Presentation Tips for Presenters and Panelists

For Presenters

Before the conference:

  1. Practice. Rehearse your talk at least three times prior to your presentation. This will allow you to get comfortable with the flow, as well as evaluate whether or not you’re meeting the objective of your talk. If possible, rehearse in front of someone who can offer constructive criticism. 

  1. Time your presentation. Ensure your speaking voice is natural, clear and not rushed. A good rule of thumb is that a 2,000 – 2,500 word presentation takes about 20 minutes, including time for a question and answer period. 

  1. Pay attention to format. Be sure your presentation includes the following elements:

    1. Statement of problem
    2. Plan of attack and results
    3. Impact/Importance
    4. Conclusion

*The introduction and conclusion are the most critical part of your talk. The introduction is your opportunity to engage the audience, and your conclusion is where you will emphasize the take-away. Be sure to know these well. 

At the conference:

  1. Arrive early. Be in the room 30 – 45 minutes prior to the start of your session. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the room and the AV equipment. 

  1. Preview your slides. Always ensure you’ve done a final check on your slides. A room will be available for this purpose. 

  1. Allow time for a question and answer period. Always repeat audience questions into the microphone before responding so that everyone can hear it. To ensure a lively Q&A session, you can supply your session developer (or someone else) with a list of prepared questions to get the ball rolling. This can also serve as an opportunity to supply additional useful information which did not fit into the constraints of your presentation. 

  1. Attend the author’s breakfast. If there is an author’s breakfast scheduled, you should attend – even if your session immediately follows the breakfast. 

For Panelists

  1. Share your expertise. You were selected as a panelist because you possess subject matter expertise. Share it accurately and carefully with your audience. 

  1. Debate is a good thing. You may disagree with what other panelists are saying. If you do, speak up – but be sure you are respectful. 

  1. Ensure compliance with TAPPI policies. Always remember that both your slides and comments must comply with our policies.