Best Practices for Presenting:
1) Clearly present what you promised
- Attendees choose which sessions to attend by reading the session title, abstract, and learning outcomes that you provided, so be sure to present what you stated! Don't wander too far off topic or you may lose your audience.
2) Use your time effectively
- You have sixty 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 to be completely done at the thirty minute mark. Participants are looking for a clear, useful session in the time allotted. Practice your entire presentation but also be ready to (discretely) discard certain, less important, details if time runs short. Do not forget to include time for questions.
3) Practice, Practice, Practice
- Practice your presentation in advance (ideally in Zoom). 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; that can tend to make for a robotic presentation.
4) Questions should be thoughtfully addressed, and not just at the very end
- In addition to allowing for questions at the end of your presentation, put one "Question Break" slide at a natural break point somewhere in the middle your presentation materials. Also, before answering, always repeat the question posed to you as you understand it: this helps assure that you fully understand the question, lets the audience know which question you are acknowledging, and also gives you a chance to formulate a complete answer.
5) Use the polling feature wisely
- While polling is a great way to engage your audience, be thoughtful and deliberate in your placement of polls, avoiding overuse. Zoom’s polling feature works much better when polls are preloaded into the system prior to the start of the session, so please work with your LOEX host to do so during your prep time if you choose to have polls.
6) On the day of your presentation, login 30 minutes ahead of your session
- This is critical as it allows you to work with a LOEX host, who will be monitoring your session, to identify any unexpected issues (e.g., your mic not working) ahead of time.
7) There is no need to mention if this is your first online conference presentation and/or if you’re “going to see how this goes.”
- There is no need to state any caveats or excuses before your session -- you know the material and have prepared to present it an online format, so expect that the session will go well.
8) Limit your time spent on background info (your & your institution’s) to only what is absolutely necessary to setup the specifics of your topic
- On the flip side, if you have specific examples of what you did (e.g., workshops, courses) that you plan on covering, make sure you have enough time for that—people are interested in what YOU did, not necessarily covering general background/theory, unless it is required and/or new.