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Best Practices: LOEX 2015 Breakout Sessions

1. Clearly present what you promised
Attendees select which sessions to attend by reading the abstract you provided, so be sure to present what is stated in your abstract! The same is true of your learning outcomes. Don't wander too far off topic or you may lose your audience.

2. Use your time (fifty minutes) effectively
You have 50 minutes for your session. If you try to cram in too much material, you may have to leave out some key points or findings. Alternatively, you do not want be completely done at the 30 minute mark. Participants are looking for a clear, useful session in the time allotted. Practice your entire presentation but also be ready to discard selected details if time runs short. Do not forget to leave time for questions, either interspersed throughout your session or at the end.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice your presentation in advance, and in front of an audience if possible. Anticipate key questions ahead of time and have an answer prepared. Know your material so well that you will not need to rely on a script. At the same time, do not try to memorize every word of your presentation. 

4. PowerPoint 

If you use PowerPoint, do not fill your slides with text. Instead, use visuals like graphs, photographs and other images, which can make your presentation eye-catching and interesting, to emphasize your most important points. Use text only when it provides real value to the attendee. 

5. Interact with your audience

Pay attention to audience responses and adjust your presentation accordingly. Your audience may feel more engaged if you feel comfortable taking questions throughout your presentation. If you don't, however, explain that you will take all questions at the end. 

6. Introductions by room coordinator 

A room coordinator, a volunteer from the local committee, will be available to introduce you, call for technical assistance if needed and collect the evaluation forms that LOEX will later mail to you. If you would like the coordinator to say anything in the introduction beyond your name, job title and institution (e.g., some additional research you have performed) and the session's title, please just let them know.

7. Multiple presenters

If there are multiple presenters, consider how you will switch smoothly among yourselves and how much time it will take to shift from section to section of your presentation.  

8. Repeat questions

Before answering, always repeat the question posed to you as you understand it. This helps assure that you fully understand the question and assures that audience members have heard it also. And it gives you a chance to formulate a complete answer.

Questions? Please contact Lyda Ellis at