ACT - Academy for Creative Teaching
WACRA® - The World Association for
Case Method Research &
Congratulations to the acceptance of your paper and thank you for
registering for the ACT-WACRA® conference. We and the colleagues who
participated in the blind peer review process of all papers submitted, are
excited about the up-coming conference and the excellent selection of high
quality papers which are going to be presented.
But there is more to a successful meeting than good papers - the
presentation of these papers. Your performance as a presenter at the
conference is critical to its success. To help you prepare a presentation
that matches the quality of your paper, we are offering the following set of
You Owe Your Audience a Good Presentation
Acceptance to an ACT-WACRA® conference program is recognition of the value
of your research/scholarship activity, but it has a price. The work you have
done already in conducting your research and preparing your paper is a major
part of it. The task is not done, however, until you have presented your
work and your ideas. You should take the same care in preparing your
presentation as you did in preparing your paper. You owe it to yourself and
to your audience at the ACT-WACRA® conference.
- Start Preparing Early
Preparing a good presentation takes time. Don't wait until the last few days
before the conference. Instead, prepare your presentation a few weeks ahead
of time, then set it aside and come back to it. What seemed like a clear,
logical presentation the first time around may look quite different after
you gave it a rest.
- Your Presentation Must Be Summarized
During a regular session at the conference you will have about 20 minutes to
make your presentation. Of the allotted 30 minutes, some time is used for
introducing you and questions and answers at the end of your presentation.
This is not nearly enough time to go into all the details of your work. You
must summarize in order to have time to communicate to your audience the
most important points of your paper.
- Prioritize Topics and Allocate Your Time Accordingly
Decide which topics of your presentation are most important and allocate the
limited time you have accordingly. Keep your audience in mind when your are
prioritizing topics. Ask yourself what the audience is most interested in
and what the audience already knows. You can assume some degree of audience
familiarity with your topic/problem setting and/or the literature relating
to it. Don't waste time telling the audience what it already knows.
Divide your topic into equally-weighted main points (typically 2 to 5 for
most presentations). For example:
- Time - "The Four Stages of Truman Capote's Career."
- Sequence - "The Three Steps of Learning How to
- Spatial - "The Location, Exterior, and Interior of
Prepare a distinctive Introduction, Body and Conclusion for your
presentation. Develop the Body first, so that the Introduction and
Conclusion fit appropriately.
- Introduction: Gain the attention of the audience with
- Body: Deliver your main points enthusiastically and
- Conclusion: Summarize your main points and conclude on
- Your Insights and Your Conclusions Are Critical
You have had much more time than your audience in analyzing, interpreting
and understanding your topic/problem. Share your insights, your
understanding and your conclusions. Don't just present data or summarized
results without proffering your conclusions and interpretations.
- Support Your Presentation with Appropriate Visual Aids
Many presenters use overhead transparencies (slides, flip charts, handouts,
videos). This is a good way to help reinforce and clarify a verbal
presentation. To use transparencies effectively, they must be well designed
and used properly. Here are a few tips:
Use high-quality fonts (produced by a laser printer) at least 1/4 inches
high. Avoid hand-written and low resolution dot-matrix print.
Limit the number of transparencies. A good rule of thumb is to allow at
least 1-2 minutes per transparency. If you go beyond 15 slides, you are
likely to lose your audience.
Don't overload the transparencies with information. Limit each
transparency to 3-5 points.
A picture (a good one!) Is worth a thousand words. A well-designed diagram
or chart can often make your point more quickly and more effectively than
Avoid visual clutter - don't over-use fancy graphics which might distract
your audience and diminish the impact of the transparency.
Have a good reason for showing each transparency.
If you are properly prepared, your transparencies should give you the cues
you need to keep your presentation on track (without memorization or without
- Practice Your Presentation
The time you have for your presentation is limited, and if you don't
practice, you are likely to have difficulty fitting everything you want to
say. Practice also gives you a chance to try out your transparencies. Are
there too many? Do they fit logically?
In a lecture hall, place your transparencies on an overhead projector and
find out ‘what the audience sees' by physically moving to the back of the
One way to practice is to set up a "dry-run" session before a group of
colleagues 2-3 weeks before the conference. This approach can provide
valuable feedback in time to make changes and adjustments before the
Speak slowly and clearly. Avoid colloquialisms. This is good advice for any
presentation, it is critical for international conferences where for many
in the audience your mother tongue is a foreign language.
Remember, one of the main themes of ACT-WACRA® conferences is "Interactive
Teaching and Learning."
While presenting, speak from your outline (do not use your manuscript) so
that your wording will be spontaneous. Flip charts, transparencies, etc.,
which represent your outline, work better than notes, since they allow you
to move freely without being tied to your notes (which should never be
held). Speak to your audience, keep eye contact. Engage your audience, to
the extent possible, in your presentation. Do not read to your audience.
Reading your paper to your audience is not only boring, but a waste of
We trust that you will find these guidelines helpful in preparing a high
quality, professional presentation.