(1) Introduce yourself.  When it is your turn don’t just launch into your presentation. Be sure to remind the audience who you are and where you are from.


(2) So what. Know what single, take-away point you want the listener to have in mind when they leave the room. How would they describe your talk to someone who wasn't at it?  Make sure you lay out that point early and use your research to reinforce it.


(3) Next Slide. Don't be too reliant on your slides – and don’t turn you back to the audience! Ask yourself how each slide contributes to a key take-away point. If the connection seems strained, drop or significantly revise the slide.


(4) Practice for timing. Focus mostly on your unique contributions and only cover background material as much as necessary to set the context for your analysis and results.  Audiences get shifty at the 10 minute mark and no one wants to be cut-off mid-sentence by the panel chair.


(5) Slow down. Speak slowly, make eye contact, and project confidence.


(6) Come with a tough skin. The discussant's job isn't to tell you what is great about your paper, it's to make it better. Be open to the constructive criticism and push back if you don't understand their comments


(7) Take a stand. It might be scary to say that you disagree with someone, but if you do, you should say so. Just make sure you show that you understand what his/her argument was and explain why you disagree.


(8) Take notes.  Usually your discussant will not provide you with any information above and beyond what they tell you in the panel.  Make sure you have a way to retain that information.


(9) Plan Ahead. Think about potential questions and how you can answer them in a collegial, non-defensive manner.


(10) Abrupt ending. Don't end your presentation with "and that's it" -- have a meaningful conclusion and share it in a concise fashion.

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