FAQs and Tips For Presenters

When will the conference program be available?

The preliminary schedule will be available in late December or early January. However, this schedule will only be available to those who have an account in the submission/registration system. After signing on, click on “View” next to “Conference Schedule” under “Registration Options.” On the upper right corner of the schedule, there is a search box and you can use that to search by area, presenter, presentation title, day, or time. One the left side of each session, you’ll see a little green button with a plus sign on it. If you click on this, it will turn red, and the titles of papers and the authors become available. (Please note that the preliminary schedule may be updated frequently in the days after its release; while much of the schedule will remain the same, there may be some shifting in presentation times or rooms.)

A few weeks prior to the conference, a PDF of the full program will be posted online.  An Addendum – containing moves, cancellations, etc. – will be continuously updated before and during the conference and posted to the virtual conference platform.

Why did my paper end up in a different subject area in the program?

If you submitted a proposal to one area in the submission database, and your paper is now showing up in a panel in a different area, don’t be concerned. Due to issues such as proposal topic, panel themes, the number of acceptances in an area, cancellations, etc., the conference staff occasionally moves papers into other areas.

How long should my presentation be?

Regardless of whether your panel has three or four presentations, your allotted time is 15 minutes. Your allotted minutes include time for playing clips and presenting other visual aids. (The Q&A session is at the end of the panel.) You will be held to this time frame!

How can I avoid problems with the time limit?

Practice! We strongly encourage you to practice reading your presentation aloud (including time for visuals) and timing yourself. Do not plan on being able to speak for more than your allotted minutes. Practice before the conference so that you will be able to say everything you want to say.

If I’m still in the middle of my presentation and I hit my time limit, what should I do?

Many chairs give presenters verbal or visual warnings at 5 minutes left and 2 minutes left. Check with your chair ahead of time to be sure you know how and when s/he will give you time signals. When you hit the 2-minute warning, begin to wrap up your presentation even if you are only part-way through the material you wanted to cover. Your chair will interrupt you and cut you off if you go over your allotted time. Feel free to offer to discuss your topic at further length with anyone interested after the panel. Please be respectful of the time limits. Don’t make your chair cut you off.

Should I read from my paper or speak from notes?

This is up to you. Most presenters read from a pre-written paper (a good tip is to print out your paper in large font—like 14 or 16 point—so you can more easily keep your place as you look up to make eye contact with your audience). Some presenters do speak from a PowerPoint presentation or note cards, but this generally requires more experience. We encourage first-time presenters to read from a written out paper. Either way, your presentation should be a clear, concise, pre-prepared argument.

Do I need to submit my paper before the conference?

You are not required to submit a copy of your paper before your presentation. Sometimes after a presentation, attendees in the audience will ask a presenter for a copy of her/his paper. You may give out copies if you wish, but you are not required to do so. You may also, at your discretion, take email addresses and later send an electronic file of your paper if anyone requests a copy. If you are a graduate student, you should consider submitting your paper for one of the graduate student awards. See the conference’s Graduate Student Awards page for a full list of awards, submission information, etc.

How early should I arrive for my presentation?

On the day of your presentation, you should plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before the panel is scheduled to start, regardless of whether you are the first or fourth scheduled presenter.

What should I wear?

There is no formal dress code, although presenters should be presentation-ready. That being said, it is a popular culture conference, and many presenters will wear t-shirts or other clothing reflective of their particular pop culture interests, that they might not wear in other academic conference settings. Most attendees dress business casual, although some attendees wear suits and some wear jeans. Since the conference is virtual this year, we won’t really be able to tell what you’re wearing, but dressing the part often helps with getting into presentation mode.

What is expected of me during the Q & A session?

Given that all the presenters keep to time constraints, there will usually be 25-30 minutes at the end of each panel for questions. The chair of your panel will moderate, which means s/he will facilitate discussion by “calling on” audience members with questions. An audience member may ask a specific question directly to an individual presenter or may ask a broader question directed at two or more presenters. You may comment on a question not directed specifically at you, although you should let the person to whom it was directed answer the question to their satisfaction first. You may also ask questions of your fellow presenters.

Am I expected to stay for a whole panel or can I move between panels?

If you are presenting, you are expected to stay for the whole panel. As audience members, most people plan to stay for all presentations on a given panel. Some attendees will move between panels to hear different papers, especially if they are attempting to support two individuals from their school presenting at the same time, for example.