Guidelines

What do you do now?

PRESENTERS

Relax! This may be a new experience, but you will be presenting to interested (and interesting) people about something to which you have given a lot of thought. Remember, you know your essay more than anyone in the room because you wrote it!

Here are your presentation guidelines
• You have 20 minutes to present; not any longer
• Make sure that you have timed your presentation so that it is not cut short
• If your time runs out way before you have reached the end of your presentation, the audience may miss out on important information regarding your argument
• Try to present rather than read your paper word for word
• If your paper discusses topics such as logic or critical thinking, it may be a good idea to use visuals*
• Make sure your presentation makes sense and that it does not stray from the ideas presented in your paper
• You may prepare an outline or note cards to guide your presentation and keep you on track (many students find that marking up a manuscript with a highlighter and marginal notes works equally well)
• Arrive about 15 minutes before your session begins
• Introduce yourself to the other participants
• Make sure you understand the gestures the session chair will use to signal time (see Guidelines for Session Chairs)

*If you need any sort of equipment (i.e. computer, easel, projector) we can provide it with prior notice.

As a courtesy to the other speakers, you are expected to be present for and participate in the entire session to which you have been assigned.

Above all, have fun!

DISCUSSANTS

Process and Purpose

At Oneonta, we strongly believe that Philosophy is a communal activity, requiring open and honest dialogue between thoughtful and reflective individuals. To foster high caliber intellectual exchange during the conference, each paper is assigned a discussant who is given 3 minutes to pose questions, offer commentary, and provide directions for the ensuing discussion. To help underscore the value that we assign to this type of philosophical activity, the Dominick Roda Memorial Award provides special recognition for discussants who present exceptionally insightful, cogent, and thought-provoking analyses.

If you are interested in participating in this capacity, just review those materials to see which (if any) papers still need discussants. Decide which of those best fit with your background and interest, then send us an email with the title and author of your preferred paper. Discussants, naturally, receive the paper a few weeks before the conference to allow adequate time for preparation.
Specific Guidelines:

Read the paper prior to the conference. It is often helpful to discuss basic concepts and ideas with others (including the author, fellow students, and your professors). If the author uses sources with which you are not familiar, it is your responsibility to find and read those materials.

Identify key themes and concepts. Compare the paper to other materials that you have read to determine what, if anything, makes the student’s approach insightful, distinctive, or philosophically interesting. Decide what aspects of the paper you like, what you don’t, etc. You may wish to prepare an outline or note cards to guide your discussion and keep you on track. Many students find that marking up a manuscript with a highlighter and marginal notes works equally well.

Practice your presentation in advance. Be sure to time yourself. (Remember, you may have to cut some comments to allow adequate time for presentation of more important thoughts.) You may want to enlist the aid of a patient and honest friend, videocamera, or taperecorder.

Arrive a few minutes before your session begins. Introduce yourself to the other participants. Make sure you understand the gestures the session chair will use to signal time (see Guidelines for Session Chairs ).

You will be given 3 minutes to present your perspectives. Feel free to disagree with the speaker, but do not allow yourself to be rude or abusive. Remember, your remarks should initiate discussion, not serve as the final word.

As a courtesy to the other speakers, you are expected to be present for and participate in the entire session to which you have been assigned.

Above all, have fun!

 

SESSION CHAIRS

Arrive a few minutes before your session begins. Introduce yourself to the speakers. Make sure you learn how to pronounce their names properly. Review procedures, including the gestures you will use to signal time (below).

Try to begin and end the session on time. If one session runs late, others are affected.

Obtain (and maintain) order. If people are talking, they will not be able to hear either you or the speaker.

Introduce yourself and the title of your session. If there is a concurrent session in an adjacent room, indicate both the title and place of that session in case some students are in the “wrong” room.

Introduce each speaker. Be brief, clear, and consistent.

e.g. “Our first speaker is ….., a freshman/sophomore/junior/senior at ……., majoring in ……. [and ………]. …….’s presentation is titled, “…….”
Unless otherwise specified, each speaker will have a presentation time of 20 minutes. Keep time and signal the speaker in an unobtrusive way when 5 minutes remain. Signal again when 3 minutes remain, then 1, and again when the 20 minutes are up. If the speaker exceeds his or her allotted time, it is your responsibility to cut them off (courteously, but firmly).
Thank the speaker and introduce the discussant.

Each discussant will have 3 minutes to comment on the paper and initiate discussion. If the discussant exceeds this time, it is your responsibility to cut them off (courteously, but firmly).

Depending on the actual length of presentation and discussant’s remarks, you will now have approximately 10-15 minutes for open discussion. Moderate but do not force the discussion. Do not allow a small handful of people to dominate the entire period. When forced to choose, call on students before professors (after all, this is an undergraduate conference). As tempting as it may be to allow discussion to extend beyond the allotted period, it is your responsibility to keep track of time and enforce the schedule (thereby insuring a fair environment in which each speaker has equal opportunity for presentation and discussion).

Introduce the next speaker….

At the end of the session, thank the participants and the audience. Announce the titles and locations of the next sessions or events.

Have fun! You have the easy job.

 

 

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