Guidelines Useful for All Types of Sessions
is paramount. It is the single most
important thing you need to do as you develop your poster/presentation.
Clearly thinking through your objectives and logically outlining the
content of the poster/presentation are keys to a high-quality presentation.
Identify Your Fundamental Message or Main Point.
What is your purpose? What
do you hope to achieve? What
message do you want to get across to your readers/audience?
While this may seem simple or obvious, many times a presenters purpose
is not clearly understood or is unrealistic.
Determine exactly what you want to communicate and design your
poster/presentation with that purpose in mind.
Focus on the Essentials/Avoid Losing the Audience in Details.
First, be aware from the beginning you have limited time (for
presentations) or space (for posters) for presenting.
Second, recognize people can only absorb a limited amount of information
in such a short time frame. Avoid
the strong tendency to want to tell all. Your
poster/presentation should not resemble a detailed technical paper or report. Rather, it should focus on a few key points that will provide
your audience with important information and implications.
With that said, this guidance is not intended to encourage
shallow treatment of complex issues, nor should it lead to exclusion of
details critical to the research presented.
Rather, it is meant to emphasize the importance of properly targeting the
best information to present in your limited time.
Sufficient information should be presented so that the audience can
understand the quality of the inferences and conclusions drawn.
Provide a Road Map for Your Audience.
Dont leave your readers/audience hanging.
For presenters, people appreciate periodic guidance on where you have
been and where you are going with the presentation. Use an outline or content table, and transition statements,
to let them know what youll be covering.
For posters, clearly label each major section (e.g., Introduction,
Methods, Results, Discussion/Conclusions).
Be Prudent in Your Use of Statistics.
Its easy to overwhelm readers/listeners with too many numbers.
Use data to support your conclusions or key points, when necessary, and
always be prepared to answer follow-up questions regarding additional material.
For presenters, it is appropriate to say, More details can be provided
after this talk, or in the paper. For
posters, have prepared a few copies of the full paper and tables so that
interested readers can see more specific details.
Offer Conclusions and Recommendations.
Dont leave it up to your readers or audience to draw their own
conclusions. You should leave your
audience with a clear understanding of how they can use, or learn from, the
information you presented. Providing
recommendations for additional research and practice is an important part
of your role as a presenter.
Whether you have years of experience, or will be giving your first
presentation/paper ever, everyone can benefit from practicing both the
presentation and explanation of the research. If your colleagues, after an informal practice presentation,
dont clearly understand some elements within your presentation, your audience
at SIOP certainly wont either. Further,
your colleagues will almost always think of issues/questions you have not, and
this will allow you to better anticipate and address critical inquiry.
A good presentation entices others to read the complete paper.
In the past, distribution of papers occurred at the conference.
Many people still use this method and it is, by far, the surest way to
make your research available. Recently,
however, the flexibility of e-mail and the Internet for distributing such papers
has lessened the need to carry as many papers to a conference. Nonetheless, the following guidelines will help make the
process of obtaining electronic copies of your papers easier for others and
Provide a Clearly-Marked Place for the E-mail/Mail Addresses of those
Requesting Your Paper.
In many sessions, business cards are scattered all over, making it
difficult to know who requested your paper.
Provide a large envelope clearly labeled as Requests for XYZ paper.
This not only ensures that all requests stay in the same place, but also
that you dont lose any business cards.
Further, provide a sheet of paper, clearly labeled, that describes
your session and what information you would need to send the paper (e.g., email
address, mail address).
Provide Your Own E-mail Address or Web Address/URL.
It is difficult to correctly write down long URL or e-mail
addresses, especially in a crowd of people. You can make this process easier by having your own business
cards available in sufficient quantities (usually 40 minimum).
If you administer research via the Web and your business cards do
not have your Web address, consider printing this address on the back of your
cards, providing slips of paper with the address, or printing the address on
mailing labels for others to take with them.
Check for Potential Copyright Violations Before Posting Any Article to
Different journals have different guidelines for posting material
to the Internet. Some journals
consider any Web postings as a publication and will refuse to consider the
article for publication. Others,
such as the APA journals, have specific guidelines one must follow before
posting to the Internet.