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Undergraduate Philosophy Conference - Instructions for Presenters

This conference is intended to promote an open and relaxed dialogue between the presenter and the audience. For many of the conference participants this will be their first conference; therefore it might be somewhat stressful. However, you should relax, knowing that the audience is made up of your peers who have an interest in what you have to say and encouraging you to do your very best work. Have fun while sharing your philosophical research and ideas with others who are equally as enthusiastic about philosophy as you are.

Each presenter will be given 30 minutes for their paper presentation. We will proceed in the order that the presenters are listed on the conference program. The Chair will introduce each speaker and serve as timekeeper. After all of the papers have been read in your panel, the Discussant will begin by offering their brief comments or asking a question. Then there will be roughly 30 minutes remaining for questions and answers from the general audience to the panel. It will be the Chair's responsibility to call on audience members who have raised their hands to ask questions or make comments. Be certain to speak loudly and clearly while answering the questions so that the entire audience can listen to your responses.

As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to practice reading your paper aloud before the conference for timing and presentation purposes. Proofread and edit your paper before coming to the conference (perhaps ask your professors to reread your paper and offer suggestions). If you intend to use a Power Point display, or other visual aides during your presentation, be certain to practice using them before you leave for the conference. Make certain you have your materials saved in multiple places using different system compatibilities. Also, be prepared to present your paper without the use of these methods just in case the technology happens to malfunction at the conference. In other words, be prepared.

During your presentation the Chair of the panel will slip you a note as you are nearing the 30 minute mark. We want to be fair to all the presenters and allow everyone an equal amount of time. Again, please be certain to remember to speak loudly, clearly, and at a reasonable pace (philosophical arguments are difficult to follow if they are read too quickly!). Take pauses between appropriate passages to allow ideas to settle in your audience's mind before proceeding. In short, do not rush through your paper; this is the most common mistake made by novice presenters.

Some other helpful hints include: show up no less than 15 minutes prior to your presentation time; and make eye contact with your audience throughout your presentation.

Good luck and have fun!

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