I am really looking forward to coming to Dallas as this will be my first global forum!
This will be my first time presenting at the formum and was looking for any tips anyone had.
Hey Ross! You're gonna enjoy presenting... the folks at SAS Global Forum make it easy.
As a rule, even though your slot is 30 minutes, your presentation should only be 15-20 minutes. The idea is to allow time for questions and also ensure that the audience members have time before/after your presentation to get to the next one.
Your presentation doesn't need the detail or even full story of your paper. The advice then is to make your presentation like a movie trailer for your paper. Hit the highlights. And have fun with it. Give the audience something to specific to remember so they'll look up your paper later. Ensure the value of the concept is communicated.
I try to check in with the presentation room's proctor earlier in the day to introduce myself and check if they have any specific suggestions. Make sure you arrive early - I usually attend the previous session so I can see how the process flows in getting the speaker hooked up with the microphone, etc.
The room proctor will already have a copy of your presentation on the podium laptop. But you're allowed to make last minute changes if you want and bring the updated presentation with you. If you have an updated presentation, then I recommend carrying it on a USB jump drive. That way, the podium laptop can stay hooked up properly to all of the a/v equipment.
Finally, practice, practice, practice your presentation. Get to the point where each run is consistent in timing. Make sure you're comfortable with every bit of every slide. Don't be afraid to make jokes and generally have fun. Smile. You'll do great!
I agree 100% with practicing - whenever I’ve presented I’ve always offered to give my presentation to the SAS team at the site where I’m working, booked a meeting room & borrowed a projector. That way you get the best possible feel for timing, whether you’ve missed something out or should drop something & definitely include a Q&A session at the end. You’ll be doing one for real at the forum anyway and ask for honest feedback afterwards.
it’s the best possible preparation in my experience
Make sure you leave lots of time to check out the quad. A lot of people spend all their time rushing from presentation to presentation, but don't forget you can always look up the papers afterwards. At the quad, SAS will have a lot of their top people with workstations set up with all of the products. If you're curious about a product you don't have, or if you have questions about the products you do have, be sure to check it out.
Also, wear comfortable shoes. You'll be walking. A LOT!!
Just a few ideas to add to the excellent tips already given:
* Don't overdo the slides. In general, less is more. The slides should not contain everything you plan to say, but should merely complement and reinforce what you are saying. Most people will either listen to you or read the slides but can't do both at the same time very well. Stick to a few bullets per slide and a few words per bullet. The presentation rooms are large so use large, easy-to-read fonts!
* To give your presentation some extra polish, memorize your opening and your closing (just a sentence or two for each). Start with something that will hook the interest of your audience (a thought-provoking question, an interesting fact, a short anecdote, etc.) and end with a strong, definitive conclusion (as opposed to "um, ok, well, I guess that's all...").
* Build in some "trap doors" - i.e. ways to wrap-up gracefully if you realize you are running long. For example, you might have a certain section or certain examples you plan to skip if you are behind schedule. Alternatively, if you think you might finish too quickly, you can have some bonus material at the end of your slide deck that you can add if there is extra time. Practice ahead of time jumping directly to a particular slide in Powerpoint.
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