively.
  • Types include oral (concise talks) and poster (visual presentations).
  • Other formats like panels, roundtables, workshops, keynotes, and lightning talks cater to different objectives.
  • Structure your presentation with a clear intro, engaging body, visuals, audience engagement, and key takeaways.
  • Do's: Rehearse, use visuals wisely, maintain eye contact, engage the audience, and manage time.
  • Don'ts: Avoid overwhelming text, lack of preparation, reading slides, ignoring questions, and going off-topic.

Remember, a great presentation is not just about delivering information; it's about creating a memorable experience for your audience. Whether you're "presenting at a conference" for the first time or you're a seasoned pro, these tips for presenting will help you make a lasting impression.

1. How can I create the best presentation for my conference talk?

To craft an impactful presentation for your conference talk, consider beginning with a PowerPoint template tailored to the theme of the event. The right template, such as a specialized conference strategy presentation template , can provide a solid foundation for organizing your content. Ensure your presentation flows seamlessly, incorporating bullet points strategically to highlight key information. Moreover, delivering an effective conference paper necessitates practicing in front of a mirror and employing gestures to underscore essential points.

‍ 2. What is the typical length of a conference presentation?

The length of your effective presentation may vary depending on the conference committee's guidelines, but most conferences allocate around 15-20 minutes for each presentation. It's important to remember to keep track of time as you present, as you may run out of time if you're not careful.

3. Do I need to submit an abstract before presenting a paper at a conference?

Yes, you typically need to submit an abstract related to your topic before being accepted to present at a conference. The conference committee reviews these abstracts to determine which presentations are most suitable and interesting to the audience members interested in your research.

4. How can I make my conference presentation memorable?

To make your memorable presentation, use slide decks effectively, and consider the presentation technology available on the conference platform. Emphasize key points and use gestures to engage your audience. Also, e.g., include relevant images and graphs in your slides to help the audience understand your research paper.

5. What should I do if I'm presenting at a conference where the audience is unfamiliar with my field?

If you're presenting at a conference where the audience is unfamiliar with your field, make sure to use simple language and avoid jargon. Provide enough context and background information related to your topic to help the audience understand. Additionally, be prepared to ask a question or two to engage the audience and familiarize them with your work during the Q&A session.

Create your conference presentation with prezent

Before we conclude, here's a valuable tip: Consider using presentation software like Prezent to streamline your conference presentation creation process. Prezent offers:

  • Time savings: Prezent can save you up to 70% of the time typically spent on crafting presentations, allowing you to focus on other critical conference preparations.
  • Brand consistency: Access to brand-approved designs from Fortune companies ensures that your conference presentation maintains a professional and consistent look.
  • Audience engagement: Prezent helps you understand your audience's preferences, enabling you to create presentations that resonate and engage effectively.
  • Cost efficiency: By standardizing presentations and streamlining communication, Prezent can cut communication costs by up to 60%, a valuable advantage for conference budgets.
  • Overnight service: Take advantage of Prezent's overnight presentation service for tight deadlines, ensuring you receive a polished presentation by the next business day.

In conclusion, a successful conference presentation is all about striking the right balance between structure, visuals, and engagement. Mastering these elements will not only boost your "presentation skills" but also ensure that your audience leaves with a deeper understanding of your work.

So, go ahead, "present your paper" with confidence, captivate your audience, and leave a lasting impression on the conference stage.

Sign up for our free trial or book a demo !  

Happy presenting!

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  • Conference Organising
  • Research Conferences
  • Research World

11 Tips for presenting at a conference

presentation in conference

How to deliver an effective conference presentation (and beat those presenting nerves).

Presenting at a conference is a core part of scientific communication for any researcher or academic. Finding the right conference with the right audience and successfully communicating your latest findings is a great way to enhance your career prospects and, in turn, learn about the newest developments in your research field.

Before we jump in, an important note on fake conferences. There has been a growth in the number of predatory conferences in recent years, so before you register to attend and present your work at any conference, familiarise yourself with ways to tell a predatory conference from a legitimate one .    

Developing a conference presentation is no different to developing any other presentation – you need to be well prepared, consistent throughout and ensure you’re able to resonate with your audience.

One of the biggest challenges in giving a good presentation is managing your nerves. Even the most experienced and respected speakers and performers get a bundle of nerves before they start, so you’re in good company. The good news is that the techniques of an effective presenter can be practised. So how can this be accomplished? Here are 11 tips that will help you give an effective conference presentation.

1. Don’t touch that slide deck just yet

The first thing you need to know about creating an effective conference presentation is not to dive head first into your slides.

It’s hard to beat the feeling of getting an email letting you know that the proposal you worked tirelessly on for a conference has been accepted. Finding out that your work has been well received by a committee can mean a huge amount, especially when you’re driven by your passion for it, like the majority of researchers out there.

So it’s super easy to just start adding slide after slide to your presentation. When I first presented at a conference, I ended up with 40 slides for a 15-minute presentation. I was lucky enough to be working with some more experienced researchers that reeled in my confusing and inconsistent slides.

I started again and made a clear outline first. I simply sketched it out, slide by slide and got back into a flow,  but this time it was in a much more controlled manner. Take your time and make a strong outline to keep you on track. Use this checklist to keep you on the right road.

2. Build your presentation within time constraints

Ensuring your timing is right is so important when presenting at a conference. If you have ten minutes to present, prepare ten minutes of material . No more. If you don’t practice your timing, you may not get a chance to highlight your findings and recommendations – the most important part.

In my experience conference organisers are usually quite clear about how much time you have allocated. The best presenters know exactly how much time they have to work with, then they tailor their presentation to fit the time and keep an eye on the time throughout.

And if you are running out of time, stop. Jump past a couple of slides if you need to make one last point.

3. Use visuals to illuminate, not obscure

Images are key elements to any presentation. Whether it’s a pie chart to show percentages, or a strong image to convey a point, visuals can be much more effective than words. They help reinforce or complement the ideas or points you’re trying to get across. Your audience may be able to understand your message a little easier when it’s presented with visuals that relate to it.

But remember to keep your visuals clean and simple. Some of the worst conference presentations I’ve seen are ones with complex imagery that forces the audience to try and figure out how the image and the speaker’s point are related.

4. Aim for simplicity and consistency

Don’t be afraid of using some text and bullet points if you need to make a point that isn’t easy to communicate visually, or if you’re discussing steps or sequences.

But use them to communicate your point to the audience, not as a prompt for what you want to say. That’s what your speaker notes are for. You want your audience to listen to you instead of reading from your slides, so less is more in terms of the text on the slides.

Inconsistency in slides is a subtle thing but can take away from a presentation very easily. While slides with different colours may look nice, they may be distracting to your audience. Use a consistent template with the same fonts to make it easier for your audience to follow along.  And remember, your audience will view your conference presentation from a distance, so use large clear fonts and as few words as possible in your slides.

5. Know your research audience

One of the most common mistakes I have seen being made by conference presenters is presenting a roomful of people with information they already have . A great way to make this mistake is spending the majority of your presentation going over the existing literature and giving background information on your work.

Just like when you’re in the audience at a conference, researchers are there to learn about your new and exciting research, not to hear a summary of old work. The worst speakers assume that the audience doesn’t know anything and need educating.

Before you begin speaking to a group, find out what they already know and where they are up to with your topic. It’s not easy to get details on all delegates but you will know the plenary sessions and whoever you have networked with before this. Most conferences use mobile apps now, and these are a great way to get an insight to exactly who is attending the conference and what their speciality topics are from the programme.

This can give you a good idea of how much background you need to give so that your key presentation points will make sense. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re giving a 15-minute presentation, by the 6th minute you should be discussing your data or case study.

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6. Rehearse your presentation

I shouldn’t even need to include this on the list, but so many people fail to do enough of this. Rehearsing is crucial to making you feel comfortable with every word you are going to say. Rehearse your paper aloud in private and in front of a friend. This can feel a bit embarrassing, but reading it through in your head never corresponds to the time it takes to read it aloud in public. The more times you say the words aloud, the more you will be familiar with it. And if you are familiar with what you’re saying, your confidence in your conference presentation will increase.

When I’m practising for a conference presenting slot, I rehearse out loud in my bedroom. It feels strange but it works. If you’re feeling self-conscious about this (or don’t want your housemates to overhear) you could play some music at the same time.

Another strategy that works well is recording yourself . This lets you see where you’re doing well and where you need to improve. And if being recorded makes you feel under pressure, this helps mimic the actual feelings you’ll have while presenting in front of a real live audience. So you’ll get a good idea for how you will perform on the day.

After I’ve recorded myself, I usually ask a friend or colleague to listen and be critical of my efforts. Getting grilled beforehand really helps ease any presenting nerves or anxiety you will get if you’re unlucky enough to get grilled after your presentation.

7. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Preparation for anything is key, especially for conference presentations.  You’ve prepared enough to find the right conference , and to submit a proposal worthy of acceptance, now you need to prepare to present it.  

Know your slides inside out. You should use them as a guide for your presentation, not an autocue.

Think about your clothing. Wear something that makes you feel comfortable when facing your audience. If you’re not sure what clothes are appropriate, check the dress code with the organisers or with colleagues.

Conference session rooms can get stuffy, so if you’re someone who sweats when they’re nervous, choose clothing that won’t show it. And don’t wear something that’s awkward and restrictive, even if you think it will project a confident image. If you’re not comfortable, you won’t look or feel confident.

Try to get a good night’s sleep before your presentation; everything looks better and more manageable when you’re well rested.

8. Back up your backup

A good way to think about your presentation technology requirements is this: any tech you want to use can and will fail. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility for your memory card or flash drive not to work when the big moment comes. Or for your laptop to decide to reboot. Or for the conference’s presentation facilities to fail.

Arm yourself with a back-up plan so you aren’t left stranded if things go awry. As well as following the conference instructions to submit your presentation online or at their drop-off desk, copy your slides to an online deck service and upload a copy of your presentation to Dropbox . Then email yourself any links you need so they’re within arms reach if you need them. Take no chances.

And if you have any specific audio-visual requirements, make them known to the conference organiser well in advance. If they don’t ask, tell them anyway. Never assume that they’ll just know . Not all conference venues can accommodate the latest technology.

9. Get to know the presenting space

One thing presenters often forget to do before starting a presentation is sussing out the room they’ll be speaking in. If you get the opportunity, get down to the room where you’ll be presenting ahead of time and check it out. This will save you from the last-minute panic of running across an unfamiliar campus, trying to find the room you’re supposed to be in.

Most rooms will be kitted out with everything you need to present, but there’s no harm in making sure all the equipment you need is there and works. Take no risks and you’ll eliminate nasty last-minute surprises.

Get comfortable with the presentation area, walk around it until you feel familiar with the environment in the room. This will save you the shock of unexpectedly being faced with a large/tiny room. Bring your set of notes with you, and make sure you can read them in the lighting conditions in the room. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need – if there are open windows that are bothering you, ask for them to be closed.

10. Use body language to your advantage

Body language has an important role in presentations, especially at academic conferences. There are usually a lot of facts and findings to be highlighted in a conference presentation, and you need to use all the presenting tools available to you to remain interesting and effective throughout. Your gestures, tone of voice and positivity can be seen through your body language and may determine how engaged your audience is.

When you’re speaking, a few body language tips can help improve your rapport with your audience. For your audience to engage, it’s important that they can see you and that you look at them and make eye contact. Try to spread your gaze, rather than staring at one person. And avoid focusing intently on your laptop screen, your notes, or the floor. This can give the impression that you’re nervous or uninterested, and can also prevent you from projecting your voice clearly.

If possible, don’t stand behind a lectern or hold any notes. Instead, keep a straight, relaxed, open posture, and feel free to be comfortable with the full stage and move around the stage a little as you speak.

The great presenters use gestures to emphasise their points and to highlight their visual material to guide the audience’s attention. When you see a speaker rooted rigidly to the spot and without positive body language the presentation loses a lot of its emphasis. Avoid other distracting movements, such as repeatedly putting your hands in and out of your pockets, jingling coins in your pocket, or fiddling with pens, clothing, or props such as laser pointers.

11. Encourage questions and discussion

If you manage your time well, you’ll have sufficient time left for questions and an open discussion after your conference presentation. Expect questions, but don’t worry if there aren’t any. If your audience is reluctant to ask questions, a good session chair will usually pose a question. Presentation questions are a good thing . They give you a chance to elaborate on something that wasn’t clear or address the topic that everyone wants to know but you forgot to include.

Answering questions can be nerve-wracking because of the fear that you might not be able to answer them. But when the audience is asking questions, it’s generally out of genuine interest, not to trip you up, so see it as a good opportunity to explore how you can expand your work.

Though the majority of questions in a conference Q&A session are fairly benign, like me, you could find yourself at the end of a grilling (perhaps from someone who’s research you’ve had the temerity to challenge) after you present at a conference. If you think this might happen to you, it’s worth doing some reading on how to respond to destructive criticism from peers.

And if you’re feeling nervous about facing tough questions, here’s something that might help: if you’re attending with someone you know (and trust), ask them to ask you a question. Some people even like to agree in advance what the question will be. This can simply help get the ball rolling and boost your confidence.

And finally, a trick I learnt from an experienced researcher is to keep a notebook and pen handy and to make notes of the good questions to reflect on later.

Presenting skills are for life

Once you’ve mastered the tips above, you’ll be all set to give a great conference presentation. And the more you do, the easier they’ll get. Until you’ll reach a point when you can’t remember how nervous they used to make you.

One final note on audience size: never take it personally. Some of the best papers out there were presented to small audiences. Nobody ever asks how many people were in the audience, and you don’t have to state it on your academic CV. No matter what size the audience, a great presentation is a great presentation.

Brian Campbell

Brian is a data-driven marketeer, and responsible for helping people find Ex Ordo. He works part-time as a lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and loves quizzing his students on the latest business trends and insights. Brian enjoys hanging out with his little nephews, and playing and watching sports. He also likes to keep a keen eye on the scholarly research space, and has co-organised an academic conference to boot.

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Presentation Geeks

11 Tips To Make Your Conference Presentation Outstanding

Table of contents.

The world of conferences are great opportunities for like-minded individuals to come together and share their common denominator interest with one another.

Conferences provide attendees with an opportunity to learn and share with others who share similar experiences or interests all under one roof. Conferences are usually large in nature bringing people from across the country, or even across the world, together.

If you find yourself presenting at an upcoming conference, the honest truth is the stakes are high. Oftentimes, conferences have a lot of people in attendance. When you have your moment to shine to share your presentation with a large crowd of audience members, you want it to go flawlessly.

Truthfully, so do we.

That’s why we’ve put together this in-depth blog post to help you navigate the world of conferences and how to master your conference presentation with 11 actionable tips.

Are You Presenting At An Upcoming Conference? We Should Talk

What are conference presentations.

First, let’s get an understanding of what a conference presentation is.

A conference presentation is an opportunity for people to communicate with a large audience of like-minded individuals typically congregating around a common interest or topic.

A conference can vary in length from a one, full day event, all the way up to a week-long program. Conferences are usually a great opportunity for these like-minded individuals to network and learn from one another on new topics, research or major events.

Now that we know what a conference is, there are several common types of conferences you might encounter during your professional career.

Let’s take a look at the common types of conferences below.

Common Types Of Conferences

Although these are some of the common types of conferences you’ll encounter, this isn’t a fully finalized list. There are more types of conferences than simply what’s mentioned below.

However, you’re more than likely to encounter one of the following whether you’re just entering the industry, a student who’s networking or even if you’re passionate on a certain topic and like to be involved in the community.

Academic Conferences

Academic scholars attending an academic conference presentation related to science

Academic conferences are opportunities for researchers to present their work with fellow peers and colleagues. They’re important because they provide an opportunity for academics from multiple institutions to connect at a single location and network.

Academic conferences can be divided further into professional conferences . Professional academic conferences are geared more towards professors and academics who have spent more time in their field of study such as social sciences or medicine.

On the other hand, undergraduate programs may still hold conferences for academia but these are more geared towards undergraduate students who might just be sharing their semester research presentation.

You might be thinking to yourself, “This just sounds like a research presentation .”

Although you’re not wrong, you’re only partly right.

Research presentations are only one part of the overall academic conference. An academic conference is a combination of multiple research presentations combined into one event. You might have multiple academics speaking at a conference sharing their research presentations, but one does not equal the other.

Annual General Meetings

Shareholders attending an annual general meeting presentation.

Shifting gears to the more business side of things, another form of conferences are annual general meetings.

Annual general meetings, or AGM for short, are typically mandatory, yearly gatherings of a company’s interested shareholders which might consist of investors and employees.

At an AGM, directors of a company share with the shareholders the annual report which covers key topics of interest to the shareholders. These key points might include the company’s financial performance, quarterly reports, upcoming yearly vision, plans for expansion, the company’s performance and strategy.

Shareholders who have voting rights often vote on current issues facing the company and which direction the company should pursue. Some of these decisions might include who is to be appointed onto the board of directors, what executive compensation will be, dividend payments and the selection of auditors.


Overhead image of a large crowd of people walking throughout a convention center floor.

Like most conferences, conventions are large meetings consisting of people with a share ideology or profession. You often hear of conventions in terms of entertainment or politics.

On the entertainment side of things, conventions are gatherings where people of the same interest come together to network and immerse themselves in the unifying experience of enjoying the same things as those around you. Some notable conventions you might’ve heard of are Comic Con, Fan Expo and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Here, you’ll find people sharing a mutual enjoyment of entertainment indulgences.

Political conventions or Party Conferences are the other form of conventions you’ll often hear about.

These are often held by the respective political party where members of said political party come together to network and most importantly, vote on a party leader or delegate.

Press Conferences

press release round table with moderators and key spokespeople.

The smallest form of a conference you’ll encounter is a press conference.

A press conference is an organized event to officially distribute information from a specified spokesperson. Unlike other public relation tactics such as a press release which is still a tool to disseminate information to the public, a press conference is an alternate public relation tactic where media is selectively invited to attend the event to get the information.

Press conferences are often smaller in size due to the shrinking landscape of media outlets. Additionally, press conferences are usually high-stake events usually having highly notable individuals in attendance or presenting. To limit the risk and maximize the safety of these VIPs, press conferences are usually more exclusive.

This is why press conferences are often reserved for bigger news stories and why journalists who are new to the industry try very hard to get on the good side of these conference organizers. Due to the sheer exclusivity of the event, the opportunity to get a unique news story is greater.

Product Launches

Product launch gala in a dark room

The last conference we’ll go over is a product launch.

A product launch, much like a press conference, is another great public relations tactic used to build anticipation and gain the buy-in of the public. They are a coordinated effort to demonstrate new products soon to be released to the general public.

Famous product launches can be seen executed by the world’s top companies such as Apple, Tesla and Disney.

These companies often use product launches to garner attention for an upcoming line of products that will soon be available to the public. The main goal of product launches in recent years is to drive pre-order sales which help raise capital to bring the product development over the finish line without needing to expend any further owned-capital of the company.

Conference Presentation Tips

No matter the conference you find yourself attending and more than likely presenting at, conference presentation tips remain the same. You can apply the following 11 important points to any conference.

With some slight adjustments to each, you’ll soon be a master of conference talk, being able to command any large room of people and retain the audience’s attention with ease.

1 - Do Your Homework

Before you begin putting together your conference presentation slide deck, you need to first do your homework. With any good finalized product, it got that way thanks to the preparation which went into it ahead of time and your presentation is no exception.

What you might want to consider doing before you begin putting together your slide deck is answering the following questions and drafting an outline.

What key message do you want the audience to take away after the presentation?

What do you want them to feel?

How do you want them to act?

Can I achieve these results with the information I already have?

By asking yourself these questions and acting appropriately based on the answer, you’ll be setting yourself up for a good presentation.

2 - Understand Your Audience

Knowing your audience isn’t just about who they are, it’s about understanding what they’re interested in, how they retain information and what motivates them.

Understanding your audience is the first step of mastering presentation psychology and without it, you won’t have a strong foundation for your presentation. You could have the most visually appealing presentation but if it doesn’t resonate with the audience, it won’t matter.

So before you go ahead and start building a presentation based on what you think your audience is interested in, you should really come to a solidified conclusion and know what your audience is interested in.

3 - Know Your Timing

Presentations range in different lengths. You’ll encounter presentations as short as one minute to others that last over an hour. Start preparing your presentation by knowing what your time limit is.

You can typically find this information out by contacting an organizer of the conference.

4 - Use Visual Aids

Visual aids are tools to help you communicate visually.

Some presentation visual aids you might want to consider using are graphs, tables, pictures and videos. If you really want to be seen as an expert presenter, you should even be focusing on the colors you use for your slides.

Now, it might seem like you need a creative degree to master all this, but the reality is you don’t. Luckily, you can outsource your presentation design to a presentation design agency like Presentation Geeks who not only create top-tier presentation slide decks used by Fortune 500 companies, they also can provide presentation consulting services .

Don’t forget, you yourself are a visual communication tool as well. Be sure to dress appropriately for your upcoming conference presentations because you want to make a good impression. Let’s take a political convention as an example. If you’re running as a candidate to be the leader of a major political party, you want to make sure you peak the audience’s interest and gain their trust by dressing appropriately as superficial as that sounds.

5 - Keep It Simple

Don’t overcomplicate your presentation, especially the slide deck.

It’s crucial to keep your presentation, especially the visual aids portion as simple as possible because too much information will confuse the audience and they will likely forget what you’ve said.

Focus on the key details in your slides and use them as supplementary tools. Many presenters will think they need to have a grand conference presentation with fancy technology, transitional devices and other outlandish tactics. The reality is, you want your information to be easily understood by keeping it simple.

6 - Practice, Practice, Practice

The way to become a better presenter is through practice.

You want to ensure you command the room with your confidence. You won’t be doing that if you’re reading from a paper aloud.

You need to ensure you’re confident. Practice your conference presentation multiple times and consider recording yourself as you do. You’ll pick up on your body language and analyze how well you’re using your body language to communicate what you’re saying. Scan the audience and share your eye contact with everyone. Don’t forget to speak clearly and slowly

7 - Prepare For The Worst

Murphy’s Law states that what can go wrong, will go wrong. You should keep this theory in the back of your mind and expect the worst to happen.

Just because the worst can and probably will happen, doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution. That is why you need to prepare for the worst.

You should be able to present all your conference presentations if the venue changes at the last minute, if you don’t have the technology you were expecting to use, if you forgot your handouts like a conference paper. You should be prepared for the worst but have a solution.

8 - Know Your Space

Let’s say your fortunate, which you probably will be, and the venue doesn’t change last minute. That’s great! Use this to your advantage and get familiar with your space.

Ahead of your conference presentations, you should go and scope out the area you will be presenting to get an idea of how you can walk around, what technology will be present, what the lighting will be light, etc.

There are so many areas of concerns and unknowns that can be addressed by doing a little bit of field assignment homework ahead of time.

9 - Go Beyond The Slides - Engage Your Audience

An audience will more likely remember what you have to say and feel connected by being engaged.

You can engage your audience by targeting more senses of the human body. If you only target their auditory and visual senses, you’ll eventually lose them. Walk through the crowd if you can. Have the audience move their necks, stretch and move!

10 - Get The Audience To Participate By Encouraging Questions

Good presenting is one-way communication.

Excellent presenting is two-way communication.

Another way to go beyond the slides and your one-way presentation speech by giving an opportunity for the audience to ask further questions.

This is not only beneficial to the audience to help them get a better understanding of your topic, but it will also help you to answer questions.

It gets you to reflect on your presentation from an angle you might not have thought of before. Out of all the questions audience members will ask, there is usually one or two awe-inspiring questions that get even the presenter to take a moment to reflect.

Use these moments to better your presentation for the future.

11 - Evaluate & Refine

Speaking of making your presentation better for the future, remember to evaluate and refine your presentation and presentation skills.

A true master of any profession or skill knows they truly aren’t a master because learning never stops. You should take the same ideology and apply it to your own presentation skills.

Whether it’s self-reflection or a survey of the audience after your conference presentation, try and evaluate how well you presented and refine your future presentation based on the presentation feedback you received.

The summary of everything mentioned above if applied correctly will result in your being a master of conference presentations. The great thing about these techniques is they can be applied to any type of conference presentation.

Not only that, but if you understand the basic fundamentals of presenting, you can begin exploring other realms of presentations. To really take your presentation skills to the next level, enlisting the help of a presentation design agency such as Presentation Geeks will help you surpass the competition.

Author:  Content Team

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presentation in conference

A Guide to Conference Presentations

Read a summary or generate practice questions using the INOMICS AI tool

Giving a presentation at an academic conference can be both stressful and rewarding. While it's incredibly helpful to get feedback and insights on your project from other researchers in your field, it can also be intimidating to hold your work up for scrutiny from others.

Today we're going to share some tips for making your conference presentations as compelling and distinctive as possible, as well as some tips for dealing with conference day nerves and the post-presentation discussion.

Don't make your audience sit through an uninspired, generic presentation – instead, try to focus on your unique insights and let other conference attendees see your enthusiasm and commitment to your subject. Enthusiasm on the part of the presenter goes an awfully long way to making a presentation more exciting to watch!

Here are our tips for improving your conference presentation.

  • Titling your presentation
  • How to use slides
  • Personable or professional?
  • Pitching your voice
  • Moving around
  • Dealing with nerves
  • Post-presentation questions

Download the Conference Monkey Directory - 6 Month Conference List

Give your presentation a fun title

Cute, funny, or pun-based titles are not for everyone, but if you like the idea then it's fine to use a jokey title for your presentation. If that's not your style, then try to pick a title which conveys the interesting big-picture ideas that you'll be discussing, rather than the fine grain details. This helps people from outside your sub-field to know what your talk is about. For example, 'Queen Bee: Social Structures of Hive Species' sounds much more interesting to a non-expert than 'Scent-based communication among hymenoptera'.

Use simple, clear slides

The quickest way to turn your presentation from something interesting to something dragging and dull is by throwing loads of text onto your slides. Whenever you put up a new slide, your audience will stop listening to your speech for a moment while they read the very salient text you've put in front of them. If your slides have long paragraphs on them, then the audience will take several minutes reading the information and not hearing what you're saying during that time.

Counter this problem by using a smaller number of slides – no more than 1 slide per minute of talking, and no more than 25-30 slides in total – and by streamlining each slide as much as possible. If you've spent a lot of time in academia, you've probably become very used to presentations with hundreds of bland, text-heavy slides that distract from the presenter rather than supporting them. But just because this is common, doesn't mean it's the right way to present! Remember, the audience is supposed to absorb information from your talk, not from reading hundreds of slides. Your slides should be minimal, with no more than a few bullet points or keywords on each slide.

A slide doesn't need to fit all of your information on it, as you can give all the relevant details in your talk. The slide should be merely a guideline for what you are discussing. A good slide might have just three keywords on it, which you will discuss in detail. By getting rid of extraneous information, you make it easier for your audience to follow your talk and engage with your points.

Try to cut down your slides as much as you possibly can. Also, try to use illustrations, graphics, or graphs wherever possible to convey information in a visual way. If you're worried about forgetting what you were going to say, then use the notes feature which allows you to add notes which are only visible to the presenter to each slide. This way, you can see the information you need but your audience doesn't get distracted by all the extra text.

You could also try something different: instead of the usual PowerPoint or Keynote, you could try an alternative presentation software such as Prezi, or even consider getting rid of slides altogether if you are a very confident speaker.

Make your presentation more personable

Here's something that many presenters forget: it's okay for your presentation to be a bit personal. You can smile, crack a joke, or refer to examples from your real life to convey your point. Of course, you want to remain professional and not to be too silly or inappropriate. But you needn't be robotic or totally flat. In fact, it's much harder for an audience to engage with a presenter who speaks in a monotone and never injects a moment of levity into their speech.

To get better at this, try to remember to look at your audience when presenting. It can help to have a supportive friend or colleague in the audience who you can look to when you need someone to smile at. Also, feel free to emphasise your points by using hand gestures or by pointing to important information. You needn't stand with your hands pinned to your sides through the whole talk. You can rest your hands on the podium if you have one, or walk back and forth across the stage if you're using a microphone attached to your clothing. You can also emphasise findings that you personally found to be especially interesting, or talk about a finding which took you by surprise. This personal touch will make your presentation more distinctive to you and therefore more memorable.

Pitch your voice at the appropriate volume and speed

This one might sound silly – does it really matter how you speak in a presentation, as long as your materials are good? In fact, yes it does. If your voice is too quiet, your audience will have to strain to hear you, which is tiring for them and makes them much more likely to switch off. Conversely, if your voice is too loud it can be almost painful to listen to. Try to pay attention to the volume of your voice, and remember that most people tend to be too quiet, so you should lean towards speaking a little louder.

Similarly, many people don't realise how fast they speak, especially if they are a bit nervous. Speaking too fast causes several problems: firstly, people will not be able to hear each sentence and might get lost, and secondly, they won't have time to think about your point and consider it before you've moved onto the next point. Conversely, as we all remember from school, there's nothing more boring than having to listen to someone with a slow, droning voice. If in doubt, try giving a practice presentation to friends or colleagues and ask them for feedback.

Feel free to move around

You needn't force yourself to stand stock still while presenting. In fact, it will make your presentation more engaging if you use the same facial expressions and gestures that you would if you were talking to a friend. While it's not a good idea to bounce around and move very fast, as this can be distracting, it is fine to walk around a little, to use your hands to indicate as well as or instead of a laser pointer, or to use your hands to emphasise particular points. Try to use movements that feel natural to you instead of standing totally still, as this will make your talk more dynamic and personal.

Above all, try to relax, and this will help your presentation to be smoother and more natural, which will be appreciated by your audience. And on that subject...

Conference Monkey Directory

How to deal with nerves when making a presentation

Make sure you're prepared in advance.

The very best way to keep your nerves under control is to have practised your entire presentation from beginning to end beforehand, at least once. A few days before your presentation, recruit a friend or two to sit with you and be your audience. You can practise in an empty lecture hall or classroom if one is available and if that will help you to feel more comfortable. But it's also fine to practise at your house, or even in a cafe or bar if you bring a laptop with you. Run through your whole presentation, including slides, and take note of any areas where you struggled to find the right words or weren't sure what topic to speak on next. That way, you can know which specific topics or slide you need to remind yourself of.

However, it's important not to over-rehearse. You don't need to have your entire presentation memorised, and in fact doing so will only make your presenting style appear stilted and unnatural. You should be familiar with the material you're presenting (and if your presentation is about your research, you are likely to already be as familiar with the material as you need to be), and be able to anticipate some questions or criticisms that your audience might have. But remember that you are already an expert in this area – hence why you're presenting on it at a conference. There's no need to attempt to cram lots of extra information into your brain the day before a presentation; rather, let the knowledge that you already have guide you in how you present.

Make sure the IT equipment works beforehand

One issue that is almost bound to arise when you present, and can be very stressful, is problems with the computer, projector, or slides which you have prepared. Between different file formats, different laptop adaptors, and the difficulty in getting video or sound effects to work correctly in your presentation space, there is a lot that can go wrong.

The best way to deal with this is to make sure you've tested out all of the equipment earlier in the day before your presentation. Don't wait until 10 minutes before you begin in order to test! If there are problems, you need to know earlier so that you can find the correct adaptor, get help from  IT support , and so on. If you're presenting in the afternoon, find a time in the morning at which you can test. If you're presenting in the morning, arrive very early, or consider testing the day before. That way you won't have any last-minute technical problems to deal with.

Tips for dealing with nerves while you're speaking

It's common to feel flustered, hyper-vigilant, or a bit overwhelmed when you start to present. The best solution for this is to give yourself the opportunity to take a few seconds to get yourself together. A good way of achieving this is to have a bottle of water in front of you – if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, stop talking and have a drink of water and take a deep breath before you continue. It might feel to you as if you are standing in front of everyone and doing nothing for ages, but don't worry, it's only a few seconds and won't feel that long to the audience.

Another common problem is feeling like you don't know where to put your hands, or what to do with your body. If there is a lectern or podium in front of you, then make use of it – rest your hands on either side and grip it gently, which will help to make you feel grounded. If there's no lectern, then a good tip is to gently squeeze together your thumb and index finger while you're speaking; this pressure will help as an outlet for your nervousness which your audience won't notice.

Finally, one great way to reassure yourself during a presentation is to find a friendly face in the audience who you can can look to when you're feeling unsure. If possible, ask a friend or colleague to come along, and catch their eye when you need to. Otherwise, pick an audience member who seems open and friendly and look at them – the point is to think of your audience as a collection of friendly people, rather than as a singular scary judging entity.

When you can keep your nerves under control, your presentation will be more fun for you and more engaging for your audience.

Answering questions after a conference presentation

Even when you've spent a lot of time preparing your conference presentation and trying new presentation tools, there is one aspect of presenting that intimidates many people: answering questions during or after the presentation. At its best, a question and answer session can give you valuable new ideas about your research and help you to anticipate what kind of reviewers' comments you might receive when you publish your work. At worst, a question session can feel like a whole room full of people aggressively criticising your work and pointing out its flaws.

There are, of course, a few things you can do to make audience participation run a little more smoothly.

Keep the discussion to the end of the presentation

Depending on the type of presentation you are giving, generally you should expect questions to come at the end after you have finished presenting. If you are presenting in a workshop or in a teaching session, then there may be clarifying questions asked during your talk too. If someone asks a quick question during your presentation – such as asking you to explain an acronym or to define a term – then you should pause to answer them. But if someone starts to ask a more conceptual or complex question, it's fine to tell the audience to save their questions until the end.

Be prepared

The best way that you can feel more comfortable when fielding questions is to be prepared in advance. While you can't know exactly what will be asked at any given presentation, you can make some educated guesses about the kind of topics that are likely to come up. If there is a point in your presentation that you know is unclear – for example, if you used a highly complex experimental methodology or statistical analysis and you didn't have time to explain it fully during the presentation – then it's likely that someone will ask about this. Also, you can expect typical questions about what your plans are for the next stage in our research, or about how you interpreted your results.

Knowing the topics that are likely to be asked about, you can prepared yourself in advance. One great tip is to prepare extra slides with more information about your methodology or with more data to illustrate your points. When someone asks about an issue that you didn't have time to cover, you can bring up the relevant extra slide and talk them through it. You should also think of a couple of key points that you would use to answer questions about your next project or about the interpretation of your results.

Ignore the rambling and focus on the question

Often times, when people ask questions they may ramble somewhat before getting to the point. Asking questions can be intimidating for the questioner too, so sometimes this comes simply from nervousness. At other times, professors who are used to holding a floor may talk for some time as a preamble to the question. Hopefully, you have a moderator who will encourage the questioners to keep their comments brief.

But if you are confronted with a rambler, then don't panic. You don't need to respond to every single one of their points. Instead, try to sum up the essential gist of their comments and respond briefly to the topic as a whole. You can even clarify their question before responding, by saying “If I'm hearing you right, what you are asking is...” If the questioner has brought up a lot of different topics, then simply pick the one topic that is most relevant to your presentation and respond to that.

It's okay to say that you don't know

Something that often makes presenters nervous, especially if they are new to presenting, is the idea that someone might ask a question which you are unable to answer. Someone could ask for a particular factual piece of information that you don't have, or they could ask you about a specific paper which you have not heard of or have not read. If this happens, you needn't berate yourself or try to make up an answer off the cuff. It is perfectly okay to say that you don't know the answer to that question but you will look it up, or that you haven't seen the paper in question but that you will read it afterwards. You can also offer to discuss the topic further with the questioner after the session is finished.

Don't be concerned that this will make you look incompetent. In fact, being honest about the limitations of your knowledge is one of the marks of a honest and knowledgable researcher and your audience will respect you for it.

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Book cover

Academic Conference Presentations

A Step-by-Step Guide

  • © 2022
  • Mark R. Freiermuth 0

Gunma Prefectural Women’s University, Tamamura-machi, Japan

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  • Takes the presenter on a journey from initial idea to conference presentation
  • Addresses topics such as abstract writing, choosing a conference, posters and online versus face-to-face presentations
  • Based on the author's own experiences

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Table of contents(9 chapters)

Front matter, next up on stage….

Mark R. Freiermuth

Conferences: Choose Wisely Grasshopper

Getting started: the precise abstract, after the excitement fades: preparing for the presentation, tea for two or more: the group presentation, conferences: live and in-person, ghosts in the machine: the virtual presentation, the seven deadly sins: what not to do, the top five, back matter.

  • English for Academic Purposes
  • public speaking
  • research presentation
  • academic skills
  • conferences
  • poster presentations

This book provides a step-by-step journey to giving a successful academic conference presentation, taking readers through all of the potential steps along the way—from the initial idea and the abstract submission all the way up to the presentation itself. Drawing on the author's own experiences, the book highlights good and bad practices while explaining each introduced feature in a very accessible style. It provides tips on a wide range of issues such as writing up an abstract, choosing the right conference, negotiating group presentations, giving a poster presentation, what to include in a good presentation, conference proceedings and presenting at virtual or hybrid events. This book will be of particular interest to graduate students, early-career researchers and non-native speakers of English, as well as students and scholars who are interested in English for Academic Purposes, Applied Linguistics, Communication Studies and generally speaking, most of the Social Sciences. With that said, because of the book’s theme, many of the principles included within will appeal to broad spectrum of academic disciplines.

-Sarah Mercer , Professor for Foreign Language Teaching and the Head of the ELT Research and Methodology Department, University of Graz, Austria

Mark R. Freiermuth  is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Gunma Prefectural Women's University, Japan. 

Book Title : Academic Conference Presentations

Book Subtitle : A Step-by-Step Guide

Authors : Mark R. Freiermuth

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-21124-9

Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan Cham

eBook Packages : Social Sciences , Social Sciences (R0)

Copyright Information : The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022

Hardcover ISBN : 978-3-031-21123-2 Published: 05 January 2023

eBook ISBN : 978-3-031-21124-9 Published: 04 January 2023

Edition Number : 1

Number of Pages : VII, 159

Number of Illustrations : 45 b/w illustrations

Topics : Applied Linguistics , Research Skills , Career Skills , Sociology of Education

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How to Give a Good Conference Presentation

Are you preparing to give your first talk at a scientific conference? Or perhaps you are a more seasoned scholar wishing to polish your presentation skills? In this blog post, I give some pointers on how to give a good conference presentation. In all honesty, I also share some opinions on what not to do in case you don`t want your audience to loll into sweet daydreaming or leave your talk with a heightened blood pressure.

This post is mainly attuned to the Covid-reality of Zoom-congresses and inspired by my summer spent in conferences of three different disciplines -psychology, information systems, and literary studies. Keep in mind that as this is my personal website, this is not a comprehensive all-inclusive guide to the art of conference talks. The text is shamelessly colored by my very own opinions and preferences regarding how to give a good conference presentation.

In-person and Zoom Conferences -Basics of the Setting

While the content of your presentation comes first, the setting of your speech has a huge influence on you and your audience.

Some quick key points regarding the setting of an in-person, physical conference:

  • Get to know the location and the physical setting of your presentation as soon as possible.
  • Familiarize yourself with the technology: Can you share the power point presentation (for goodness sake, you were going to make one, right? Right?!) or are they shared centrally, e.g. by the technical assistant of your session? Do you need to use a microphone and if yes, can you use it? Where should you stand (or sit) in order for your audience to see you as well as possible?
  • When you give your presentation, acknowledge the presence of your audience first: Eye contact, thanks for them being there, presenting yourself. Keep acknowledging them throughout your talk -you are not mumbling in a vacuum here- and also at the end of it. If looking at the audience terrifies you, sharpen your eyes just above the heads of the people in the front row. In a bigger conference room, nobody will be able to tell whether you are looking at the people or not. If you know there is someone in the audience providing you with a reassuring smile, such as a friendly colleague, you can make eye contact with them. Otherwise, if you`re shy, just keep the gaze not fixed on anyone specific but let it hover above the audience.
  • Pay attention to how you stand (or sit, if you for physical reasons cannot stand). Keep your back straight, shoulders down, chin up, and arms open. Don`t lean towards tables or chairs and don`t turn your back to the audience. You can use the physical space by walking or changing your position during the speech. However, avoid restless pacing back and forth in front of your audience.

Quick key points regarding the setting of an online conference:

  • You have the chance to choose where you give your speech. Choose wisely. Home or office, or some other location altogether?
  • Make sure that the technology works and you`re able to use all the necessary platforms and applications relevant to the conference.
  • Test your audio and video beforehand.
  • Even if you would otherwise be chilling in your armchair following the conference or lie on your stomach in the bed, make the setting for your presentation pleasantly professional. Often, standing instead of sitting gives you a nicer posture and a more self-confident feeling. Standing also allows you to use your hands in a more expressive manner.
  • Make sure that there is enough light when you give your presentation, and no shadows covering your face or creating odd effects. Show your head and a bit of the upper body for the camera -thus, preferably, put more than just your head into the frame.

How to Give a Good Conference Presentation: Time is Money, Don`t Be a Thief

A tired chair of the session, with a tone implying he/she has said this same thing for about 59 times the past months: “Dear X, your time is out.”

Astonished speaker: “Oh, I would have had one more slide to show the points I really wanted to share with you” (after having spent his/her entire time slot merely introducing the topic and never getting to the point).

This is a dialogue I have heard so many times in physical and online conferences that I`ve lost count. In almost every session, there is at least one speaker who gives an introductory talk of 13 minutes and, if they happen to realize they are running out of time, spend the last two minutes skipping through 400 slides to show “what they actually really wanted to share”. Or, if they are not aware of running out of time, the chair will remind them they have to stop. To this, they respond in either of two ways.

They might just keep talking, as if the chair is just an annoying obstacle trying to ruin their show and not the time manager of the whole session. Alternatively, they respond by rushing through to the actual core message of their presentation. The first option is a form of extreme academic arrogance, where the speaker thinks that their chance to speak is more important than that of the others. If one person does not stay in schedule, in the worst case, the whole session becomes a chaotic running after the clock, a series of shrunk fast-forward presentations to make up for the time spend on the one person who would not stay within the limits of their allotted time slot.

Practicing and Timing Makes You Perfect

It`s incredible that I feel the need to say this to a readership that I assume consists of smart, educated, polite people interested and involved in academia, but apparently I do: Practice your presentation beforehand, with a timer. Don`t just assume that having a presentation of so and so many slides takes a certain amount of time. Remember that you will probably (hopefully!) not only read aloud your slides but introduce yourself and talk around your slides. What you have on the power point is not supposed to be the full manuscript of what you say (more of this later).

Take out the timer of your mobile phone and push the button, then speak your presentation aloud in the way you would at the actual conference. Keep checking the timing as you go, and make changes in your presentation accordingly. Talking less than your allotted 15 or 20 minutes is never a bad thing, going over the limit is impolite and selfish.

When you give your presentation at the conference, keep checking the time. Sometimes the organic nature of the actual presentation situation might take you by surprise and you end up talking more or less, faster or slower, than when you rehearsed. Don`t wrap up 10 seconds before your time is up, but a little bit before that. And if it so happens that the chair nudges you that your time is used, do not go on after that, at least for more than a couple of dozen seconds in case you absolutely need to vocalize a key point of your talk. Then apologize, thank your audience, and stop. Remember -this is not an encouragement to keep talking until the chair person intervenes. This is a gentle suggestion of what to do if it so happens that you`re overtime, despite trying hard not to be. All in all, a key secret in how to give a good conference presentation is knowing when to stop talking.

Articulation and Pronunciation is Not beyond Science

Everyone who has ever visited a scientific conference has probably participated in a session or workshop, or listened to a keynote talk, where the speaker is a super professional with interesting and relevant research to show, but you can barely understand what they`re saying. I`m writing about this even if I assume some people might intentionally decide to get offended and read me as saying something I am definitely not saying. How to give a good conference presentation has a lot to do with the how you speak and less than you might imagine with the what you speak.

Academic communities are large and international, and in the increasingly diverse conference venues, English is often not the first language of the participants. Most of us have an accent, and that is beautiful and okay. Personally, I speak with a Scandinavian accent combined either with an American or a British English version of English, depending on my humor and the speaking context. That being said, delivering a presentation in a way that allows your audience to actually understand and enjoy what you`re saying is not some supra-academic extra quality you can add to to the presentation just to be fancy. Communicating clearly is part and parcel of your scientific skillset.

It`s important to keep in mind that one can be a native English speaker and deliver a talk consisting of incomprehensible mumbling, half-swallowed words, and utterly butchered non-English expressions. One can just as well be of any national and ethnic background, have a limited English capacity, and yet, succeed in talking in a clear and accessible way. Back in my Bachelor`s degree studies, there was a lecturer at the university who would talk about political science and pronounce “democracy” as “ demo-crazy “. Is that a lack of paying attention to other people`s talks and noticing how the word is actually pronounced or just simple laziness in making sure that you have got at least the keywords correct? Who knows, but I think demo-crazies can be, for the most, avoided.

We are not talking only about correct pronunciation here. Oxford English is not the goal, but delivering a talk that helps your audience to focus on the content of what you`re saying instead of struggling to decode the medium. As academics we are communicators. We communicate to each other within and beyond the boundaries of our home discipline(s) as well as with the “laypeople”. A conference presentation where the speaker articulates clearly, speaks not too slowly nor too fast, has attempted to find out how words are pronounced, and makes an attempt not to read out the slides but to talk to actual living beings in the audience is always a pleasure, no matter how non-native the English sounds.

How to Give a Good Conference Presentation: Talking Practice Tips

  • Make a video- or audio recording of yourself giving your presentation, preferably a video. Pay attention to how you sound. You can even ask a friend or a colleague to look/listen to it and give you feedback. Are you clear? Are you speaking at a convenient speed? Is it possible to understand what you`re saying even without looking at the slides? Are you sounding like a pre-recorded artificial intelligence giving instructions on an application or does your speech have variations in tonality? Can one understand you without seeing your mouth move? Do you leave enough pauses for the audience to take in what you have said? All these are important points to take into account while preparing the how of your presentation -not less important than the what , the content part of it.
  • Search e.g. on YouTube different researchers giving conference or other talks and pay attention to how they speak. Sensitize yourself to aspects such as intonation, pace, and articulation. Decide what you like and try if you could adopt some of it into your own way of speaking.
  • In the next opportunity, ask for a friendly conference presentation review from a colleague. Ask them to tell you honestly how you sound and what could be improved in your talking. Personally, I have had my partner, representing a completely different discipline, follow my presentations just because I wanted him to give me feedback. Am I precise? Am I clear? Was I inspiring? Keep in mind that sometimes, having someone tell you unpleasant things is the best thing that can happen for you to learn how to give a good conference presentation.
  • If your conference presentation is recorded, find out how you can get to see and listen to it. This exercise can be painful, but will teach you more of your ways of presenting than any external feedback ever will.

The Power-Point Presentation is not a Manuscript

Making a nice power point presentation can be a challenging task. In terms of the key points of how to give a good conference presentation, the thing to keep in mind is that if you want to write a whole ready-made speech for yourself to be read aloud (which I don`t think is a good idea, unless we`re talking about an actual keynote speech), make it a separate document. Power point slides are not the platform for a manuscript. Write as little as possible, and make it bullet points, not whole sentences. Highlight the most important words and concepts. Use graphics and pictures to support your message, not to replace it.

Do not read aloud simply what you have written on the slides, but talk around the key points presented there. It is incredibly difficult to read full sentences in the power point slides at the same time when listening to someone talk. Also, hearing someone read aloud the same sentences that are written on the power point is just boring.

Again: Practice your presentation beforehand. If you want to make yourself notes that you can look at while showing your slides, make sure you can also deliver your presentation without looking at them all the time. Even if the audience would not see you, they can hear whether you`re speaking spontaneously or reading directly from a text, and the latter is extremely boring and uninspiring to listen to. You`re the expert of the topic of your talk; you`re not just the voice hired to read aloud a text. Personally, I will rather listen to a speaker that searches for words or loses the track of his/her thoughts for a couple of seconds when searching for the next thing they were going to say, rather than a speaker who reads aloud a pre-written text sentence by sentence. In the case of the robot-reader, I just dose off and think about other things, to be honest.

How to give a good conference presentation: Make a nice power point presentation but do not hide behind it in any sense of the word.

How to Give a Good Conference Presentation is All About Being a Professional, not a Besserwisser

Roughly speaking, annoying academics in conferences can be put into two categories. No, actually, let me rephrase that -there is just one category. This nerve-racking class consists of the Besserwissers. These all-knowing wanna-be-experts give their talk in a manner oozing intellectual authority and arrogance, nitpick their colleagues, and when in the audience, make irrelevant questions designed to show off their superiority or advertise their own papers. Inside a Besserwisser there resides a very fearful and insecure individual who, after the conference day is over, will retreat to their room and get drunk with whatever their hotel room minibar offers. They will have a legit binge of Ben&Jerry`s ice-cream directly from the box, and cry over the phone to their momma what an utter failure they are in life.

No, not really. That is just me entertaining a vision that would render a Besserwisser a degree of humanity they otherwise seem to lack.

My point is that the attitude with which you give your presentation is what people will remember from it better than any scientific detail. It is your character that draws them to talk to you in the breaks and suggest a collaboration. Hence, it is also academically more productive to come across as a nice human being than something else.

Then again, being aware of the percentage of not so nice but yet successful humans in academia, I`m wondering if I just have you some bad piece of advice.

However, I insist that coming across as self-confident without being arrogant and appearing friendly without looking like a doormat is a good skill in any situation where you want to make a good impression of yourself. This is also true in our discussion on how to give a good conference presentation. It`s infinitely more pleasant to listen to someone who has a down-to-earth attitude to their own work and an open curiosity to the work of others, and who manages to relate to their audience in a friendly, collaborative manner, than to someone who thinks a conference presentation is a self-advertising arena or a guillotine where everyone else has gathered there just to witness one`s slow and humiliating death.

Be a Person(ality), not a Bore

The psychologist in me has spent quite a while observing how many university people seem to start developing a university persona, some right from the beginning from their PhD journey, some when they land on their first postdoc. What kind of a university persona they try to embody depends on the discipline and on the surrounding society and culture. It is a distinctive collection of whatever aspects of one`s habitus are considered signs of intelligence and status in a specific context. For a Humanist, there might be a chance they are going after the look of a book-devouring radical intellectual who can recite their Lucy Irigarays and Donna Haraways even if woken up in the middle of the night. The stylistic characteristics of this look are clear and distinctive, although have changed slightly since my days of studying Comparative Literature in the mid 2000`s at the University of Helsinki.

I am not saying that building a persona that looks like whatever is considered a smart and skillful person`s look in a specific context is a distinctively academic act. Already at the mid to late phases of my Master`s studies in Psychology, some classmates started adopting a look they thought embodies what a good clinical psychologist is supposed to look like. Usually this psychologist look, whether performed by not-yet-ready students or more seasoned clinicians, consists (or consisted, my days in the clinical fields are behind) of anonymous eyeglasses, neutral and natural colors, vast cardigans, and the clear attempt to not use too much make-up or look too business-like or posh.

Personally, I never went after for a profession-adequate look, and I don`t think it has ever worked against me. Just like the clients and patients would more easily relate to and trust a psychologist who looks and acts like a real human being (as opposed to a real human being who desperately tries to look and act like a psychologist), also conference audiences see through any attempt to fit into the crowd or make yourself into a discipline-relevant hip and cool character.

Yes, whether it is what you wear or how you act, be yourself first. Whether you are downplaying your personality to look like a true old-fashioned dry academic should, or dressing up to a hip version of your discipline`s hottest rockstars of the moment, chances are it is not working for your favor. Nothing is as fantastic in a conference as listening to a person who is comfortable in their own skin and genuinely likes themselves, not trying to embody or enact anyone else. A genuine, interesting personality giving a talk can get me interested about something I never found fascinating before. Previously, I have written about how to be a kick-ass unique female professional here (go and scroll down to the videos if you want to see some uniquely charismatic female professionals show their captivating speaker-presence). Also thi s post by Professor Francesco Lelli, summarizing the key points of a video by Patrick Winston, can inspire you to make a nice presentation that lets your personality shine through.

How to Give a Good Conference Presentation – By Remembering It`s Just a Conference Presentation

Sooner or later, everyone giving conference presentations will hit the low point in their congress career. It doesn`t need to be a complete flop of a presentation where your power points vanish into thin air mid-talk, then your computer explodes, and while putting out the fire, you realize you gave the talk you managed to give while having a huge food stain in the middle of your shirt. Perhaps it`s just that you get stuck with your hairdo in the microphone headset and lose half of your hair while ripping the headset off to hand it to the next speaker (this happened to me). Perhaps you have a Besserwisser in the audience making sure that you will doubt the validity of your research for five years after getting your degree. Whatever the case may be, having some healthy perspective will not do any harm. In the end, you learn how to give a good conference presentation by having some less successful experiences.

Many people listening to your presentation will not remember anything about it tomorrow. Many people listening to your presentation are not, frankly speaking, not even that interested in it -they just pretend to be, because they are polite. Largely, the audience is either anxiously preparing for their own presentation or recovering from it in a complete lowering-my-adrenaline-levels mental smog. Usually, your audience members don’t care about anyone else’s presentations than that of their own.

A conference is not a place where your validity and importance as a researcher is somehow collectively decided. You will enjoy and benefit more if you take it as a chance to get to learn about the state of the art in a particular discipline and make new connections with people as well as get some experience in talking to academic audiences. Giving a presentation is a chance to learn: It will help you formulate the key ideas of your research in a clear and concise manner as well as give the chance to get some useful feedback. Try and not to judge your presentation in terms of how it went (the possible answers usually representing a dichotomy of okay vs. terrible) but in terms of what you learnt. Even the sharpest criticism can -sometimes with a lot of mental effort- be turned into something useful, a learning experience. And if not, follow the advice of the team leader in one of my previous research projects: Ignore mode on!

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presentation in conference

#26: First conference presentation? 17 life-saving tips

October 8, 2019 by Tress Academic

Is it the first time you are presenting at a scientific conference? First time you’re traveling to an academic meeting, probably abroad, and talking about your research in front of a crowd of people you don’t know? Feeling a bit scared and intimidated? Did you get nervous when you looked in the calendar and realised it’s only six weeks away? Feel like you don’t know how you’re going to deal with the pressure? Don’t worry, you are not alone on the academic ocean! Let this post will be your life jacket and we’ll make sure you are prepared for the big day. 

In our experience, we didn’t have a choice about giving our first conference presentation. Our supervisors approached us during our PhD studies and suggested we should go to this particular conference and present what we are doing. Huh? We had never done this before, although we had attended a few conferences already where we presented posters. Giving a poster presentation is the classical way of how young researchers get acquainted with conferences (for suggestions on how to do this properly, check our blog post #15: 5 smart strategies to get most out of conference posters” ). 

However, going on a conference and presenting a paper is another story all together! Of course, we had attended sessions where others had presented their work, but this is like taking a comfortable backseat compared to the driver. You lean back in the massive audience and enjoy what the presenter is telling you. Attending is a pretty anonymous thing, plus we didn’t have to do anything. Not so when you are the presenter! Then you have to stand out there in front of all these famous, well-respected and highly-experienced scientists, who know so much more than you do, and are much better at doing research and presenting. This is almost guaranteed to be embarrassing! What if they laugh at our talks and rip them into pieces when they ask questions? 

Do these fears sound familiar to you when you think about your first research presentation at an academic conference? We know they do, so let’s give you two reasons why you should not worry too much about this first presentation: 

  • Established researchers will not sit in your audience and laugh at your presentation, because this is not how academic conferences work. This is also not how professional researchers conduct themselves. Good scholars, and our academic communities are full of them, are kind and gracious listeners to presentations made by junior faculty. They (hopefully) all remember their first presentations very well and the feelings that come with them. It was never an easy or comfortable task to present as a beginner in front of strangers. 
  • Of course, you might still be afraid that not everybody listening to you will fall into the respectful audience category we just described above. Don’t worry, in this case we’ve got you covered with our 17 life-saving tips!

By the way, both of our first presentations went very well. They were probably not spectacular, but they left us with no negative memories and as far as we can recall, no negative impression on the audience. We had no instructions on how to do these talks at all. We were literally sent off to deliver the talks blind, like good academic soldiers marching into battle. You deserve better! 

Person jumps with life jacket into the sea

We’ve prepared a list of 17 life-saving tips we want you to keep in mind when preparing and presenting for the first time. Caution: This list of actions will NOT immediately lift you up to the pro level. It is not a crash course in delivering the best presentation you could ever do with all the possible bells and whistles . No, we intend it to get you safely and comfortably through the ‘stormy waters’ of this first-time-experience so that you, as well your audience, will enjoy it. There are plenty of measures you can take to improve your talk on top of this, but let’s take it one step at a time. If you are totally new to your PhD project, we recently published a post to help you tackle this larger project with: “#24: New to the PhD – 5 tips for a great start!” .

Nevertheless, try out some of our 17 life-saving tips and you will be well-equipped for the rough winds that sometimes come up in academia: 

Life-saver #1: Know what your message is

The best presenter and presentation techniques cannot help if the message is not clear. What is it exactly that you want to communicate in your talk? Start preparing by writing down the key message that you want to communicate on a sheet of paper. It should be a message that is easily understood and that you could easily talk about on any occasion.  

Life-saver #2: Guide audience through structure

Take your presentation message, sit down, and think about the order of elements someone would need to describe to the audience for them to understand it. Typically, you start with a short intro about yourself, the topic and the specific research question that you addressed. Then, you follow with what you did and what you have found. Towards the end, you state your key message that you want the audience to remember. Probably, you also want to point out some of the open questions that resulted from your work. Make sure you have a clear beginning and a clear ending. 

Life-saver #3: Don’t start on the computer

Start drafting the key message, the structure, and the details of your talk on a sheet of paper, or better yet, with a set of sticky notes. This is far more flexible and effective than starting on Powerpoint or similar software and filling in slides right away. You will put to much (irrelevant) content and effort into the slides. Get involved with slide ware only once you know exactly what will be part of your presentation, not before. The art of slide making is not to fill them quickly but to leave things out and reduce to what is absolutely essential. 

Life-saver #4: Reduce and enlarge text

It is not helpful to present a lot of text on slides. Reduce it to a minimum, i.e. a few keywords on slides and learn the rest by heart so you can present it fluently. Put the text in a large font size, usually much larger than you think necessary. If you end up with slides that contain only a few words in large text size – nobody will be unhappy, because it is easier to follow. 

Life-saver #5: Communicate visually

A lot of communication in science is in written form, but presentations have the benefit of adding visual aids. So, once you know what your key message is, can you come up with a set of 3-5 key images (photos, figures, graphs) that would help you to get the message across even better? There is nothing non-scientific about using images in a talk, because they help to convey your scientific message better and are more memorable than text. If you are not sure where to find good visuals, check out our blog posts #19: The 5 best free photo databases for your scientific presentations or #20: Best scientific photo databases” .

Life-saver #6: Rehearse your presentation

Rehearsing is all about reducing many of the fears that we have towards giving a talk. We recommend you rehearse multiple rounds, and do read throughs at least 10+ times for your talk. You will become more fluent and confident in what you present once you know it backwards and forwards. For tips on how to rehearse effectively, see our post #127: How to rehearse a scientific presentation.

Life-saver #7: Check the length of your presentation

Going over time is a common occurrence at conferences, but also a commonly condemned behaviour. Use a watch to check how long your presentation is. Start checking your time once you have some fluency in your delivery, so only after a couple of rehearsal rounds. If your talk is too long, cut something out. Only you will miss it. 

presentation in conference

Life-saver #8: Get somebody to listen to you

All the rehearsal in the world cannot help if you do not rehearse realistically, i.e. in front of other people. Find a colleague, a couple of PhD fellows, or some friends and deliver your test presentation to them. It will make you feel differently and this can really help you trouble-shoot the talk. Ask them for honest feedback and their suggestions afterwards. Since you’re presenting to other people at the conference, why not try it in the preparation phase? 

Life-saver #9: Rehearse outside your comfort zone

If possible, try to also rehearse your talk in a room or a space which is different from where you usually are at your institute. It could be an empty classroom or lecture hall. This will already give you a feeling of how different it is to present in a room you are not familiar with in the preparation phase, which will be the case for your conference talk. 

Life-saver #10: Anticipate questions from the audience

Many presenters fear the question that come from the audience after their talk more than the presentation itself. Prepare yourself: What potential questions could  the audience ask? Think about good but short answers to them while still preparing your talk. We prepared a great overview of questions that you should always expect and have an answer in our post #30: Questions from the audience you should be prepared to answer.

Life-saver #11: Keep technology simple

Unless you are a well-versed user of presentation technology and gadgets, keep it simple for your first talk. Of course, there is a multitude of multi-media elements that you could employ, but the audience comes to hear something about your research and if you can do this without a heavy tech component, you take a heavy load off your shoulders. There’s nothing worse than a technological fail in front of a room of people you want to impress.

Life-saver #12: Prepare a backup strategy

Think about the what-ifs: If … your presentation does not work on the presenter laptop or if you realise you would need more time than allocated or if … whatever. Always have a digital and a paper copy of your presentation with you. The paper version could be annotated with coloured markers so you could use it if the technology fails. Rest assured: The vast majority of ifs very seldom happen, but it’s always better to be prepared!

Life-saver #13: Be at the venue in good time

You don’t want to rush in just before giving your talk, this would only increase your nervousness. If you have to travel to the conference, always arrive one day before the conference starts (or at least before your talk is on) at the venue. On the day of your talk, be at the venue in good time prior to your scheduled talk. You might have to deliver earlier because a talk that was supposed to come before yours was cancelled.  

Life-saver #14: Check the room & equipment

Conference rooms and halls have a special atmosphere that can rub off on presenters. Checking out the exact room where you have to present will help you to get accustomed to the special set up of the room: How is the audience seated? Where is the presenter desk? How large is the room? … All these things impact you during your talk. Check it out the day before or at least an hour before your talk, and it will help you to cope with any of its particularities. Also, don’t forget to test your presentation file in the room – whether from your own or from a presenter laptop. Does your presentation display well? 

Life-saver #15: Address the audience

At the beginning of your talk, welcome the audience and tell them how grateful you are they are all here to listen to you. Introduce yourself very briefly, unless a chair person has done so already (if so, thank the chair for the nice introduction). Address the audience again at the end of your talk and offer to answer questions. 

Life-saver #16: Have a buddy in the audience

Being entirely on your own for your first conference talk can be difficult. Are you the only one from your institute or are there others? If possible, find a buddy to share the experience with, somebody who feels for you and supports you. Get this person into the audience, somewhere where you can see him or her. It will help a lot! 

Life-saver #17: Get rid of the sticking point

Think about how you feel when you listen to presentations of other people. Is there one thing that comes to your mind where you say, this is what I would avoid doing at all costs? What is it? Write it down. Now, think about your own talk. How could you avoid this from cropping up? Implement the change and be happy that you removed the key problem that you have identified in other talks.

presentation in conference

Your first presentation is a special thing! It is like going on your first long journey, or going abroad, all on your own, with just enough money to make it, and with many doubts and fears about what could happen, but also with many great expectations of how wonderful this trip could be! Like a first journey, a first presentation should be something to celebrate (or at least close to that), something you would like to, and most likely will do, again and again. 

The first presentation is a unique experience. It’s a right of passage that all researchers go through at some stage. Whether it’s your own motivation that brings you to a conference presentation, or a supervisor encourages you to go for it, it’s a great thing to do. For the first time, you”ll actively interact with your academic peers from all over the country or even world! You speak and they will listen- wow! 

Nerves play a vital role in this process, as we know. But if you think they are getting the best of you, check our post #3: “How to cope with stage fright?” , which will gives more advice on how to prepare yourself against unproductive anxiety. When you manage to follow the steps we’ve outlined above, you can rest assured, it will be a fine presentation. We wish we could have had such a life-saving list back then! 

Relevant resources:  

  • Smart Academics Blog #3: How to cope with stage fright?
  • Smart Academics Blogt #7: Why your next presentation matters
  • Smart Academics Blog #11: How much time is needed to prepare a good presentation?
  • Smart Academics Blog #15: 5 smart strategies to get most out of conference posters  
  • Smart Academics Blog #19: The 5 best free photo databases for your scientific presentation
  • Smart Academics Blog #20: Best scientific photo databases
  • Smart Academics Blog #24: New to the PhD – 5 tips for a great start!
  • Smart Academics Blog #30: Questions from the audience you should be prepared to answer
  • Smart Academics Blog #95: Apply these 5 tips to improve any presentation
  • Smart Academics Blog #127: How to rehearse a scientific presentation.

Relevant courses and services:

  • 1-day course: Presenting successfully at virtual conferences
  • 3-day course: How to present at international conferences
  • 1-to-1 advice: Presentation Check

More information:  

Do you want to present successfully at conferences? If so, please sign up to receive our free guides.  

Photos by Jonas Kohl, Ian Wagg and Jared Berg on Unsplash.com .

© 2019 Tress Academic

#FirstPresentation, #FirstConference, #ScientificPresentation, #ScientificConference

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Oral Presentation Structure

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Finally, presentations normally include interaction in the form of questions and answers. This is a great opportunity to provide whatever additional information the audience desires. For fear of omitting something important, most speakers try to say too much in their presentations. A better approach is to be selective in the presentation itself and to allow enough time for questions and answers and, of course, to prepare well by anticipating the questions the audience might have.

As a consequence, and even more strongly than papers, presentations can usefully break the chronology typically used for reporting research. Instead of presenting everything that was done in the order in which it was done, a presentation should focus on getting a main message across in theorem-proof fashion — that is, by stating this message early and then presenting evidence to support it. Identifying this main message early in the preparation process is the key to being selective in your presentation. For example, when reporting on materials and methods, include only those details you think will help convince the audience of your main message — usually little, and sometimes nothing at all.

The opening

  • The context as such is best replaced by an attention getter , which is a way to both get everyone's attention fast and link the topic with what the audience already knows (this link provides a more audience-specific form of context).
  • The object of the document is here best called the preview because it outlines the body of the presentation. Still, the aim of this element is unchanged — namely, preparing the audience for the structure of the body.
  • The opening of a presentation can best state the presentation's main message , just before the preview. The main message is the one sentence you want your audience to remember, if they remember only one. It is your main conclusion, perhaps stated in slightly less technical detail than at the end of your presentation.

In other words, include the following five items in your opening: attention getter , need , task , main message , and preview .

Even if you think of your presentation's body as a tree, you will still deliver the body as a sequence in time — unavoidably, one of your main points will come first, one will come second, and so on. Organize your main points and subpoints into a logical sequence, and reveal this sequence and its logic to your audience with transitions between points and between subpoints. As a rule, place your strongest arguments first and last, and place any weaker arguments between these stronger ones.

The closing

After supporting your main message with evidence in the body, wrap up your oral presentation in three steps: a review , a conclusion , and a close . First, review the main points in your body to help the audience remember them and to prepare the audience for your conclusion. Next, conclude by restating your main message (in more detail now that the audience has heard the body) and complementing it with any other interpretations of your findings. Finally, close the presentation by indicating elegantly and unambiguously to your audience that these are your last words.

Starting and ending forcefully

Revealing your presentation's structure.

To be able to give their full attention to content, audience members need structure — in other words, they need a map of some sort (a table of contents, an object of the document, a preview), and they need to know at any time where they are on that map. A written document includes many visual clues to its structure: section headings, blank lines or indentations indicating paragraphs, and so on. In contrast, an oral presentation has few visual clues. Therefore, even when it is well structured, attendees may easily get lost because they do not see this structure. As a speaker, make sure you reveal your presentation's structure to the audience, with a preview , transitions , and a review .

The preview provides the audience with a map. As in a paper, it usefully comes at the end of the opening (not too early, that is) and outlines the body, not the entire presentation. In other words, it needs to include neither the introduction (which has already been delivered) nor the conclusion (which is obvious). In a presentation with slides, it can usefully show the structure of the body on screen. A slide alone is not enough, however: You must also verbally explain the logic of the body. In addition, the preview should be limited to the main points of the presentation; subpoints can be previewed, if needed, at the beginning of each main point.

Transitions are crucial elements for revealing a presentation's structure, yet they are often underestimated. As a speaker, you obviously know when you are moving from one main point of a presentation to another — but for attendees, these shifts are never obvious. Often, attendees are so involved with a presentation's content that they have no mental attention left to guess at its structure. Tell them where you are in the course of a presentation, while linking the points. One way to do so is to wrap up one point then announce the next by creating a need for it: "So, this is the microstructure we observe consistently in the absence of annealing. But how does it change if we anneal the sample at 450°C for an hour or more? That's my next point. Here is . . . "

Similarly, a review of the body plays an important double role. First, while a good body helps attendees understand the evidence, a review helps them remember it. Second, by recapitulating all the evidence, the review effectively prepares attendees for the conclusion. Accordingly, make time for a review: Resist the temptation to try to say too much, so that you are forced to rush — and to sacrifice the review — at the end.

Ideally, your preview, transitions, and review are well integrated into the presentation. As a counterexample, a preview that says, "First, I am going to talk about . . . , then I will say a few words about . . . and finally . . . " is self-centered and mechanical: It does not tell a story. Instead, include your audience (perhaps with a collective we ) and show the logic of your structure in view of your main message.

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Tips for Oral Presentations at Scientific Meetings and Conferences

By Nina Lichtenberg

Tis’ the season for the biennial, annual, or semi-annual life science conference; and this time around, you’re scheduled to give a presentation in front of every known expert in your field of study (yikes!) Your thoughts may range from “I can’t wait to share my shiny new data with a room full of scientists!”, to “Why me?”

Never fear, whether thrilled or terrified, follow these tips below to engage your audience and give a stellar presentation. Please note that the advice below applies to all forms of presentations but is focused on those that take place at scientific meetings or conferences. If you don’t have any presentations scheduled but would like to give one, check out the last section on seeking presentation opportunities.

You have an upcoming conference presentation scheduled, now what?

The first step to giving a talk is creating a presentation. The book Designing Science Presentations by Matt Carter is an excellent visually-oriented guide to designing and delivering presentations, and even offers tips on other forms of science communication, like creating figures for manuscripts. Plus, it’s free to download via your university network (see link here ).

Prior to your presentation, and generally throughout your PhD, it’s a good idea to take notes on presentation organization, style, voice, and audience engagement techniques. As a graduate student, you’ve probably attended dozens of talks – both good and bad. Take notes on what stood out to you and what you thought made each presentation successful (or unsuccessful) at getting the speaker’s story across. What made the talk engaging? Was it the way they introduced their research using a witty, real-life or pop culture example? Perhaps it was the way they paused during transitions between topics to ask if the audience had any questions. Maybe it was simply the speaker’s demeanor, or the font, color, or layout of their slides. Integrate what you learned into your presentation. About 25% of the notes I jot down during talks are about the actual manner in which data are presented.

Practice, practice, practice – but don’t over practice

In the few weeks leading up to your presentation, you may be tempted to practice alone, or maybe even to your beloved, non-judgmental furry friend in the comforts of your own home. As tempting as this may sound, practicing in front of a real human audience is key. It’s important to practice in front of others, professors or your peers, for a few critical reasons: this experience will be the closest to the real deal, allowing you to work on your voice and audience engagement, and importantly, your audience will give you feedback on how to communicate your data. They may point out topics you rushed through and/or give you tips on organization. Work on the timing – one slide (or less) per minute is a fairly universal rule. This is especially important for short data blitz style presentations, which are often strictly limited to just 5 or 10 minutes.

Even if you don’t have an imminent conference presentation scheduled, presenting your work throughout your PhD will well prepare you for future conferences and job talks. At my university there are several opportunities for graduate students to present their recent findings in short (5-20 min) and long (1 hr) formats in seminars open to professors, postdocs, and fellow students. If you prefer an informal audience, practice your talk in lab meeting. Additionally, there are often graduate student led organizations that host informal after-lab meetings exactly for this purpose.

If such resources are not available on your campus or at your institution, create them yourself! Not only will these forums give you the chance to practice your talk, but they may expose you to research topics, presentation styles, and individuals from across disciplines. If you’re short on time, gather a handful of science and/or non-science friends and practice your talk on campus or at home. Practice in front of non-scientists (roommates maybe?) – this will benefit you in the long run. “Talking shop” with those outside of your field will strengthen your skills in communicating your data to a broad audience, which is critical for publishing in high-impact journals, getting grants, and for so much more.

Practice, but don’t over practice. Some scientists, including myself, need to spend the time going through what they plan to say for each slide many times before the talk. But for others, this results in a presentation that sounds too rehearsed and a bit robotic. During the presentation, you may need to deviate from the talk that’s drilled into your head to answer unexpected questions or to speed up if you’re running short on time. Preparing an over-rehearsed talk will make adaptation difficult.

So, practice until you’ve memorized every line, or go over your talk just a few times? Practice until your nerves are calm in front of your mock audience, then quit practicing and brush up on some background knowledge that will help you answer tricky questions from audience members.

Tips for the actual real-life presentation

If you’ve but the time into creating a well-organized presentation and have practiced, even a little bit, you will be fine.

Before the presentation: If you’re speaking as part of a symposium, familiarize yourself with the other speakers (and their research) in the panel and at the conference in general. You don’t want to get caught not recognizing someone important. Upon arriving to the conference venue, check out the room in which you will be giving the presentation so that there are no surprises – make note of where the podium is and the microphone, of course.

During the presentation: Take it slow. This will help calm your nerves or jitters. Pausing for a few seconds after each sentence will help. Speak at an appropriate volume and clearly. Remember to look at your audience members for a majority of the time, and not at your slides or down at the floor! Also, the audience doesn’t know your data as well as you do – don’t be afraid to elaborate a bit or remind them of certain goals of your research, even if a technique or result seems elementary to you.

After the presentation: Take a deep breath (you’re done!) Thank the meeting organizers for the speaking opportunity. If there are any questions from the audience, answer them as best you can. If you don’t have a great answer, it’s not a big deal. Offer to speak with the attendee further after the talk or symposium.

The final tips below may seem obvious, but nonetheless important.

  • Check your presentation for any errors in spelling, grammar, and file conversion, and make sure it is formatted as requested by the organizer/your contact person (i.e. the dreaded Mac to PC, or vice versa PowerPoint conversion issues)
  • Dress to impress – you and your data will be well-received if you look put together
  • Get a good night’s sleep

Getting a speaking opportunity at a conference

The easiest way to find speaking opportunities at conferences is to browse the conference organization’s webpage for calls for abstracts. Typically, a conference organizing committee will ask for an abstract anywhere from 1-6 months prior to a conference. Tip: keep abstract deadlines marked on a calendar!

Word of mouth is powerful. Ask your colleagues and/or other graduate students in your program about conferences they’ve attended, especially more senior students who may have already given talks at a few conferences. Also, don’t be afraid to ask professors if they are organizing any conference symposia. You never know if they’re looking for someone to fill a spot – perhaps your shiny new data would be perfect for what they’re organizing. They may also be able to refer you to their colleagues in charge of organizing other scientific meetings.

Of course, attending a conference requires (many) expenses: abstract submission fees, registration fees, poster printing, flight, hotel – it adds up. Travel awards are excellent resources, especially for graduate students. Typically, travel awards are open to both national and international students and typically cover costs of registration, and often offer a discount (or full coverage) on travel expenses. Travel award deadlines are often different from those of abstract submissions and require a recommendation letter – these details can be found on the conference website.

If you win a travel award, awardees are usually invited to attend professional development workshops and to present their data as a talk at the conference. So, not only does the cover some of your travel expenses, but it gives you an opportunity to present your data – win-win! Don’t forget to put the award (and your talk) on your CV. Tip: outside companies and research foundations, like Hello Bio , offer travel awards to students.

Presenting your research at a conference or meeting is a unique, exciting opportunity. It’s not just a chance to share your newest data with your scientific peers, but a chance to build communication skills and boost self-confidence; thus, benefiting both your career and well-being. So, if a speaking opportunity arises don’t hesitate, jump on it!

Nina Lichtenberg earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently, she is working on wrapping up her PhD in the Psychology department at UCLA by studying the neural circuitry of memory retrieval and decision making. Apart from research, she spends her time developing a neuroscience outreach program that connects undergraduates with the local LA community and builds their scicomm skills.

You can follow Nina on Twitter @NTlichten or connect with her on LinkedIn . Want to meet Nina in person (and see her present some data)? She’ll be at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, CA, from November 3-7 giving poster presentations on her outreach and science.

Read Nina’s other blog post: Tips for poster presentations at scientific meetings and conferences

Other resources you may find helpful

One of the things we’re most passionate about is supporting early career life scientists. Here are some other guides and resources that you may find helpful:

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  • The Most Common PhD Problems & How to Get Past Them
  • Apply for a Travel Grant : every month we give away $500 to PhD students and Postdocs so that they can attend a scientific conference. Give it a go - it's really easy to apply.
  • Read advice from other scientists - in our Interviews with Scientists' series

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Create a Conference Presentation

Common types of conference presentations.

  • Full paper  - The length of a full paper is variable, usually between 20 and 40 min, and rarely exceeds one hour. A full paper may be followed by question time.
  • Short paper  - This type of conference presentation can be as short as 10 min, and very often it is one in a series of short papers in a 1- or 2-hour session on a particular conference sub-topic or theme, each followed by 10 minutes question time. Timing is crucial as it is common for short paper sessions to be carefully managed by timekeepers who will ‘terminate’ your paper after the allocated time.
  • Workshop  - The emphasis of most workshops is on their practical nature. Their purpose is for participants to experience a strategy, a technique or a practical demonstration, and to have opportunities to question you about the value or workability of what you are presenting.
  • Poster  - You prepare a poster of your work (one or more A1 displays, including diagrams, text, references or visuals). This is displayed in an area of the conference venue. Your poster may be staffed at particular times when you are required to be available to provide further information or answer questions about your poster.
  • Discussion paper -  It is assumed that participants have read the paper. A summary is presented at the beginning of the paper (usually, but not always by the paper presenter), and the session consists mainly of a discussion or defence of the issues, questions and ideas raised in the paper.
  • Panel presentation/discussion  - You are one of several people on a panel discussing a theme/topic related to the conference. Your role is to be an expert in a particular issue, topic, technology, strategy or you represent an institution, department or company. Normally you receive advanced notice of this, but sometimes you can be asked to be a panel member at the conference.
  • Roundtable discussion  - This is a short paper presentation followed by the presenter facilitating/workshopping discussion with participants in groups.

Preparing your conference presentation

There are significant differences between a written paper, essay or report and a conference presentation. The introduction of a conference presentation should be considerably longer than that of a written text. Repetition is vital in a conference presentation. An audience needs to hear information several times and in slightly different forms to understand it, whereas in a written text the reader can refer back if necessary. Informal rather than formal language should be used in an oral conference presentation.

Think of a ‘catchy’ title as most conferences run parallel sessions and your presentation may compete with numerous presentations offered at the same time.

You will need to submit an abstract to the conference committee for your presentation to be accepted. If you have already written your paper, this task should be fairly easy as the abstract is a summary of the paper which is usually around 200–400 words . Ensure the issues, questions, thesis as well as the conclusion findings are clearly stated in the abstract.

In case the paper has not been written yet, prepare the abstract in such a way that you do not commit yourself to details that will not be addressed in the final paper.

Ensure that you follow guidelines set by the conference organizers regarding length, layout, references, etc. Write the paper as you would an essay, a report, or, more and more commonly, a journal article. The latter is particularly important if the conference proceedings are to be published (refereed or non-refereed). Check previous conference proceedings or journals in your field to ensure consistency with style, referencing, etc.

Presenting your conference presentation

When presenting your conference presentation you need to know your answers to the following questions:

  • Is the purpose clearly stated: are you reporting, comparing, convincing, arguing, questioning…?
  • Is the thesis/topic clearly stated: “In this paper, I want to report the findings of recent research which shows that under certain conditions, dolphins can be taught how to read simple text”?
  • Are your main arguments/ideas supported with evidence?
  • Are all the materials relevant to the topic?
  • Have you demonstrated your knowledge of the subject?
  • Is the level of technicality suited to the audience?
  • How do you reply to audience’s questions: long questions, ‘mini papers’ disguised as questions…?

Organise your presentation

Most presentations are organised according to a predictable pattern. They have three main stages: introduction, body and conclusion (i.e. tell them what you are going to say; then say it; then tell them what you have said).

When a presentation does not have these clear sections, it can be very difficult for listeners to follow what is being said.


This is the most crucial part of any presentation. You need to capture the audience’s interest in your topic and establish rapport with them. Your introduction should let the audience know what they are going to hear in the presentation. They need to know what to expect in order to get interested and to be able to follow you. Giving them an outline of your presentation in your introduction enables them to do this.

You need to:

  • capture the audience’s attention with a question, quotation, anecdote, or interesting statistic, etc.
  • main theme or main argument
  • main points you will cover and the order in which you will cover them.

The body of your presentation must be clearly organised with the main points highlighted. One effective technique is to number your ideas. Any idea which is new to your audience needs to be presented simply with supportive evidence or examples which will make it more easily understood. Each important idea should be presented several times in different ways within the body of your presentation. Your audience needs several opportunities to absorb the full meaning and the significance of the most important ideas. It is also important to state the links between your ideas clearly.

The body is where you develop your main ideas/argument, using supporting ideas/evidence. Use techniques that make it easy for the listener to follow your talk:

  • number your ideas: “ There are three main factors... ”
  • arrange your ideas in logical order, such as chronological; cause and effect; problem–solution
  • use transitional devices to help the audience follow the direction of your talk: “ secondly…; another important point is...; on the other hand…; I would now like to move on and look at another aspect of the research.. .”
  • state the main idea
  • refer to experts, provide examples to illustrate the idea
  • provide statistics, facts, tell anecdotes (if time permits)
  • provide case studies, etc.
  • repeat important ideas using different words so the audience has several opportunities to absorb them
  • don’t make the information too dense – remember the audience is listening, not reading!

The conclusion sums up main points. The conclusion should reinforce the central ideas of the presentation and signal a forceful ending. A weak, inconclusive or apologetic closing detracts from a good presentation. You should show in your conclusion that you have covered all the points that you said you would in your introduction. You should also show that you are confident, and that you have communicated effectively.

It is important to have a strong conclusion so the audience is left with a good impression.

  • Summarise the main ideas of your presentation.
  • Don’t introduce any new ideas.
  • Work towards a strong ending – don’t finish abruptly or say ‘That’s all’. Perhaps leave the audience with something to think about.

Presentation Tips

Advance preparation.

The more you know about your audience, the more likely you will be able to give an effective presentation. Try to find out as much as you can about who will be there, what their background is, why they will be coming, and how much they will already know about the topic. Go to the room where you will make your presentation and get a feel of its size, acoustics, seating, etc. If you can, familiarise yourself with the equipment in the room.

Clear pronunciation

Your voice must be clear and distinct. If you know you have difficulty with pronunciation, speak a little more slowly than usual. Use intonation, stress, changes in pace (slow down at important points, speed up at details, anecdotes) and pause to keep the listeners’ attention, and focus attention on important points.

Body language

It has been estimated that 75% of meaning transferred is non-verbal.  Try to maintain eye contact with your audience as this helps keep your audience engaged. Focus on standing straight and directly facing your audience, using hand gestures to emphasise important information.

Visual aids 

A presentation can be enhanced by the effective use of overhead transparencies (slides), charts, pictures, posters or PowerPoint presentations (with limited graphic/sound gimmicks). They provide variety and can help reinforce points made. However, you are still the main communicator of your message. Be familiar with your visual aids, refer to them specifically and only display them when you are referring to them, otherwise they will only be a distraction.

  • Physical charts, graphs, pictures, etc.: ensure that the size is appropriate for a large room. If necessary, back up with handouts.
  • Video: ensure the segment shown is not too long in relation to the overall length of your presentation.
  • Limit the amount of material on each visual: your listeners should be able to read and understand a visual in five seconds or less.
  • Be sure your visuals are large enough to be seen by everyone: the lettering should usually be minimum 20-22 pt. font.
  • Use diagrams, graphs and charts instead of words where possible.
  • Eliminate unnecessary detail from diagrams, graphs and charts.

Expression and style

Try to speak to your audience using notes rather than memorising or reading your presentation. In order to do this, you will have to practise your presentations as many times as you can. If possible, perform in front of an audience. Otherwise, practise in front of a mirror or record yourself on your phone. This will also give you an idea of how long your presentation will take.

Use a conversation style to make your audience feel personally involved. Each time you use the word ‘you’, the audience feels compelled to pay attention.  

Back to top

Adapted from Barthel, A. 2010, ‘Presenting a conference paper’, ELSSA Centre, University of Technology Sydney.   

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How to deliver an oral presentation

Georgina wellstead.

a Lister Hospital, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

Katharine Whitehurst

b Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital

Buket Gundogan

c University College London

d Guy's St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Delivering an oral presentation in conferences and meetings can seem daunting. However, if delivered effectively, it can be an invaluable opportunity to showcase your work in front of peers as well as receive feedback on your project. In this “How to” article, we demonstrate how one can plan and successfully deliver an engaging oral presentation.

Giving an oral presentation at a scientific conference is an almost inevitable task at some point during your medical career. The prospect of presenting your original work to colleagues and peers, however, may be intimidating, and it can be difficult to know how to approach it. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that although daunting, an oral presentation is one of the best ways to get your work out there, and so should be looked upon as an exciting and invaluable opportunity.

Slide content

Although things may vary slightly depending on the type of research you are presenting, the typical structure is as follows:

  • Opening slide (title of study, authors, institutions, and date)
  • Methodology
  • Discussion (including strengths and weaknesses of the study)


Picking out only the most important findings to include in your presentation is key and will keep it concise and easy to follow. This in turn will keep your viewers engaged, and more likely to understand and remember your presentation.

Psychological analysis of PowerPoint presentations, finds that 8 psychological principles are often violated 1 . One of these was the limited capacity of working memory, which can hold 4 units of information at any 1 time in most circumstances. Hence, too many points or concepts on a slide could be detrimental to the presenter’s desire to give information.

You can also help keep your audience engaged with images, which you can talk around, rather than lots of text. Video can also be useful, for example, a surgical procedure. However, be warned that IT can let you down when you need it most and you need to have a backup plan if the video fails. It’s worth coming to the venue early and testing it and resolving issues beforehand with the AV support staff if speaking at a conference.

Slide design and layout

It is important not to clutter your slides with too much text or too many pictures. An easy way to do this is by using the 5×5 rule. This means using no more than 5 bullet points per slide, with no more than 5 words per bullet point. It is also good to break up the text-heavy slides with ones including diagrams or graphs. This can also help to convey your results in a more visual and easy-to-understand way.

It is best to keep the slide design simple, as busy backgrounds and loud color schemes are distracting. Ensure that you use a uniform font and stick to the same color scheme throughout. As a general rule, a light-colored background with dark-colored text is easier to read than light-colored text on a dark-colored background. If you can use an image instead of text, this is even better.

A systematic review study of expert opinion papers demonstrates several key recommendations on how to effectively deliver medical research presentations 2 . These include:

  • Keeping your slides simple
  • Knowing your audience (pitching to the right level)
  • Making eye contact
  • Rehearsing the presentation
  • Do not read from the slides
  • Limiting the number of lines per slide
  • Sticking to the allotted time

You should practice your presentation before the conference, making sure that you stick to the allocated time given to you. Oral presentations are usually short (around 8–10 min maximum), and it is, therefore, easy to go under or over time if you have not rehearsed. Aiming to spend around 1 minute per slide is usually a good guide. It is useful to present to your colleagues and seniors, allowing them to ask you questions afterwards so that you can be prepared for the sort of questions you may get asked at the conference. Knowing your research inside out and reading around the subject is advisable, as there may be experts watching you at the conference with more challenging questions! Make sure you re-read your paper the day before, or on the day of the conference to refresh your memory.

It is useful to bring along handouts of your presentation for those who may be interested. Rather than printing out miniature versions of your power point slides, it is better to condense your findings into a brief word document. Not only will this be easier to read, but you will also save a lot of paper by doing this!

Delivering the presentation

Having rehearsed your presentation beforehand, the most important thing to do when you get to the conference is to keep calm and be confident. Remember that you know your own research better than anyone else in the room! Be sure to take some deep breaths and speak at an appropriate pace and volume, making good eye contact with your viewers. If there is a microphone, don’t keep turning away from it as the audience will get frustrated if your voice keeps cutting in and out. Gesturing and using pointers when appropriate can be a really useful tool, and will enable you to emphasize your important findings.

Presenting tips

  • Do not hide behind the computer. Come out to the center or side and present there.
  • Maintain eye contact with the audience, especially the judges.
  • Remember to pause every so often.
  • Don’t clutter your presentation with verbal noise such as “umm,” “like,” or “so.” You will look more slick if you avoid this.
  • Rhetorical questions once in a while can be useful in maintaining the audience’s attention.

When reaching the end of your presentation, you should slow down in order to clearly convey your key points. Using phases such as “in summary” and “to conclude” often prompts those who have drifted off slightly during your presentation start paying attention again, so it is a critical time to make sure that your work is understood and remembered. Leaving up your conclusions/summary slide for a short while after stopping speaking will give the audience time to digest the information. Conclude by acknowledging any fellow authors or assistants before thanking the audience for their attention and inviting any questions (as long as you have left sufficient time).

If asked a question, firstly thank the audience member, then repeat what they have asked to the rest of the listeners in case they didn’t hear the first time. Keep your answers short and succinct, and if unsure say that the questioner has raised a good point and that you will have to look into it further. Having someone else in the audience write down the question is useful for this.

The key points to remember when preparing for an oral presentation are:

  • Keep your slides simple and concise using the 5×5 rule and images.
  • When appropriate; rehearse timings; prepare answers to questions; speak slowly and use gestures/ pointers where appropriate; make eye contact with the audience; emphasize your key points at the end; make acknowledgments and thank the audience; invite questions and be confident but not arrogant.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no financial conflict of interest with regard to the content of this report.

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

Published online 8 June 2017

How to introduce yourself in a conference presentation (in six simple steps)

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Academic conferences are great occasions for networking. Particularly the start of a conference presentation offers a unique opportunity to introduce yourself to the audience, concisely and effectively.

Why effective introductions during academic conference presentations matter

Presentations at academic conferences are an important part of every academic journey. Conferences provide a platform for you to present your research, receive feedback and establish professional connections.

Thus, while the content of your presentation is certainly important, the networking aspect of academic conferences should not be underestimated.

One key strategy of networking at academic conferences is to prepare a concise and effective introduction of yourself.

A good introduction includes information on who you are, what your research is about, and how people can learn more about you. And of course how they can connect with you.

An effective introduction at the start of your conference presentation will help people remember you. Even more importantly, they should feel invited to get in touch with you. In-person, via email, or on social media. This is how networks are formed, which can have a lasting effect on your career.

Step 1: State your full name, position and your university affiliation

Imagine you are presenting at a conference. It is your turn, and you stand in front of the audience.

Don’t jump straight into the topic of your presentation! Instead, start with the basics. State your name, your position and the university affiliation you have.

Make sure to say your name out loud, even if it is written on your presentation slides. People may not know how to pronounce your name, and it will make it easier for them to address you later.

Step 2: Explain your research area and focus in 2-3 sentences

Next comes the most difficult part: explain your research area and focus. The key is to zoom out a bit from the specific topic of your presentation, to showcase your wider research area and focus.

Explaining your research area in a few sentences is challenging. However, it is essential to keep it short. Think of 2-3 sentences. You do not want to take away precious time from your actual presentation.

Therefore, these 2-3 sentences should be prepared well. You do not want to start rambling.

Step 3: Tell people where they can find out more about you online

Today’s academics are required to have an online presence. This is also true for PhD students.

Your online presence can consist, for instance, of your academic website , or your online university profile. Maybe you also work on a research project that has its own website with information. Whatever you decide to share with your conference audience, make sure that everything is up to date!

Furthermore, it can be useful for your audience to know your ORCID ID to easily access a full list of your publications.

Step 4: Provide your professional social media handles

Not every academic uses social media, and not everyone uses them professionally.

However, if you do, make sure to also point people to – for instance – your Twitter or LinkedIn account.

Step 5: Provide your email address and invite people to reach out

Social media aside, emails remain a key way of communicating in academia. Therefore, make sure to also provide your email address.

Put the actual address on your presentation slides and emphasise that you are happy to connect and receive questions or comments.

Step 6: Emphasize that you are happy to connect and chat after your presentation

Finally, point out that you are happy to connect and chat with people after your presentation. Then, transition to your presentation.

You can of course also decide to include this point at the end of your presentation.

Just don’t assume that people will automatically approach you. Some will, but others won’t. Maybe they are too shy, too hesitant or don’t want to disturb you. Therefore, it is always safer to invite them to approach you.

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Why You Should Consider Presenting at an Education Conference

It can be a great opportunity for teachers to share their expertise and to connect with like-minded educators.

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A colleague and I had been integrating picture books into our middle school science and social studies classrooms and wondered how to share this practice with a wider audience. At a local district conference, a call for proposals opened up, and we decided to submit a proposal. Our proposal got accepted, and we were so excited! The process of submitting the proposal and then giving the presentation was a great way to connect with other educators and share our expertise.

Since 2019, I’ve attended and presented at many different conferences and in many different capacities: as a featured or keynote speaker, a workshop and webinar leader, a panelist, a volunteer, and a listener and learner. Regardless of what I’m doing there, I’m always blown away by how dynamic and powerful our voices are. There’s a common misconception that many education conferences don’t feature many actual educators or people in education, but that couldn’t be further from the truth—there are so many educators who present and share at these conferences. You could be one of them!

Whether it’s a local, regional, district, statewide, or nationwide conference, something amazing happens when you bring your voice to a larger community and showcase your expertise. Additionally, presenting at conferences can have immense benefits for you personally and professionally. However, sometimes it can be challenging getting started with the process of finding a conference and crafting a proposal. Let’s go through the process of thinking about and applying to present at a conference.

Why should you submit a conference proposal?

You can take the opportunity to speak up and speak out. Your voice absolutely matters! People want to hear what you have to say. If a conference is giving you a platform to speak about a passion of yours, consider submitting a proposal.

You can expand your skill set. Presenting at a conference involves skills such as public speaking, working with colleagues outside of your building/district/role, content creation, and content delivery—all things that we already do in our classrooms and schools. However, we can expand on them and share them with a larger audience.

You can participate in unique events. Conferences have many events, such as meals, receptions, community groups, and even affinity groups where you can connect, collaborate with, and learn from the people around you in a more relaxed way. This builds a community of like-minded educators and professionals and can also help you grow your professional learning network. 

Keep finances in mind 

Some conferences can be expensive to attend, regarding travel costs and registration fees. However, there are some conferences that provide free registration to presenters (such as a favorite of mine, IDEAcon ), and there are others that provide free registration for volunteers.

Additionally, there is a possibility that your school, district, or organization may cover travel costs for conferences that are not local or regional; for the very first conference that I attended as a participant, my district paid for my travel and my hotel. It’s important to explore all options to reduce potential costs so that if you’d like to attend, you can make the best financial decision.

Plan Your Proposal

First, check to see the “request for proposals” deadline. All conference proposal windows have deadlines, and if you’re interested in presenting, you don’t want to miss it! The “request for proposals” window for conferences often opens early, so be sure to plan when you’d like to submit yours. If you do miss a deadline, you can reach out to the conference committee; they may be able to extend it for you, but don’t count on it.

Next, see if the conference has any specific themes or requests for content. Some conferences adhere to a certain topic (e.g., literacy, STEM, future-ready skills) for their entire duration; others don’t. If a conference has a theme, it’s definitely a good idea to stick to it.

Then, see if the conference has any specific guidelines for writing the proposal. No two conferences are alike. Some proposal submissions require only an abstract and a title, while others require a full outline and information on the  technology you’ll use to give your presentation. It’s important to see what the conference proposal requires so that you won’t be missing any pieces upon submission. Additionally, some conference proposal websites even offer the rubric that they use to score the sessions. If you see one, definitely take a look at it, so that you know what criteria are used to vet and accept sessions.

Write your proposal

Decide on the presentation format. Many conferences have multiple presentation formats, such as standard presentations (45–50 minutes), creation labs/workshops (90–120 minutes), panels, and even poster sessions. Decide which format would work best for your content. 

Create from the heart. Think about what you’re passionate about and what you’d like to say to a larger audience. This can be focused on a content area, an area of expertise, or an area of interest/study.

Keep learning objectives at the forefront. When you’re writing your presentation, think about what you’d like for the audience to learn during their time with you. I like to segment my presentations into three different parts: opening, action, and closing. During the opening, I introduce myself and the “why” behind the session. During the action, I showcase how to do the concept or work alongside tools. In the closing, I give “next steps” and resources for participants to continue their learning.

There’s power in collaboration. You don’t have to do this alone. If you’d like to present with another person or a group of people that may have shared interests and content, reach out to them and see if they’re interested in creating a shared proposal. I present frequently with friends and colleagues, depending on the circumstances—our voices are stronger together!

Submit your proposal  

When you’re ready, press that submit button! Because no two conferences are the same, deliberation windows vary. However, you’ll typically receive notice of your proposal status via email. If your proposal was accepted, celebrate and plan your presentation! If it was rejected, there’s no harm in reaching out to the conference proposal team for feedback about how to improve your proposal for next time.Also, just because a proposal was rejected at one conference doesn’t mean that it won’t be accepted at another. Continue submitting your proposal to other conferences as applicable, and if you receive feedback on your proposal, consider implementing it.

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NVIDIA GTC 2024: A Glimpse Into the Future of AI With Jensen Huang

NVIDIA’s GTC 2024 AI conference will set the stage for another leap forward in AI.

At the heart of this highly anticipated event: the opening keynote by Jensen Huang , NVIDIA’s visionary founder and CEO, who speaks on Monday, March 18, at 1 p.m. Pacific, at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

Planning Your GTC Experience

There are two ways to watch.

Register to attend GTC in person to secure a spot for an immersive experience at the SAP Center. The center is a short walk from the San Jose Convention Center, where the rest of the conference takes place. Doors open at 11 a.m., and badge pickup starts at 10:30 a.m.

The keynote will also be livestreamed at www.nvidia.com/gtc/keynote/ .

Whether attending in person or virtually, commit to joining us all week. GTC is more than just a conference. It’s a gateway to the next wave of AI innovations.

  • Transforming AI: Hear more from Huang as he discusses the origins and impact of transformer neural network architecture with its creators and industry pioneers. He’ll host a panel with all eight authors of the legendary 2017 paper that introduced the concept of transformers: Ashish Vaswani, Noam Shazeer, Niki Parmar, Jakob Uszkoreit, Llion Jones, Aidan N. Gomez, Lukasz Kaiser, and Illia Polosukhin.Wed., March 20, 11-11:50 a.m. Pacific.
  • Join Visionaries Transforming Our World: Hear from leaders such as xAI cofounder Igor Babuschkin ; Microsoft Vice President of GenAI Sebastian Bubeck , Stanford University’s Fei-Fei Li ,  Meta Vice President of AI Research Joelle Pineau ; OpenAI Chief Operating Officer Brad LightCap ; Adept AI founder and CEO David Luan ; Waabi f ounder and CEO Raquel Urtasun ; Mistral CEO Arthur Mensch ; and many others at the forefront of AI across various industries.
  • Be Part of What Comes Next: Engage from March 17-21 in workshops and peer networking and connect with the experts. This year’s session catalog is packed with topics covering everything from robotics to generative AI, showcasing real-world applications and the latest in AI innovation.
  • Stay Connected: Tune in online to engage with the event and fellow attendees using #GTC24 on social media.

With visionary speakers and a comprehensive program covering the essentials of AI and computing, GTC promises to be an enlightening experience for all.

Don’t miss your chance to be at the forefront of AI’s evolution. Register now .

NVIDIA websites use cookies to deliver and improve the website experience. See our cookie policy for further details on how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings.

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NeurIPS 2023, the Thirty-seventh Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, will be held again at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Sunday Dec 10 through Saturday Dec 16. Sunday is an industry expo.

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Pricing » Registration 2023 Registration Cancellation Policy » . Certificate of Attendance

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Events that stream and are available virtually:

Affinity Workshops, Competitions, Invited Talks, Oral Test Of Time, Town Hall, Tutorials, Workshops

Events that do not stream:

Creative AI, Expo Day, Mentorship, Poster Sessions, Socials.

Start Here Schedule Invited Talks Orals Posters Tutorials Affinity Events Socials Paper Visualization Town Hall Competitions Workshops Virtual Affinity Poster Sessions Tue Dec 9

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Important dates.

If you have questions about supporting the conference, please contact us .

View NeurIPS 2023 exhibitors » Become an 2024 Exhibitor Exhibitor Info »

Organizing Committee

General chair, program chair, workshop chair, workshop chair assistant, tutorial chair, competition chair, datasets and benchmarks chair, affinity workshop chair, diversity, inclusion & accessibility chair, expo chairs, outreach chair, ethics review chair, program chair assistant, communication chair, social chair, journal chair, creative ai chairs, hybrid workflow chair, workflow manager, volunteer managers, logistics and it, mission statement.

The Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to foster the exchange of research advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, principally by hosting an annual interdisciplinary academic conference with the highest ethical standards for a diverse and inclusive community.

About the Conference

The conference was founded in 1987 and is now a multi-track interdisciplinary annual meeting that includes invited talks, demonstrations, symposia, and oral and poster presentations of refereed papers. Along with the conference is a professional exposition focusing on machine learning in practice, a series of tutorials, and topical workshops that provide a less formal setting for the exchange of ideas.

More about the Neural Information Processing Systems foundation »

Reflecting on 30 Years of Warcraft - Blizzard Reveals Subscriber Trends at GDC

Comment by otom.

TBC and Wrath did absolutely nothing according to these charts?

Comment by Solovrinne

TBC and Wrath did absolutely nothing according to these charts? Or the users playing retail were so low that TBC/Wrath was the only thing keeping subscriber counts from dropping even lower.

Comment by Steehl

TBC and Wrath did absolutely nothing according to these charts? I think it's just how the graph is laid out vs the images above. The little bump mid 2021 is TBC Classic's release date, and then WotLK Classic was a mere 2 months before Dragonflight's launch, so you could attribute part of the ramp up into Dragonflight as part of WotLK Classic's effect

Comment by Aristophane

Graph is already out of date, after blunderstorm the sub numbers are going back to late Shadowlands numbers

Comment by Poetthepriest

Been playing Warcraft games since the late 90s. The Korthia patch was the closest to a "WoW killer" that I have ever seen. It was Game of Thrones Season 8 in that it wasn't just a bad quality product in itself, it went further and actively made you feel worse about the content that came before. You can't watch Game of Thrones Season 1 now without feeling worse because now you know what comes later. Of course, the above could be said about Shadowlands in general. But Korthia was the lowest point. And it happened around the time that all the allegations about harassment among Blizz employees became big news, too. People simple got it through their heads that the Blizzard they knew and loved is gone, and it had been replaced by something cynical and exploitative, or worse.

Comment by Rasaric

They diminished more than just specific characters. They destroyed an entire playable race. If they want to fix the setting, the first thing they need to do is put Sylvanas back in charge of the Forsaken as the Banshee Queen so a playable race that's been in the game since Vanilla can have their identity back.

Comment by Soulebreaker

Sad to see that TBC Classic didn't perform well. That was my favorite expac. But it is good to see WoW doing well overall.

Comment by Wowvocate

TLDR: Shadowlands really was that bad.

Comment by keratheen

Graph is already out of date, after blunderstorm the sub numbers are going back to late Shadowlands numbers nice try for funny joke

They diminished more than just specific characters. They destroyed an entire playable race. If they want to fix the setting, the first thing they need to do is put Sylvanas back in charge of the Forsaken as the Banshee Queen so a playable race that's been in the game since Vanilla can have their identity back. HUH?

Comment by SinR

I'm glad they acknowledged they ^&*!ed up with Jailer from a story perspective. The lead up being Sylvanas' heel turn, tearing the barrier between the Mortal Plane and the Shadowlands asunder... All so some dude that just showed up out of nowhere, that's supposedly been pulling the strings from THE VERY VERY VERY BEGINNING OF WARCRAFT LORE... can try to unite the cosmos against this bigger bad guy that's supposedly coming.

They diminished more than just specific characters. They destroyed an entire playable race. If they want to fix the setting, the first thing they need to do is put Sylvanas back in charge of the Forsaken as the Banshee Queen so a playable race that's been in the game since Vanilla can have their identity back. HUH? TL;DR "i miss my Waifu"

Comment by TwoTastyTicTacs

Graph is already out of date, after blunderstorm the sub numbers are going back to late Shadowlands numbers lol, nothing kills a game like salty comments.. been peppering wow with them for nearly 20 years

Comment by Caerule

Honestly I'm very glad to see a lot of those points laid out. Especially about the Jailer being a complete husk of a character, in so many ways.

Comment by MaximusPM

I liked SL.

Comment by CrusaderNINE

They diminished more than just specific characters. They destroyed an entire playable race. If they want to fix the setting, the first thing they need to do is put Sylvanas back in charge of the Forsaken as the Banshee Queen so a playable race that's been in the game since Vanilla can have their identity back. HUH? TL;DR "i miss my Waifu" She IS my waifu and I DO miss her.

Graph is already out of date, after blunderstorm the sub numbers are going back to late Shadowlands numbers Even if you hate the Plunderstorm event experiment, it's important to realize it's Bonus Content . The Content Dead Zone would normally be now. Sometimes there could be a year of no new content whatsoever, as we await the next expansion. If you think giving us nothing to do would be better for the subscriber numbers than giving optional content not everyone is a fan of, I just can't grasp your reasoning.

Comment by WolfQueen

They diminished more than just specific characters. They destroyed an entire playable race. If they want to fix the setting, the first thing they need to do is put Sylvanas back in charge of the Forsaken as the Banshee Queen so a playable race that's been in the game since Vanilla can have their identity back. HUH? The nonsense with Telrassil is my assumption. Nearly killing off Nelves and trying to paint the for Forsaken wholly as "misunderstood". Tyrande and Malfurion should've been able to kill Sylvanas and put her body up for display, but no they had to give her some sort of bull "redemption story" while making the Alliance/Light out to be the baddies. 🙄 (And don't get me started on the Zovaal drivel.) WoW needs better storytelling and the original grimdark theme back.

Comment by Naturalna

Sad to see that TBC Classic didn't perform well. That was my favorite expac. But it is good to see WoW doing well overall. Maybe it did, maybe the retail tanked and only TBC held it up...

Comment by maslinastocrvena

I'd love to know what portion of players is around, like me, only due to sunk-cost fallacy

Presentations at the International Conference on Planets, Exoplanets, and Habitability

The conference was held in Ahmedabad, India from 2/5-9/24. Alka Rani (ST13) delivered an oral presentation during the conference, elucidating the evolutionary dynamics of the Martian interior through surficial geochemical analyses of secular volcanism. The presentation, “Evolution of Martian Volcanism and Lithosphere: Geochemical Insights from Noachian to Amazonian Volcanic Terrains” was delivered in person. {Co-authors: Amit Basu Sarbadhikari1, Yash Srivastava1, Lujendra Ojha2, Heidi Fuqua Haviland3, and Suniti Karunatillake4; (1Physical Research Laboratory, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, India; 2Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA; 3NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, USA; and 4Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA)}.

Furthermore, Rani collaborated with Amit Basu Sarbadhikari at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India. This collaborative effort focused on deliberations and finalizations concerning various bulk silicate models of Mars, which serve as fundamental inputs for ongoing research work.

Alka Rani 1

Figure 1: (Left) Alka Rani presenting her work at the ICPEH-2024 conference. (Right) Discussion and interaction with students about their work during the poster session at ICEPH-2024.

More From Forbes

Wwdc 2024 date: exactly when apple will reveal iphone, mac and ipad software.

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Apple’s annual developers’ shindig is the World Wide Developers Conference, universally referred to as WWDC or DubDub for that extra dash of intimacy. It’s always held in June, even if Covid is disrupting the world. But when and where, precisely, will it take place this year, when will it be announced, and what format should we expect?

Tim Cook introduces WWDC at Apple Park in June 2023.

Announcement Date

Apple tends to announce the date of WWDC around now. In fact, apart from the last three years, the announcement of the date would usually have been made by now.

However, in 2021 and last year, it revealed the date in the last couple of days in March, and in 2022, it made its announcement in early April. In other words, the dates will be confirmed any day now. But until then…

When Will WWDC 2024 Be?

WWDC will be in early June. It always is—unless there’s a pandemic, which, fingers crossed, won’t apply this year. In 2020, Covid-19 pushed the dates to late June, but in the years before or after, it’s always been in June, in the first full week, beginning on a Monday and running to Friday.

Which Means?

On that basis, it should follow the same dates as in 2019, that is, Monday, June 3 to Friday, June 7. I’d say that could be the dates we should expect. But it’s also possible that it could be the week after, running Monday, June 10 to Friday, June 14. That’s not that late for WWDC, which in previous years has finished as late as June 11.

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 05: Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi ... [+] speaks before the start of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at its headquarters on June 05, 2023 in Cupertino, California. Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the annual WWDC23 developer conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024

Best 5% interest savings accounts of 2024, what format will it take.

Since 2020, WWDC has taken a new form. In that year, the keynote was pre-recorded and there were no in-person attendees. That was a big break from how things had happened before when thousands of people crowded into a large auditorium to watch the keynote live.

Every keynote since has been recorded, but in the last two years Apple has increased the number of attendees in Cupertino. While still only a fraction of the pre-Covid years, last year’s numbers were much higher than the year before.

I believe it will be the same this year: recorded keynote, teed up by Tim Cook and Craig Federighi live on stage in Apple Park. And there will be some attendees, including VIPS, press and staff as well as a small number of attendees.

Time Of Day

Apple always times its keynotes for 10 a.m. local time. That means Pacific Daylight Time.

As soon as it’s officially announced, I’ll be reporting on it.

David Phelan

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    What core principles do the best conference presentations share?. In a survey by Kelton Global:. 90% of people questioned for a felt a solid narrative is key; 55% of respondents agreed a good story holds their concentration throughout presentations better than anything else; And 33% say visual stimulation is absolutely necessary to keep them engaged.; Narrative drive and concrete themes are ...

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    A conference presentation is an opportunity for people to communicate with a large audience of like-minded individuals typically congregating around a common interest or topic. A conference can vary in length from a one, full day event, all the way up to a week-long program. Conferences are usually a great opportunity for these like-minded ...

  9. A Guide to Conference Presentations

    A Guide to Conference Presentations. Giving a presentation at an academic conference can be both stressful and rewarding. While it's incredibly helpful to get feedback and insights on your project from other researchers in your field, it can also be intimidating to hold your work up for scrutiny from others. Today we're going to share some tips ...

  10. Academic Conference Presentations: A Step-by-Step Guide

    About this book. This book provides a step-by-step journey to giving a successful academic conference presentation, taking readers through all of the potential steps along the way—from the initial idea and the abstract submission all the way up to the presentation itself. Drawing on the author's own experiences, the book highlights good and ...

  11. How to Give a Good Conference Presentation

    A conference presentation where the speaker articulates clearly, speaks not too slowly nor too fast, has attempted to find out how words are pronounced, and makes an attempt not to read out the slides but to talk to actual living beings in the audience is always a pleasure, no matter how non-native the English sounds. ...

  12. 26: First-time conference presentation? 17 tips

    Giving a poster presentation is the classical way of how young researchers get acquainted with conferences (for suggestions on how to do this properly, check our blog post #15: 5 smart strategies to get most out of conference posters"). However, going on a conference and presenting a paper is another story all together!

  13. Tips for Presenting at an Education Conference

    1. Tailor Your Presentation to Your Audience. This is a crucial step that all presenters should take. Speaking to educators is different from speaking to school leadership, and speaking to school leadership is different from speaking to a group of students. Regardless of whom you are speaking to, understanding the audience attending the ...

  14. PDF Tips for Presenting Your Research at Conferences

    Outline of Conference Presentation Results (3-4 slides). Present key results of study or data analysis. Don't superficially cover all results; cover key results well. Summary (1 slide). Future work (0-1 slides). Optionally give problems this research opens up. Total of 10-15 slides depending on time.

  15. Oral Presentation Structure

    Oral Presentation Structure. Like scientific papers, oral presentations at a conference or internal seminar are for sharing your research work with other scientists. They, too, must convince the ...

  16. Paper Presentation in an Academic Conference

    The key to an effective conference presentation lies in being well-prepared. Here are a few tips that will make the process smoother for you: 1. Write your paper with the audience in mind: A conference paper should be different from a journal article. Remember that your paper is meant to be heard, not read.

  17. How To Present Effectively At Conferences

    If you pay attention to five key things, you can take your conference presentation from a wasted opportunity to a profitable one. 1. Be laser-focused on solving your audience's problem. Your ...

  18. Tips for oral presentations at scientific meetings and conferences

    Tips for the actual real-life presentation. If you've but the time into creating a well-organized presentation and have practiced, even a little bit, you will be fine. Before the presentation: If you're speaking as part of a symposium, familiarize yourself with the other speakers (and their research) in the panel and at the conference in ...

  19. Create a Conference Presentation

    Common types of conference presentations. Full paper - The length of a full paper is variable, usually between 20 and 40 min, and rarely exceeds one hour.A full paper may be followed by question time. Short paper - This type of conference presentation can be as short as 10 min, and very often it is one in a series of short papers in a 1- or 2-hour session on a particular conference sub-topic ...

  20. How to deliver an oral presentation

    Giving an oral presentation at a scientific conference is an almost inevitable task at some point during your medical career. The prospect of presenting your original work to colleagues and peers, however, may be intimidating, and it can be difficult to know how to approach it. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that although daunting, an ...

  21. How to introduce yourself in a conference presentation (in six simple

    Why effective introductions during academic conference presentations matter. Step 1: State your full name, position and your university affiliation. Example. Step 2: Explain your research area and focus in 2-3 sentences. Example. Step 3: Tell people where they can find out more about you online. Example. Step 4: Provide your professional social ...

  22. PDF Writing an Abstract for a Conference Presentation

    a Conference Presentation Undergraduate Research Hub. What is an Abstract? •"The abstract is a brief, clear summary of the information in your presentation. A well-prepared abstract enables readers to identify the basic content quickly and accurately, to determine its

  23. Presenting at Education Conferences

    Write your proposal. Decide on the presentation format. Many conferences have multiple presentation formats, such as standard presentations (45-50 minutes), creation labs/workshops (90-120 minutes), panels, and even poster sessions. Decide which format would work best for your content. Create from the heart.

  24. NVIDIA GTC 2024: A Glimpse Into the Future of AI With Jensen Huang

    NVIDIA's GTC 2024 AI conference will set the stage for another leap forward in AI.. At the heart of this highly anticipated event: the opening keynote by Jensen Huang, NVIDIA's visionary founder and CEO, who speaks on Monday, March 18, at 1 p.m. Pacific, at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

  25. NeurIPS 2023

    The conference was founded in 1987 and is now a multi-track interdisciplinary annual meeting that includes invited talks, demonstrations, symposia, and oral and poster presentations of refereed papers. Along with the conference is a professional exposition focusing on machine learning in practice, a series of tutorials, and topical workshops ...

  26. Reflecting on 30 Years of Warcraft

    During a Games Developer Conference lecture reflecting on 30 years of Warcraft, Senior Vice President and Warcraft Franchise General Manager John Hight shared World of Warcraft subscriber trends from Legion through Dragonflight, noting the successes, failures, and changes made to course correct dwindling numbers following Shadowlands.

  27. Heron Therapeutics Announces Presentation at the 23rd Annual ...

    SAN DIEGO, March 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Heron Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: HRTX), a commercial-stage biotechnology company, today announced that Craig Collard, Chief Executive Officer of Heron, will participate in a fireside chat on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, at 11:00 AM ET at the 23 rd Annual Needham Virtual Healthcare Conference. The conference is being held in a virtual format, April 8-11 ...

  28. Presentations at the International Conference on Planets, Exoplanets

    The conference was held in Ahmedabad, India from 2/5-9/24. Alka Rani (ST13) delivered an oral presentation during the conference, elucidating the evolutionary dynamics of the Martian interior through surficial geochemical analyses of secular volcanism. The presentation, "Evolution of Martian Volcanism and Lithosphere: Geochemical Insights ...

  29. WWDC 2024 Date: Exactly When Apple Will Reveal iPhone, Mac And ...

    Apple's annual developers' shindig is the World Wide Developers Conference, universally referred to as WWDC or DubDub for that extra dash of intimacy. It's always held in June, even if Covid ...

  30. Alcoa 1st Quarter 2024 Earnings Presentation & Conference Call

    Conference ID: 4708948 To avoid delay in start time, please dial in beginning at 4:45 p.m. EDT. Replay Information: A telephone replay of the call will be available at approximately 8:00 p.m. EDT on April 17, 2024 until April 24, 2024. Replay: +1 (877) 344-7529 (Domestic) +1 (412) 317-0088 (International)