Writing and Presenting a Conference Paper - From Attending to Presenting at Conferences - Conference Proposals and Article Types

Writing for Publication: Transitions and Tools that Support Scholars’ Success - Mary Renck Jalongo, Olivia N. Saracho 2016

Writing and Presenting a Conference Paper
From Attending to Presenting at Conferences
Conference Proposals and Article Types

Even if a conference does not require the submission of the full paper, many academic authors choose to write one anyway to serve as a guide for their presentation (Happell, 2009). In some instances, paper presentations are selected to be published as conference proceedings. These papers may be a synopsis that is three to five pages or a full-length paper. In most cases, these papers are peer reviewed in advance of the meeting so it is very important to meet the deadlines in order to give others the opportunity to complete their reviews. If, for example, a research paper has been clustered into a small group by the conference planning committee, a chair or discussant will need to read all of the papers prior to the event. Many times, four presenters will have just 10 min apiece to share the highlights of their research with the remaining 20 min for discussion and questions. It is very important that everyone adhere to the time limits; otherwise, a person who traveled to the conference may not have a chance to speak at all (Table 4.5).

Table 4.5

General guidelines for presenting a conference paper

1. If at all possible, check in early and pick up your presenter’s packet. Often there is a separate line at the registration desk for presenters. Some conferences will not allow you to enter the presenters’ area without your conference badge

2. Give a paper when you have something to say and can make a commitment to producing the paper on the timeline and in the format required of the specific conference

3. Instead of trying to “cover” everything, pull out key talking points. Those who want more detail can contact you. Practice your presentation not only for substance but also for style and adherence to the time limit

4. Most audiences have a low tolerance for papers read aloud. They will appreciate it if you speak directly to them rather than relying heavily on written text. Stand up to speak and move about the room somewhat rather than sit motionless—unless it is clear that you are expected to remain seated

5. Adhere to the specified time limit out of courtesy to other presenters and participants

6. Be enthusiastic and enjoy the attention given to your work

7. Be sure of the time, day and room assignment of your presentation—last-minute changes are sometimes made to the program

8. Double check the amount of time you have to speak and locate the room where your session is scheduled in advance

9. Do not put all of your spoken text on PowerPoint slides: this makes the presenter redundant. Text on a PowerPoint slide should be legible to the audience; this means at least 24-point print and not more than about 6 points per slide

10. Locate your room and double-check all AV equipment before your session begins

11. Learn to field questions expertly

12. Remember that participants are mainly interested in your findings and the implications; allocate the most time to that (Garaffa & Brians, 2011; Hardicre, Coad, & Devitt, 2007)