Guidelines for Oral Presentations
Presentations are often enhanced by using presentation software or handouts to highlight the main aspects of your topic. If your presentation was created on a Mac, be sure to bring the adaptor. If you choose to use a handout, keep it short, strictly relevant to the topic covered, and easily understood. Bring sufficient copies (generally 20-25) and arrange for their distribution with the moderator.
Present your completed oral presentation at least one time in front of a live audience. They will provide the best barometer of the effectiveness of your argumentation and help you judge the speed and length of delivery. Above all else, make certain that your paper will be delivered in the time allotted. About 7-8 double-spaced pages in Courier 10 font can be read in 15 minutes at an understandable pace. It is both rude and unprofessional when one person exceeds the allotted time.
Well in advance of your presentation, check the room where it will be presented to make sure that it has everything you will need. Meet with the moderator and other presenters at least 10 minutes before the session. Arrange for someone to distribute your handouts. Sit with other presenters near the front. Remember that this is an oral presentation. Make every effort to engage your audience by maintaining eye contact, modulating your voice, and employing a lively delivery.
Do not attempt to compensate for a long text by reading fast. Also, clearly indicate when you are finishing (e.g., by saying "thank you"). If you have finished on time, there will be an opportunity for the moderator to ask the audience for questions or comments. If so, remain at the podium to field these questions. The moderator remains in charge of calling on individuals and controlling the time. Stay for the entire session. It is important to give each person presenting undivided attention and support. Leaving before or during a presentation can disrupt the presenter and is inconsiderate. It is also a good idea to have 10 copies of your paper available for interested individuals after your presentation.
Submitting an abstract is a commitment to attend the symposium and to deliver the paper or present the poster as accepted. If for any reason you cannot attend, you must immediately notify your sponsor and the chair of the symposium and provide an explanation. At a minimum, arrange to have someone else deliver the paper; anything less is unprofessional.
Adapted from: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 4th Ed. Washington, 1994. and "A Guide for Presenters of Professional Papers." Classical Association of the Middle West and South. No date.