There is a need to give an academic conference during your PhD. Attending both national and international conferences are mandatory. So here are my useful tips for presenting your research paper at a conference.
- Arrange your conference presentation LOGICALLY.
- Make an IMPRESSIVE PowerPoint.
- Do not DEVIATE the topic.
- Go through other PREVIOUS Conferences.
- Research DEEPLY before you embark.
- Be AUDIBLE in your speech.
- Practice MOCK conference presentations.
- SPEAK research oriented stuff.
- Finish presentation in TIME.
This is the phobia mostly happens when you are presenting your conference paper. There are many big shots around.
There are professors around you with huge qualification and qualitative experience. So here comes the phobia in such a way that you feel inferior and somehow not able to cope up with confidence.
The best way to remove this type of phobia is to change your entire mindset up the way you imagine them to be. Start thinking better persons than them in your mind.
When you think of some big people and imagine that the faculty who are present at the conference are smaller than them, then you can easily get rid of this phobia.
Always think that this is not your problem. This is a common man problem to face the audience on the stage that way. Take it very easy and think in everybody’s terms. So get rid of such fears. The best way to get rid is to take a step to do it on the stage. As you go on doing this, you will improve dramatically the way you were not.
Prepare a confident Powerpoint presentation
You need to prepare your ppt carefully which many of them neglect. You practice a lot and does not take care of your ppt presentation. Confident ppt does not mean an eye-catching ppt or with any beauty look.
It is something belonging to you. When you look at ppt, you must feel confident to explain the concepts easily. This is what I mean by confident power point presentation.
Being confident requires well-prepared power point presentation. Take help of some computer experts around you. They will help you out. Do not do all alone single-handed. If possible go the DTP center and tell them to give the best slides. You can insert your information into that.
Do not present a confused ppt
So many times, I have seen scholars while presenting ppt, they make slides very confusing. They do follow certain rules of ppt as below. The below points are the drawbacks of a confused ppt.
- Filling lot or words in a slide.
- Slides are illogical.
- Figures and graphs are invisible.
- Amateur presentation.
- Changing slides faster back and forth.
Show to other professors within your university. They will give all that they can. Not to say much do not forget that it is you who are responsible the way you stand up with a good ppt.
Never block your projector screen while giving a presentation at a conference. Make sure you stand at left or right corners of the projector screen and then facing towards the audience.
This position will allow all the audience to clearly see the screen and understand your slides. You are too much tensed which will lead to such type of situation.
So be cool and think how to stand before you go. Do not simply take advantage that you know how to stand.
Learn some posture techniques by reading some books. These will help you to get a better idea on how to place your hands and in which position. Learn those postures that audience love to watch you on the stage.
Practice in real-time conditions before 1 hour.
If there is a chance to see the venue of presentation before 1 hour, then go ahead and practice there itself in real-time conditions.
This is an absolute break through to your conference. You will get rid of all that fear. Your mind accustoms to what you are doing.
You will be in a position to become more attuned to the place and thus will result in a good conference presentation.
If you are already teaching, take a chance to explain to your students about your conference. Never reveal that it is a conference. But try to include along with the lesson plan and cleverly practice with students. Be cunning sometimes to enhance your career.
If you are still a student, then take a free hour chance. Go to the blackboard and present your conference in front of your classmates This is very effective and requires lots of guts to do that way. But it is your life, you have to take bold chances.
Start your conference presentation loudly and cheerfully
You must know that the first 10 seconds of your presentation is the golden time to draw an impression from the audience.
If you are not able to get that in the first 10 seconds, then you will have to work harder throughout your presentation.
Some scholars speak very slowly in the beginning and gradually they increase their tone.
I do not recommend anyone of you reading this to do this way. I suggest you start strongly. As you all know a famous proverb. Well, the beginning is almost done.
Loudly means you have to check the size of the room. For a larger room and depending upon the mike and speaker levels, you must be able to judge how much voice is better to use at that particular situation.
This way you do not irritate audience with a too louder voice and very low-quality voice.
A proper understanding of how mike performs is very important. Every mike is different.
Do not blame the conference organizers for low-quality speakers and mikes.
That is the situation and you have to properly analyze.
Learn by heart some transition words
Transition words are a great way to express the flow throughout your presentation.
So use them appropriately when and where applicable. They will really help you to give a refined presentation.
Do not use the same transition words throughout your conference presentation. Change them and use them more and more in variation.
Transition words are like ” however” “in fact” “According to this” etc. There are lot many available.
Check here for transition words
Give a research-oriented presentation
Do not be like a school child giving those childish presentations like A for Uncle. Your presentation must be in depth.
You must give research-oriented points. One each point must allow others to think deeply and analytically.
Presenting at an academic or research conference requires a lot of effort and practice to bring out logical points with in-depth analysis.
So you need to give time before one month prior to the conference.
Practice to the time allotted for the conference
If you are given 15 minutes to present a paper, then you need to take utmost care to finish by that time.
Do not drag or else you may lose all those marks an impression. This does not mean that you do not communicate what you have researched and prepared.
The skill that must acquire here is that you must be able to present all the points according to the time limits given.
Do not skip that important conclusion at the end because someone sighed you from the back end to stop your presentation.
Do be too smart thinking that your presentation is quite interesting and you can take more time to present.
This is not a good idea. You will be screwed up at the end. So make a point to get rid of such thoughts and finish your presentation in the given time.
Under some exceptional situation where you have to take more time to finish the conference, you can go up to 30 seconds maximum. That is it.
Use basic soft skills while you present your paper
You might be listening to your old school days about EYE CONTACT and BODY LANGUAGE skills. These are pretty important everywhere. Do not take easily such skills.
Do not use cologne or perfume during Presentation
This is the common mistake that some do. When you use cologne, you are inviting irritation and allergic atmosphere around you.
Many people around do not like such strong odors around. So I suggest you fairly to take a nice and good healthy bath and attend a conference.
This is quite enough to get through.
Buying perfumes mean you are giving headaches to the people around. This is not a party or a marriage function.
It is a dignified conference and there must not be something that dominates the audience.
This is considered as the wrong language of approach to attract others in the conference.
Defend yourself politely to the questions from the audience
Do not be too haughty while answering to your audience at the conference. If you do so, then you will be on the wrong track.
Answer them properly in a polite manner. Do not give raging eye contact and harsh language. Use soft tone possible to answer them.
If others are angry with you, then you must be calm silent and except for that moment what is happening. Do not revert back with
Use graphs that are visible 15 feet
When you are showing the statistics and graphs, make sure that all those numbers within the graphs are fully visible to all the audience up to 15 feet at least. This is a very important technique while presenting your conference.
Prepare short notes and keep it in the pocket
It is a good idea to prepare some important analytical points and store in a pocketbook. You can glance at those points just before presenting.
If your presentation is after 5 minutes, then take out and brush up those points at the last moment while your previous person is already presenting. This last moment brush ups are called “Pocket Clearances.”
Do not hesitate to learn basic slide changing skills
You must learn how to operate the remote control to change the slides back and forth and some other features.
These basic slide skills will benefit you. There are out many students and professor who still do not know how to use such simple technology and seek help.
Use darker backgrounds to slides
It is always a good idea to use darker slides. The reason is that once you use a white background, there are chances that if somebody walks across the slide the shade falls on to it.
This is awkward. But this problem of falling shades on the screen is not seen with darker slides. This does not mean that you must not use a white background or lighter ones.
You can very well use if there will be no such disturbances around you.
Always store your conference paper in pen drive and google drive
I strongly recommend this seeing some past occurrences that the paper in the pen drive is missing somehow due to a technical glitch and they were unable to present a paper.
And If you depend only on online, you may lose internet connection all of a sudden and you are in trouble.
Both are problems So if you store your paper in both pen drive and google drive, you will have the other option for the other trouble.
Do not be disturbed by other presentations
It so happens that when you listen to other presentations while at the conference, you are quite disturbed sometimes that your stuff is not of that quality.
This is wrong thinking completely. You have to accept and feel that your paper is good and great. This will boost your presentation. Know that a bad paper can be presented well with good skills.
So always remember that your skills are of much value when you come to the point of the presentation.
Never be taken up by others and their papers and lose confidence in your own paper. This will bring drastic changes and you will end up with a bad presentation.
Train your brain before the conference
Many a time, we see simple mistakes going bigger. If you do not train your brain before the conference, you cannot do well. These are the suggested methods to train your brain for a better presentation.
- Eat good nutrients starting before 1 week of the conference.
- Do some newspaper free puzzles to activate brain power.
- Follow some memory techniques.
Do not spoil the atmosphere of personality
When you are up ready to give a conference, you must avoid all quarrels with your family members or friends. This will create a disturbance to your mind. Be cool and patient with everyone until you finish the academic conference. It so happens that if you mess up with somebody, it will disturb your mind a lot. Avoid the below things.
- Fighting with others before the conference
- Losing temper for small issues
- Creating fear within you.
Take a fresh bath before half an hour prior conference
If you take a fresh bath before the conference, it will activate blood circulation and keep you fresh with all interest to achieve. For example, if someone not taking bath and comes to the conference with the sweaty body, this will really put you in an awkward situation. You will not feel that freshness and blood cell won’t get activated.
Keep a paper slip of points in Pocket
It is a good idea to write down some important points, numbers and years on one small paper and take it along with you into the conference. Keep in your pocket.
I do not suggest you depend on this paper. You must learn all that beforehand but in case if you forget a very important number and it looks awkward in front of the audience.
So take out the slip damn fast and have a quick glance and tell the number. This is the best practice rather than doing a creepy and wrong presentation with wrong information.
Always check for new rules of the conference
For every conference, there are very few sets of rules to follow. So to say, for example, you need to catch up with organizers of the conference and know what new rules have been implemented, unlike usual conferences.
In this way, you will really have enough knowledge and confidence in how to proceed throughout the conference.
Remove nails and keep your fingers neat and tidy
Keeping monkey nails and giving a conference represents you are a new monkey on this earth.
So skip certain types of fantasies and concentrate on how to act dignified way. If you are not trimming your nails and moreover if you have muddy nails, it will suck.
The reason is that in the conference, there is a tendency to look at hands more than any other areas.
It is because you have to do much with hands. I also suggest you trim your beard and mustache appropriately.
Not too much or with nothing. Be manly. This is what I want to convey in this point.
Make the most of conference
If there is any possibility, I suggest you bring a cameraman along with you with due permission.
The benefit of doing this is that once the conference ends, you do not know exactly how the performance was.
So if you have a recorded video, you can correct your mistakes in the upcoming conferences.
The other benefit is that it acts as proof to show others about your conference presentation capability.
You can also create a video resume further when you start your career or if you want to change a job.
Remember to speak what others have just said
When your turn comes to present a conference, be little spontaneous by appreciating certain points that others have just said. It is a good habit. Maybe some point is good and catchy.
Try to mention that point and synchronize with your presentation. This will create a lot of interest with the audience.
So make sure you do the right way. But never criticize that which is not a good thought. You cannot do that.
Give short breaks and pauses during your presentation
I see this as a big mistake while presenting slides. You show a slide and do not actually give enough time for the audience to read it.
I advise you to give at least 3 seconds to visualize and enjoy the slide. If you speak instantly after showing the slide, the audience is not able to listen to you.
They must either listen to you or glance at a slide you are showing. So giving very short breaks and pauses will enhance the quality of your conference paper and overall presentation.
Ask questions at appropriate timings ( Don’t look for an answer)
Try to ask some questions while presenting the conference and allow the audience to reflect upon.
Do not look for the answers. This is not a question and answer conference.
You must ask a question to influence your thoughts. The audience will start thinking and they will get involved.
Do not say “Answer my question, I have asked.” This must be the worst presentation if you go this way.
Take initiative to help in the conference hall
There will be some situation where the computer may stop functioning and the administration requires help.
Take initiative to help such situations instead of sitting there in your chair thinking that is not your work.
This will really give the impression even before you present your conference. So when some situation arises in the conference hall, take initiative and help.
I can give one more example. One day I helped to change the slides when remote was not working. I got a very good impression doing so.