2019 Guidelines for all Session Types
Plan, plan, plan!
Planning 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 presenter’s 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.
Be prudent in your use of statistics.
It’s 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 the talk or in the paper. For posters, those interested in the full paper can be sent an electronic version.
Offer conclusions and recommendations.
Don’t 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, don’t clearly understand some elements within your presentation, your audience at SIOP certainly won’t 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.
Distribute your paper.
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; 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, and electronic is certainly the more “green” alternative. Gathering business cards is an easy way to remember who to send papers to after the conference. You may also want to ensure that your contact information is up to date in my.SIOP and the SIOP directory so that anyone interested in your paper can easily contact you.
Stay true to what was submitted
Your presentation was accepted based on the submitted proposal, and it is advertised in the program according to the submitted abstract. Keep this in mind as you are creating your presentation and designing the details of the session. Alignment between the advertised session and actual content will ensure that attendees "get what they bargained for," increasing satisfaction.
Use Social Media to Spread Your Message
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter can dramatically expand your work’s reach and influence. Use these platforms yourself, and make it easy for others to share your content too. Before, during (e.g., include your social media handles and hashtags on your presentation slides!), and after the conference, promote your session – see here, here, and here for great examples of your colleagues doing this on Twitter already. By including the #SIOP19 hashtag and 1-2 other hashtags related to your content (e.g., #iopsych, #hiring, #analytics, #safety), others inside and outside the SIOP community will be much more likely to see your message; try out an evocative image and curiosity-inducing headline too to drive further engagement.