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. In particular, limit your time spent on background info (your own & your institution’s) to only what is necessary to setup the specifics of your topic.
2) Use your time (fifty minutes) effectively
You have fifty 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 after just thirty minutes. Participants are looking for a clear, useful session in the time allotted. Practice your entire presentation to make sure you have the timing down, but also be ready to (discretely) discard certain, less important, details if time runs short. Do not forget to include time for questions within your fifty minutes.
3) Questions should be thoughtfully addressed
Pay attention to audience responses to what you are saying 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 ahead of time that you will take all questions at the end.
Regardless of when you take 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.
4) Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice your presentation in advance, 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; that can tend to make for a robotic presentation.
5) If you have multiple presenters, make sure you are organized
If there are multiple presenters for your session, plan ahead of time how you will transition smoothly amongst yourselves and when you will do so (e.g., Sarah presents during slides 1-10; Joe presents during slides 11-17 but Sam will make a quick explanatory comment on slide 14, etc).
6) A room coordinator is there to help; be sure to utilize them when needed
A room coordinator—a volunteer from the local committee—will be available in each room to introduce you, call for technical assistance if needed, collect the session evaluation forms that LOEX will later mail to you, and help with any other task you might have (e.g., assist with passing out worksheets during an Interactive Workshop). If you would like the coordinator to say anything in the introduction beyond your name, institution, and the session's title (e.g., some additional research you have performed), please just let them know.
7) All rooms have a podium microphone, so be sure to use it
A podium microphone is in all rooms. That means that the expectation is that you will use it. It is important that all presenters be heard clearly by the entire audience especially those who might be hard of hearing. Make sure to let the attendees know they should raise their hand if they cannot hear you clearly, so mic volume can be adjusted, if necessary.