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Presenting at an Academic Conference

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Presenting at an Academic Conference Graduate Program in Social Anthropology * * * * * * * * * * Conference Presentations Graduate Program in Social Anthropology ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Presenting at an Academic Conference


1
  • Presenting at an Academic Conference
  • Graduate Program in Social Anthropology

2
Conference PresentationsGraduate Program in
Social Anthropology
Overview
  • The role of Graduate education
  • Why participate in conferences
  • How to get involved in conferences
  • How to write a good abstract
  • Content
  • Presentation
  • TIPS

3
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
The Role of Graduate Education
  • To train for an advanced academic degree
  • To learn a set of skills which are to be applied
    in research and eventually in professional
    careers that may include teaching, consulting,
    advocacy, etc.
  • Training comprised of coursework, developing
    complex research proposals and projects,
    research and teaching skills, presentation and
    communication skills
  • Being part of an academic (and other related)
    communit(ies)
  • Learning how to share/disseminate the results of
    ongoing research

4
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
Why participate in a conference?
  • To make the transition from student to
    professional (whether or not you give a paper)
  • To make contact with other people (students and
    others) working on topics related to your own
    interests. Especially good for preparing for
    fieldwork.
  • To disseminate your own work, especially research
    results but, in some circumstances, research in
    progress
  • (To travel to interesting places and have a good
    time)

5
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
How to get involved in a conference?
  • Calls. Look for calls for papers in
    organizations websites, in umbrella
    newsletters, our graduate announcements and on
    email.
  • Contacts. Let faculty and senior grad students
    know you would like to gain conference
    experience.
  • Volunteered labour. Many conferences accept
    volunteered papers and posters. Submit the
    registration forms and abstract by the deadline.
  • Organize your own session. If you have a topic
    you are keen on, cant find a session to join, and
    dont want to volunteer a paper or poster,
    organize a session (more info below).

6
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
How to write a good abstract
  • Does your topic/ paper fit the conference theme?
    For your topic, choose a major theme or question
    that represents a "thin slice" of the field's
    current debates. 
  • What is required?
  • Follow the rules (Word length, theme, etc.)
  • Contents of the abstract.

7
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
The Conference Paper General Principles
  • Know your audience
  • Know your medium (K.I.S.S.)
  • Structure the paper carefully
  • Cut the material ruthlessly
  • Make One Point (hierarchically)

8
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
  • Transitions make the talk
  • Locate the question in a body of
    knowledge/literature.
  • Make the theoretical significance of your ideas
    clear.
  • Have a strong research design. 
  • Use clear terminology, but use as little
    specialized terminology as possible
  • Consider the paper like a brief that makes a
    persuasive case and fits it into an ongoing
    dialogue
  • Use a "bullet" conclusion. In the final part
    of the paper, repeat the question posed, then
    explain how you addressed the question, and why
    the question is relevant. End with a statement of
    the larger implications

9
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
Presentation Tips
  • Because you have limited time, avoid complicated
    arguments. Make only a few points and make them
    clearly.
  • Write/speak with the active voice.
  • Use signal words as you speak (thus, therefore,
    first, second, finally).
  • Use metaphors and analogies to help the audience
    better understand your concepts.
  • Don't show the entire thought process, just the
    end points.

10
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
More tips
  • Introduce yourself to the session chair before
    the session begins
  • Spend about 30 minutes before your talk in a
    quiet place thinking about the talk, practicing,
    chlling
  • Practice in public and prepare

11
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
continued
  • Prepare the right talk
  • Appropriate to theme.
  • Easily understood
  • Coherent
  • With a beginning, middle and end
  • High concept maximum 3 points
  • The right length (3 pp per 5 min, less if there
    are slides. 9 pp for 15 min talk, 12 pp MAXIMUM
    for 20 min)
  • Consider whether to use visuals (are there
    facilities, do visuals help?)

12
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
Public Speaking Tricks
  • Poise and energy
  • Answering questions

13
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
How to organize a conference session
  • Select a theme that is broad enough to attract
    4-6 participants and narrow enough that you dont
    end up with more than one (or two if you want)
    sessions of tow hours.
  • Contact potential participants individually by
    letter if you dont know them personally.
    Telephone calls can be an effective way to
    negotiate a session theme with people you already
    know. Clearly describe the session write an
    abstract of the session for distribution to all
    potential participants. Follow up with fax or
    email.
  • Go beyond your own university to involve other
    participants. You dont need to go to a
    conference to talk to colleagues from home.
  • Use discussants well. Be sure to block time for
    them into the schedule. Encourage them to address
    the papers, not their own agenda. This requires
    that they receive the papers in term to prepare
    for the conference, be sure this happens.

14
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
How to Organize a Conference Session contd
  • Dont be afraid to contact big names. They can
    always say no and many surprise you by saying
    yes. A mix of big names, more junior profs and
    grad students can be excellent.
  • Be very well organized. Submit material on time.
    Keep participants informed about what is
    happening.
  • Consider innovation. Some conferences allow for
    working sessions, informal sessions or
    intensives. Consider having each person briefly
    present someone elses paper, followed by a
    response from the author.

15
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
W
  • The role of Grad School

16
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
W
  • The role of Grad School

17
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
Organize your own session
  • The role of Grad School

18
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
W
  • The role of Grad School

19
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
W
  • The role of Grad School

20
Conference PresentationsDepartment of
Anthropology
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