How to Prepare for Conferences
Conferences are necessary for everyone who wants to learn networking and to grow professionally, as well as intellectually. Conferences allow you to meet experts from your field and to interact with them. Grad students can also find somebody they can do their Ph.D. with, while people who look for a job might find a department where they’ll be able to work after graduation. Conferences can also create a lasting impression that will help you in the future, making your applications stronger.
Even though almost everyone understands the importance of conferences, many students don’t know how to prepare for conferences properly, and their mistakes often damage their presentations. College-Writers experts analyzed the most common mistakes students make and decided to help students prepare a nice presentation that will help them increase their credibility, improving their academic reputation, and demonstrating their skills.
Even though not practicing a presentation seems to be an obvious mistake, many students are too confident and think that they’ll be able to make a perfect presentation without any preparation. Some students forget about their speech time and exceed it. Quite often, problems with timing become a reason why students cannot provide conclusions. There are also millions of small mistakes that you can fix if you just read your presentation at home. If you practice enough, you’ll also be able to work on your pronunciation. If there are any complex terms in the work, students should be able to pronounce them correctly, and the same goes for tough names. Even such mistakes as stumbling will hurt the overall impression of the presentation and make their audience think that they are unprepared, therefore hurting their credibility.
Relevant Audio-Visual Materials
Audio-visual materials in a presentation should be necessary and relevant. Students should actually use them, not just add them in an attempt to impress the audience with the number of images used. They should also be able to explain how such materials contribute to their work and how they are related to the subject. Don’t use audio-visual materials as examples. Instead, use them as evidence that complements your presentation and makes it stronger.
Prepare to Talk to Important People
When attending conferences, students often meet people they admire, and we recommend that you prepare for such situations. Prepare an “elevator speech.” It must be concise yet informative because you’ll need to provide the key information about your research, while also explaining why this person must be interested in it. Explain the importance of your contribution and consider your research in the general context of your field. If you have a chance to make this person remember your name, it’s a great opportunity for your career so make sure to be prepared.
Ask the Right Questions
Most often, members of the audience have an opportunity to ask questions. Any student can get noticed if they prepare great questions. Another approach is to outline the issue. You might try to clarify certain details or you may provide constructive criticism. Keep in mind that sometimes, if students ask the right question, they may attract as much attention as if they were making a presentation themselves. A good question is an opportunity to demonstrate critical thinking and knowledge. However, don’t try to dominate the discussion and don’t promote your own research. Your question must be relevant to the presentation so don’t turn the discussion into your monologue. Quite often, presenters talk to people who asked questions after the presentation. Sometimes, even an insignificant interaction can make a big difference in the way presenters perceive you. Questions provide an opportunity to show that someone’s ideas resonate with you.
Prepare for Tough Questions
You might know the weaknesses of your work. Perhaps, you’ve overlooked something, or your research can be improved in the future. If you get tough questions, you must be prepared. In your answer, you should explain how you’re going to improve or why you decided that something isn’t relevant to your work. A good response is the only way to deal with criticism, and it will also demonstrate that you perfectly know the material.
Confidence Is the Key
Since you’re presenting your own research, you know it better than anyone else present in the room. Be proud of your presentation. Be passionate about your work. Nobody wants to listen to a nervous person who’s not sure whether their research is interesting. Let the audience get a sense of enthusiasm and explain why your research is important and exciting.
Finally, you should believe in yourself. Conferences are more than just events devoted to a certain field of study. They give you many opportunities so we recommend that you prepare and attend conferences with confidence, ready to impress the audience and to make them remember your name.