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Presenter Information

General Information for Presenters
  • Sessions are 75 minutes long.  If you are on a panel with 4 presenters, plan to speak for 10-12 minutes to allow time for discussion and questions at the end.
  • Know the time and location of your session. If possible, visit the room prior to your talk so you have a sense of the space.
  • Arrive at the assigned room as early as you can and set up quickly to allow the session to start on time.
  • End your session on time – exceeding time makes it harder for the next set of presenters to prepare for their session, and causes your attendees to arrive late to their next session.
  • When presenting, talk at a normal speaking rate, loudly enough for those in the back of the room to hear. Vary your speech patterns to avoid a monotone presentation.
  • Even if reading a paper, make every effort to look at your audience and engage them in your presentation.
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  • Do not exceed your time – doing so negatively impacts the others in the session. Practice your presentation prior to the conference to ensure that you are able to cover desired material in the allotted time.
  • If your session includes discussion or questions, ensure that those speaking take turns so that attendees can focus on the contributions of one participant at a time.
  • Take care that sounds from your session do not negatively affect other sessions occurring in adjoining rooms.
  • Expect that session attendees will be interested in talking to you further about your work – come prepared with business cards or other materials that can help others contact you after the conference.
  • If you are unable to make your presentation, either find a colleague to share your materials, or inform the moderator of your absence.

Accessibility Considerations

NWSA is committed to making arrangements that allow all members of the association to participate in the annual meeting.
  • Speakers are asked to bring five copies of their papers, even in draft form, for the use of members who wish to follow the written text. Speakers who use handouts should prepare some copies in a large-print format (Sans-serif  font, 16-point type size). Speakers should indicate whether they want their papers and handouts returned.
  • If engaging in experiential activities make sure you have planned for the inclusion of all, regardless of physical abilities.
  • When speaking, position your face at an angle that allows participants to read your lips. Avoid speaking while facing away from the audience, or while looking down at papers or screens.
  • NWSA asks that all presenters and attendees refrain from wearing perfumes and other scented products while participating in conference activities.
  • Consider making it possible for attendees to obtain an electronic version that allows for type size adjustments or use of text readers (creating audio from written text).

Presenting a Paper
  • Presenting a paper does not mean simply reading your paper. Ideas that are clearly, and perhaps cleverly, communicated in writing may not always appear so when presented aurally. Practice the presentation to ensure that your ideas can be communicated well in the conference format.
  • You will not be able to share everything you know about your subject in the time allotted. Your goal should be to highlight the most interesting aspects of your work, and to create enough interest in your topic to encourage the audience members to seek out your completed paper for additional information.
  • Make sure you have a strong opening and closing to your talk, and have identified some body material that can be eliminated should you find yourself short on time. Do not sacrifice the closing since this is the summative information about your work.
  • It takes about 2 minutes to read a double-spaced page, so a 7-8 page paper would yield a 15 minute presentation. Plan your time wisely, taking into consideration the number of panelists and the desire for post-presentation discussion.
  • Be careful with the amount of editorializing you do during your presentation – time taken for this commentary may lengthen your talk if you timed your discussion based on your written work.
  • Consider printing your paper in 16-point font so it will be easy for you to read; you may wish to mark pauses and points of emphasis so you can note them with your voice.
  • Prepare yourself for questions: allow for disagreement and do not be afraid to say “I don’t know,” or “That’s a point I hadn’t considered.”

Use of Audiovisual Equipment
  • Audio-visual equipment will be assigned to rooms and sessions based on requests submitted via the Call for Proposals. Although there will be technicians on hand to ensure that the requested audio-visual equipment is available and working properly, it is the presenter’s responsibility to know how to use the equipment they have requested.
  • If using computers, projectors, or other similar items, make sure to work with the moderator and other presenters to ensure that the flow of the session is planned in a manner that allows a quick transition from speaker to speaker regardless of equipment used.
  • Although one hopes not to need it, create a back-up plan in case the audio-visual portion of the presentation cannot be used (i.e. disc error, faulty equipment, etc).