Making an Oral Presentation at a 21st Century Academic Forum Conference
Fifth Conference at Harvard
Call for Proposals
Research Support Program Workshops
Oral / Poster / Absentee Presentation Submission
US Visa Information
Conference Fee Payment
Visa Letter of Invitation
Schedule at a Glance
Conference Program Book
Official Conference Airlines
Martin Conference Center
Oral Presentation Guide
Poster Presentation Guide
Absentee Presentation Guide
The 21st Century Academic Forum difference...
The 21st Century Academic Forum strongly encourages Oral Presenters to follow Albert Einstein's advice about explaining your work simply and clearly. We take pride in our conferences being inter/multi/trans disciplinary, international, and encouraging impactful/applied research. As such, we hope you will think carefully about what your audience knows and doesn't know (or frankly doesn't care about). Our conferences are unlike narrowly defined single discipline conferences, and your fellow participants may not know all the terminology, jargon, acronyms, and researchers in your area. Look at this conference as an opportunity to take a fresh look at your research as you prepare to explain to people who may know little to nothing about your work. Please remember our mantra: keep it simple and clear!
Oral Presentation Basics
Oral presentation breakout sessions are scheduled in clusters of 4 or 5 presentations based on a thematic basis. With an inter/multi/trans disciplinary focus, many clusters may not be as "tight" as found at a single discipline conference. At the risk of being repetitive, please prepare your presentation for those who are not intimately familiar with your particular field of research and embrace the diversity of topics.
Each presenter will be allotted 20 minutes for his/her presentation, followed by a 5-minute question and answer session. During the question and answer period, oral presenters are kindly asked to allow the next presenter to get ready for their presentation. This will help the smooth transition from one presenter to the next.
Our Session Chairs have been instructed to run his/her respective session with military precision. The session chair will use time cards to let presenters know when they have 5 minutes, 3 minutes, and 1 minute remaining. The "Time for Questions" card means STOP talking. Session Chairs will be empowered to ask audience members to leave if they are noisy, rude, or display any disrespectful behavior. We cannot emphasize enough our desire for respectful dialogue and behavior. The 21st Century Academic Forum simply will not tolerate disrespectful behavior. Please be respectful and do your part to contribute to a positive atmosphere of learning and international collaboration.
We kindly ask presenters to load their PowerPoint presentations on the provided laptop computer at least 15 minutes before the start of his/her respective session. Each presenter will start and finish his/her presentation at precisely the times printed in the Conference Program Book. More detailed information can be found in the Oral Presentation Guide and Tips document linked below.
Oral Presenters... You have 20 minutes to talk about the great work you are doing. PLEASE don't waste 15 of those minutes on a literature review! We have witnessed so many participants walk away from presentations with the same question: what did you actually do? People aren't traveling for thousands of miles for a glorified book report. Don't do what we see so many presenters do: rush the really important parts of their presentations at the end. So, here is our advice: flip your presentation and use this simple formula:
(1) Describe the problem
(2) Describe WHY the problem is a problem
(3) Describe how your research addresses the problem
(4) Describe the impact of your research
(5) Describe the next steps in your research
(6) Solicit advice (and possible collaborations) with your audience members