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Scholarly Resources and Services

An introduction to scholarly communication and various resources for researchers at UWG.

Basic Advice  for Presentations

Keep to the Time Limit

Cut your paper or presentation so that the method, findings, and conclusions all fit within the allotted time slot.  Also, it is often appropriate to allow   a few minutes for the audience to ask as question or two.  There is nothing worse than having a golden opportunity to get feedback from an audience on your ideas  or to share a new concept only to still be describing methodological considerations when the moderator calls time.  

Say Thank You 

Express your thanks to the audience, the individual presiding, and, if appropriate, the group who vetted and selected your paper or talk for inclusion in the conference or event. 

Know your Audience

If the audience will be a mix of lay persons, professionals, and academics, you may have to be careful about defining technical words and avoid jargon or discipline specific abbreviations or shorthand.  


Timed rehearsals  (reading aloud) of a presentation are vital.  Practice bolsters self-confidence, helps to ensure the presentation is the correct length, and allows one to spot small errors such as a paragraph where the same vocab word is used repetitively when a synonym would make the prose a little more engaging for those listening.  You may even consider recording your practice sessions and playing them back so you can look for things you may not have noticed in the heat of speaking -- the dangling earrings that distract from what one is saying; the odd gesture, the mispronounced word, and so forth.   

Test your Tech

Ahead of time make certain that your screen saver won't flip on in the middle of your a projected presentation, your cell phone won't ring, the lapel mic has a fresh battery,  you have the correct dongle for your device to connect to projectors and sound system, and the  internet  connection upon which you depend actually will work with the links you intend to click and share. Even so, realize that  something may go wrong -- from a fire alarm going off to the building losing powe to the sound not coming through on the video clip you intend to show. For the most typical scenarios of malfunctioning tech, you may wish think of a back up plans ahead of time that will allow you to soldier on with the presentation.   

Roll with the Questions

When one opens up to the audience for questions, one never knows what one will get.  Accept warranted criticism and suggestions from experts in the field with grace and gratitude; call on audience members widely rather than focusing only on those known to you or persons representing certain demographics; and  be understanding of the novice who is struggling with the concepts or who may ask a completely off-base question from left field. If someone has a very long, very convoluted question, answer briefly and, if there is more to say,  suggest connecting after the session in order to allow others to ask their own  questions.   In conference and presentation settings it is appropriate to admit that one hasn't read something someone suggests about which you may not be aware rather than bluffing.  This only makes one appear strong and self-confident.  


MacKrill, Kate, et al. “What Makes an Idea Worth Spreading? Language Markers of Popularity in TED Talks by Academics and Other Speakers.” Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 72, no. 8, Aug. 2021, pp. 1028–38. EBSCOhost,  

Özmen, M.Utku, and Eray Yucel. “Handling of Online Information by Users: Evidence from TED Talks.” Behaviour & Information Technology, vol. 38, no. 12, Dec. 2019, pp. 1309–23. EBSCOhost,