Most of the young researchers seem seeking an opportunity to give a presentation at academic conferences. Some even consider it an important part of their lives. Presentation at academic conferences has never been easy for the new as well as experienced scholars. Almost, all the researchers feel nervous while presenting at the academic conference because of a huge audience. Addressing a large audience can be overwhelming for the new scholars. Preparing well is always the key to being successful at a conference presentation. However, acting upon the following tips can make the process smoother for you.
8 Tips on Presenting a Presentation in an Academic Conference
#1 Keep Audience in your Mind while Writing your Paper
The very first and most important tip for a good presentation is to write the paper while keeping the audience in mind. This is because the audience hears your paper not read it. And, it is a reality that the attention span of listeners is lower than readers. However, you can catch their attention by using simple and straightforward words. Your paper should be structured well. It should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Avoid using vague terms and try explaining all technical terms. Providing a recap of the main points at regular intervals also captures the attention of the readers.
#2 Always Adhere to Time Limits
A good scholar always keeps in mind the time limits for the presentation. Usually, the presentation at academic conferences takes 20-30 minutes. Always prepare accordingly along with keeping in mind the changes in session timing that can take place at the last moment. You may also be given 10 minutes to speak if the prior speaker consumes additional time. In simple words, be ready for both long as well as short skeleton outlines. Keeping extra material prepared is useful if you are asked to speak for 30 minutes.
#3 Rehearse a few times in front of a Friend
Try to learn from your mistakes by rehearsing in front of a friend again and again. You can also rehearse in front of a mirror. Recording your video can also help you to improve your presentation skills. Rehearsing will also make you familiar with the content of your report and boost your confidence. You can work on weak areas after watching your videos. Rehearsing will also enable you to estimate the time your presentation will take. Avoid rehearsing just before the time of presentation because it will make your voice dull and coarse.
#4 Confident Start
The first 10-20 seconds of your presentation session is very important. Always target to capture the attention of the audience in this short time. And, it is possible only if you start your presentation with confidence. Give a quick introduction of yourself to boost your confidence and establish your credibility. You can hear a few scholars giving presentations at academic conferences. Taking a few introductory sentences from those presentations is not bad. For example, every scholar starts the presentation with greetings and then tells about himself and his qualifications, the institutions where he studied, and the achievements in his study career.
#5 Make an Eye Contact with the Audience
Making and maintaining eye contact with your audience also gives you an extra bit of confidence while presenting your paper at an academic conference. Therefore, keep a smile at your face, stay calm, and breathe deep. This will not only boost your confidence but also dissolve awkwardness between you and the audience. Read clearly and loudly while eyeing at the audience. Keep a check at your posture and try standing still with your head up. Always read at a slower pace because there may be some non-natives in your audience. Take little pauses to see the reactions of the audience. In the end, give them a little bit of time and answer their questions calmly.
#6 Focus on Using Transitions
Using transitions is always a good strategy when you are going to change your idea or point while paper presentation at an academic conference. The use of transitions gives an unmatched smoothness to your speech. Transitions words include ‘furthermore’, ‘moreover’, ‘besides’, ‘meanwhile’, ‘consequently’, ‘finally, and many more. When you are going to present a similar idea, try beginning the sentence with ‘A similar idea’ or ‘another example of the same’. If you are going to explain some points of reasons, use the first, the second, and the third as the first words. This will enable the readers to follow your ideas at a relatively faster pace. In some cases, a direct statement about the other idea works well.
#7 Be Ready for Questions and Discussions
Another tip for making your presentation effective is to encourage the audience to ask questions and try to answer those questions. If you are unable to answer any questions, do not be nervous because the audience also understands that you do not know everything. Give a thank you for the question and tell them to explore it at some stage in your studies. This will increase your credibility before the listeners. If there are no questions raised by the audience, try to point out the weaknesses of your report by yourself. Ask the audience once or twice for the questions and if they do not ask, do not be bothered.
#8 Ensure Natural Closing
Always try to close your presentation in a natural way by sharing your contact information with the audience. Ask them to ask questions through email and show them that you are always open to discussions. Answer the questions of the audience but if there are no questions, say thank you for attending the session and walk off the stage humbly. Always stay in the room for some time because any of the audience may reach you and ask anything about your report. Leaving the conference room at once leaves a bad impression on the audience.