Giving a conference paper can be one of the most intimidating aspects of doctoral research. On the bright side, successfully presenting your research to an engaged audience can be incredibly rewarding. Although becoming a skilled orator takes time, there are a number of relatively simple steps you can follow to make your debut performance less stressful.
Preparation is key – if you’ve addressed all of the areas outlined below, you’ll feel more confident and in control.
NB This post doesn’t cover use of audio visual material, which is a whole other matter! Also, the guidance is based on delivering an oral academic conference paper (ie reading from a script), rather than a presentation, where you might be required to speak just from notes. In some disciplines delivering a paper verbatim is mandatory, in others it is strongly discouraged, so establish what is appropriate for your event.
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