HomeAlt ConferenceAltc2013Guidelines for Presenters

Guidelines for Presenters

We have drawn up these guidelines to help you and your audience get the most out of your session at altc2013 in September.

To download a PDF copy of these guidelines please click here 

Introduction

Thank you for presenting at altc2013!

There are a few preliminaries to attend to before the conference:

1. Preparing any slides needed for your event.

2. Preparing for your session, including liaising, through the conference website, with the session chair, who is responsible for running your session, and who will be in contact with you if you do not contact her or him yourself. (Note that details of the conference website including login information will be distributed separately prior to the conference.)

We also include some guidelines for presenting at the conference, and these are discussed in detail below for the various kinds of presentation at the conference. 

For reference, a session usually contains more than one or more presentations grouped to have some coherence of theme. In a few cases, especially where authors have asked to have their presentation moved to a specific day or slot, the coherence may be rather weak.

Session chairs are normally members of the conference’s Programme Committee or other volunteers, and are responsible for the smooth running of sessions, including introducing sessions and presenters, ensuring that contributors keep to time, helping sequence questions, and wrapping up the session to bring it to a good conclusion for both the presenters and the audience. The chair of your session will be given on a later version of the programme. You can access the latest version of the timetable here.

If you will be unable to present at the conference, or if you have any questions about these guidelines please contact Anna Davidge anna.davidge@alt.ac.uk

General presentation guidance

Regarding the use of visual aids (PowerPoint, etc), we ask you to consider that “less is usually more”. If you use presentation technology, such as PowerPoint, you are unlikely to need more than one slide for every two minutes of presentation: e.g. about six slides in the case of a standard paper, and ten or so slides for a research paper. All of them should be essential and interesting.

Please remember that your audience will be seeing many presentations during the course of the conference, and that presentations made without (or with only limited use of) presentation technology can be extremely refreshing. You might find the following resources helpful.

• JISC TechDis guidelines can help ensure that presentations are accessible for both face-to-face and electronic delivery. See TechDis Accessibility Essentials 3: Creating Accessible Presentations:  http://www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/AccessibilityEssentials/2003/AE3/index.html

• Donald Norman. In defence of PowerPoint: http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/in_defense_of_powerp.html

• Larry Lessig's Unique PowerPoint Technique:                 http://columbiapsa.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/larry-lessigs-unique-powerpoint.html

As in previous years you will be able to upload your presentation slides onto the conference website. You will be sent login details and further instructions once the site is live in September.

The conference website will also allow you to contact your session chair, access abstracts of other presentations in your session, and take part in general discussions about the conference.

Standard and Research Papers.

Session chairs will facilitate the running of sessions and audience discussion.

Short paper presentations last no more than 12 minutes, and are followed by at most 8 minutes for questions.

Proceedings paper presentations last no more than 20 minutes, and are followed by 10 minutes for questions.

A standard paper session consists of two (40 mins) three (60 mins) or four (80 mins) papers. A research paper session (60 mins) consists of two papers. Sessions typically contain related papers from a given conference theme.

Session chairs will seek common or contrasting ideas between papers and help to draw these out through questions to presenters, and by steering or guiding audience discussion, as appropriate.

Before the conference

1. Presenters are encouraged to note and read the abstracts or full texts of the other papers that will be presented in their session. Try to identify common or contrasting ideas between your paper and the other papers in the session. These common themes may well appear in questions from the chair and audience, and it is well to be prepared for them.

2. Session chairs will contact you before the conference asking for a copy of any supporting materials for your session, any changed institutional affiliations or presenter details, and any introductory material that may be helpful).

3. Very occasionally your chair may also request a (UK to UK) telephone conversation with you. Please accommodate that if at all possible.

4. You may also wish to supply the session chair with one or more follow-up questions for your presentation, but there is no guarantee that any of these questions will be asked by the chair if no other questions are forthcoming from the audience. The chair could use other questions in order to start post-presentation questions and to encourage discussion, or may shorten the session.

5. Presenters must make sure that any slides to be used are taken to the conference in an electronic form, e.g on a USB memory stick. We recommend that slides are held both on a memory stick and on a backup provided by a web-accessible email account. (Please note that taking slides to the conference is not the responsibility of the session chair.)

6. Please practice your presentation, as many times as needed, with any slides you will be using, preferably in front of colleagues. Doing this makes for a much smoother presentation and one more likely to keep to time and thus not be truncated.

At the conference

1. All presenters should be in the session room 5 minutes before the session starts (unless there is a previous session “in residence” when alternative meeting arrangements will be made), and normally will remain in the room for the whole session. This will allow some interaction with the session chair before the session, and allow for any end of session activities, questions and comments to involve all session presenters.

2. Identify the session chair and make yourself known to him or her.

3. In the 5-10 minutes before the session starts, the chair will gather the lead presenters together to explain the session process, including time prompts and the process of discussion. You will be kept to time out of necessity. Please be considerate of other presenters’ time slots, doing unto others as you would be done by.

4. If time allows, the session chair may use the pre-session discussion with the presenters to invite presenter comment on the session as a whole.

5. Presenters will need to load their slides onto the projection computer. There will be an IT helper available to assist if any difficulties are encountered.

6. At the start of each session, chairs will remind the audience of the name and theme of the session, and of the titles of papers and names of presenters in each session. They will very briefly draw attention to the apparent complementarity of the papers.

7. The chairs will re-introduce each speaker and title before each presentation, and elicit and sequence questions for the presenter after each presentation.

8. Presentations are limited to 12 minutes for Short Papers plus 8 minutes for questions, and no more than 20 minutes for Research Papers with 10 minutes for questions. Chairs will be very strict in handling time and will bring the whole session to a close with no overrun.

Extended and Long Presentations.

An extended presentation should last 30 mins and should follow the timetable of activities outlined in the proposal that was accepted for presentation.

A long presentation should last 60 mins and should follow the timetable of activities outlined in the proposal that was accepted for presentation.

This year formats were not prescribed.

Session chairs will facilitate the running of each presentation that they chair, but the team involved in the presentation is expected to appoint a presentation leader who will run most of the presentation.

Debate and interaction with the audience is essential. There should not be a series of presentations followed by some time for questions; the team must work together on a theme (theoretical or demonstration) and pose issues for debate with the participant ‘audience’. Nor should a demonstration style of presentation be merely that – audience involvement is required.

A key outcome of any presentation should be that an area of knowledge has been refined or that new understandings have emerged.

While each presentation will have a session chair in attendance, each set of presenters should appoint a team leader.

Before the conference

The team leader is responsible for

1. Organising the timetable for the entire session, with times for speakers and other activities, being careful to design in plenty of audience interaction.

2. Making sure that any slides to be used are taken to the conference in an electronic form, e.g. on a USB memory stick. We recommend that slides are held both on a memory stick and on a backup provided by a web-accessible email account. (Please note that taking slides to the conference is not the responsibility of the session chair.) NB We recommend that presenter teams should not rely overly on slides, since this is liable to discourage audience participation.

3. IF the team leader is not the main presenter (to whom this has been sent) then informing John Slater (john.slater@alt.ac.uk) of the team leader’s name, email address, and contribution number by no later than 17:00 on 4th September 2013.

4. Your session chair will contact the team leader before the conference asking for materials for the presentation (e.g. timetable, any slides, any changes in institutional affiliation, and any other introductory material that may be helpful).

5. Occasionally, the chair may request a (UK to UK only) telephone call with the team leader to discuss the presentation and its content ahead of the conference.

At the conference

1. All presenters should be in the session room 5 minutes before the session starts, and remain in the room for the whole session. This will allow some interaction with the session chair before the session, and allow for end session activities, questions and comments to involve all panel members.

2. Identify the session chair and make yourselves known to him or her.

3. In the 5-10 minutes before the session starts, the chair will gather the teams together and ask the team leaders (1 or 2) to explain the session timetable for the benefit of the chair and other team members. During the presentation you will be kept to time by the session chair out of necessity.

4. If time allows, the session chair may use the pre-session discussion to invite comment on the session as a whole.

5. The team leader will need to load any slides onto the projection computer. There will be an IT helper to assist if there are any difficulties with this process.

6. At the start of each session, chairs will remind the audience of the title of the session and of the names and affiliations of panellists.

7. Extended Presentations are limited to 30 minutes and Long Presentations are limited to 60 minutes.

8. The team leader will be responsible for eliciting and sequencing questions and participation from the audience, but may optionally hand this task over to the session chair, if agreed before the session. Whatever is agreed before the session will need to be stuck to during the presentation. Thus if the team leader wants to handle audience questions and discussion, then the chair will stay out of that process, and vice versa.

9. The chair will take responsibility for time reminders for individuals, for presentations, and for wrapping up comments to the session, finishing strictly on time.