Concurrent Sessions

Planning and presenting concurrent sessions can be very nerve wracking – so many things can go wrong. We’ve compiled this collection of suggestions to help you to design and present an effective, engaging session.

  • Plan your presentation to fit into a 45-minute time slot, and practice it to check the timing. Remember that activities often take longer than you expect them to!
  • Arrive at least ten minutes early to survey the room, check the equipment, and get your materials in order.
  • Begin on time. Think about creative approaches to grab your audience’s attention, like a question or a quote.
  • Audience involvement is vital to a successful presentation. Throughout the presentation, challenge and engage your audience members. Include at least one activity in your 45-minute session. Be honest and respectful with your group and have fun. They will appreciate the opportunity to share with others and participate. Note: All the concurrent session rooms have lecture-style seating. Consider this when planning group activities.
  • If you are worried about keeping the discussion focused in the short time frame available, use a page on the flipchart to write down comments or questions that aren’t part of your talk. If time permits, you can come back to them. Follow up unanswered questions by email.
  • Focus your PowerPoint slides on major points. Avoid reading slides aloud to participants – your back will be to your audience, which leaves them out of the conversation. Use visuals to communicate. Think of PowerPoint as a visual, not as your co-presenter.
  • To be on the safe side, in preparing materials, plan for 30-40 participants.
  • Leave a few minutes at the end of your session for questions and for participants to fill out the evaluation form.
  • End on time so that presenters after you also get full time in their sessions. Your audience will also appreciate this courtesy as they want to get to their next sessions. Note: You can ask the volunteer assigned to your room to help you to keep track of time.
  • Presentation rooms are equipped with:
    • 1 laptop,
    • 1 LCD (data) projector,
    • 1 screen or white wall,
    • 1 easel , and
    • flip chart paper.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint and a web browser will be loaded on all laptops. Wireless web access is available. Please request access ahead of time, so that we can set up your temporary user account. More details will be available in your conference package upon registration.

If you need an overhead projector, you must request it before April 12, 2013 to guarantee its availability.

If you have any questions about developing concurrent sessions, please email, and include your session number in the subject line. We’ll be happy to consult with you.

For more information on preparing for your presentation, gathering visual aids, practicing, presenting effectively, and answering audience questions, visit: Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching - Speaker Resources - Concurrent Session.