Having just returned from a conference, and ferociously updating my paper for the next conference, I laughed to read the title Conference Presentations: Speed Dating for Academics. JoVanEvery.CA made my day, just with the title!
What can you do in 15 minutes?
Your goal is to meet the people in the room who you would like to have a longer conversation with.
There are plenty of opportunities to have that longer conversation.
The key to the presentation is to talk for 15 minutes on the parts of your research that are most interesting. Or, that youâ€™d most like feedback on. Or, that most surprised you.
And to ask questions of the audience. What would you like to hear from the knowledgeable people in the room?
JoVanEvery.CA has a great link on Your Conference Paper & How You Present It.
The most badly needed point: “You canâ€™t possibly just read the [draft for a journal article] paper in the time allowed. And even if you could, it would be dull, dull, dull. What works in writing, especially formal academic writing, does not work orally.
A related post, on self-organizing at a conference says:
Present your material in a way that invites discussion and debate. Talk about your most interesting findings.
Worry less about impressing the big players and more about identifying potential collaborators.
Make it easy for people youâ€™d like to work with to come up and talk to you at the end of the session.
A third post is about learning how to use images for/in/with presentations:
Images help articulate the ideas
Once Iâ€™d shifted to browsing images early in the process, I started to notice that the images helped me articulate the ideas I wanted to convey. Sometimes I did use representational images. The difference is that I found the image first.
For example, seeing an image of a chocolate box while I was working on a presentation about career options made my mind go â€œbingâ€. The image inspired a metaphor that proved crucial to an important section of the presentation.
In a discussion of whether or not conference papers “count,” JOVE had this to say:
in most formal assessments of your research achievements, conference papers donâ€™t seem to count for anything. They are considered â€œlow impactâ€.
This is largely because the audience for a conference presentation is small. The presentation is likely to be short. And the material is usually work in progress, nowhere near as polished as a full journal article or scholarly monograph.
While conference papers can circulate widely through informal networks, usually the impact on the advancement of knowledge is small.
There is a lot of other good stuff at the website, not all on conferences. I highly recommend it for an evening’s reading or with a permanent place on your blog roll.