Presentation and Research and Teaching Forum FAQ for the CCCC Regional Conference 2018
How long should my presentation be?
For a panel presentation, always give at least 15 minutes for questions and answers after presentations. That means that if there is an hour in the program for a panel and you are one of three speakers, your talk should be no longer than 15 minutes. Time is split evenly between presenters. To factor in time for brief introductions and Murphy’s Law, you might plan for a 12-13 minute talk. Furthermore, your audience will generally appreciate having a little extra time for questions and answers. It generally takes most people about 3 minutes to read a page. If you are planning a 12-13 minute talk, your talk should be about 4 long. To make sure your length estimate is correct, practice your talk beforehand.
Of course, you don’t have to read a paper. See below. If you are going to read a paper directly, write a piece that’s meant to be heard and engaging; think of a poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction reading.
How long should my Research and Teaching Forum (RTF) talk be?
The Research and Teaching Forum Committee will coordinate RTF sessions from 9:00-10:30 on Saturday to allow participants to discuss assignments, pedagogical questions, administrative challenges, or research in progress that will benefit from focused feedback from peers and senior scholars. Although timing may vary depending on numbers, participants can expect about 20 minutes to present and discuss their work. You should take about 5 minutes to introduce your topic and concerns and allow 15 minutes for conversation. Please bring six copies of a one-page handout to represent your work and focus the discussion (yes, double-sided is fine). For example, you might bring an assignment, an issue narrative, or an abstract with specific questions for the group. Make sure to include your name and contact information as well. In other words, be prepared for an active discussion with handouts as A/V for a PowerPoint or other multimedia presentation will not be available.
Should I read my talk?
You may read or you may create a more impromptu discussion based off of talking points. Pick whichever presentation style you think works best rhetorically for your conference audience or that best suits your personality. Generally, CCCC audiences tend to prefer a more impromptu talk guided by well-organized talking points; however, presenters also read their presentations, too. If you plan on reading your talk, realize that it generally takes most people about 3 minutes to read a page. If you read, practice reading so that you sound natural and can easily edit the talk as audience demands arise. You also should practice so that you can still interact with the audience as you read. If you are going to read a paper directly, write a piece that’s meant to be heard and engaging; think of a poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction reading.
On a panel, what order will I go in for my presentation?
Expect to present in the order that speakers are listed in the program. However, it’s fine to deviate as long you and your co-presenters agree before the panel begins on a different presentation order.
What if I change my presentation title from what is listed in the program?
In a perfect world, your presentation or RTF title should match the title in the program. However, you can certainly make a slight change in the program’s title if a better one occurs to you while researching or writing your presentation. Sometimes there’s an editing change in the program design process. Just explain the title. Remember that your audience will be more apt to remember the title you offer during your talk than the title that is in the program.
Should I have a PowerPoint for my presentation?
Pick any option that feels rhetorically correct for that particular conference audience or right for your personality and presentation style. Each room has a projector and VGA/HDMI cables. (If you have a Mac, bring an HDMI adapter (dongle) to plug into the VGA/HDMI cords.)
When should I show up to my presentation?
A good rule of thumb is to come to your presentation room a little early: 10-15 minutes before your session is scheduled to begin. This will give you time to set up your laptop, make sure the projector works, get your handouts ready, check that the sound works (if you are using sound), and that the VGA/HDMI cords are compatible with your laptop. (If you have a Mac, bring an HDMI adapter (dongle) to plug into the VGA/HDMI cords.) This also gives you time to confirm your presentation order with your co-presenters. Finally, it allows you time to quickly grab anything else you might need to feel comfortable during your talk: a glass of water, a pen, etc, or to make jokes with your co-presenters to ease any jitters.