NOTES TO PRESENTERS
1. When presenting a paper it is essential to consider the type of audience you will be addressing. Who are they? Are they experts in your field, scientists with an interest in the topic or non-technical people who need to understand the general idea of what you are doing.
2. Having determined your audience the next step is to decide what you want to tell them. In planning your presentation you must first answer the question 'why do I want to talk to these people?' Are you presenting scientific findings in order to persuade the audience to make a policy decision, to review your research grant or simply to explain your research to colleagues?
3. The purpose of a presentation is to make the audience want to understand more about your subject, and in turn want to discover more afterwards. For example, at a conference, you should assume that people have not read your paper (which is normally the case), so you should try to make them want to read it. Remember that at many conferences, there are many people prepared to provide support for your research; show them that you can deliver the products. Remember always that the audience will not know the subject as well as you.
4. Under no circumstances should you read your paper. Even if English is not your first language it is always a mistake to read.
5. Remember always that people have paid to attend the conference and that they will complain to the organizers if they do not find the event worthwhile. This will result in less support for the conference and less opportunities for you to present your work in the future. The success of the meeting depends on you.
6. You may wish to improve your presentation by encouraging the audience to ask questions during your presentation. If you decide to do so, please ask permission from the Session Chairmen as sometimes this will not be possible as it may disrupt the session schedule. You should be careful in these cases not to be sidetracked or overrun the time allocated for your paper.
7. Structure your presentation in a similar way to your written paper. First introduce yourself and the presentation, then move to the main body of the paper. This should start by describing the problem to be addressed, then explain the technique used and follow with the results of your study. Having done that, draw your conclusions and describe future work if relevant. Stress to your audience the significance of your work, the new developments that you have discovered and the main aspects of your work.
8. Practice your presentation in front of people who do not understand your work.
9. Be sure that you keep to the schedule and always allow 3 - 5 minutes for questions and discussions. The timing is important as you may be cut off by a forceful Chairman before you have presented your results and conclusions.
10. Your presentation will be greatly enhanced with the use of good visual aids. Your aim should be to make your presentation as easy to follow as possible.
i. Try to use landscape format where possible which is similar to the human vision. Avoid vertical slides and transparencies.
ii. Use colour wherever possible.
iii. Put your organization's name at the bottom corners of each slide and maybe your own name.
iv. The first slide should have the name of your presentation, your name and possibly the conference name and date.
v. Do not use too many equations. The audience can always read them in the paper if necessary.
vi. Have between 3 - 5 points per slide. More than 5 is too many and you should use a second slide.
vii. Allow 2 - 3 minutes per slide and remember to pause so the audience can read the whole slide. Do not block part of the slide or transparency (i.e. by standing in front of the projector or by design (if you wish to present parts of it later on).
viii. Remember that a picture or graph is very informative.Check beforehand that your visual aids are of good quality and that they can be read from a distance.
ix. Turn the slide and overhead projectors off if they are not being used for your presentation.
x. Use the pointer as much as possible and always try to face the audience as much as possible.
11. Let the organizers know well in advance if you are planning to use other visual aids such as video tapes or computer display terminals. In some cases if they are told in advance they may be able to provide better facilities.
12. Also let the organizers know well in advance if you will require to screen simultaneously or to use special projection facilities. Do not assume that they will be available as a matter of course or that they can be found at short notice. Make sure your visual aids are coordinated with the conference visual aids well before the session. Meet your session Chairman at least 10 minutes before the session starts.
NOTES TO CHAIRMEN OF SESSIONS
1. Approach speakers at least 10 minutes before the session starts.
2. Insist on good timing and be prepared to enforce it. Agree with the speakers on timing signals before the presentation.
3. Pay attention to the speaker, not the paper. Your job is to manage the proceedings, stimulate questions and control the discussion If necessary repeat questions so that the rest of the audience can hear them. As Chairman, the questions should in theory be addressed to you.
4. Be prepared to suggest that discussions should be continued during the breaks.5. Remember that you are there to help the speaker and the audience, not yourself. Therefore, if you ask a question, aim it to stimulate the discussion as well as answer your particular interest.