Low-Tech Tips for Hearing at the Conference: Did You Hear My Presentation?

Update: These useful tips were compiled by Lori Gillen, former co-manager of the SIG, for speakers attending the STC 2008 conference in Philadelphia. The tips are valuable for any conference at any time. The tips are provided to help speakers ensure better hearing of presentation content. These tips can be used for any presentation, anywhere, of course. Your audience will thank you!
  1. Bring written content (slide presentation with useful content, handouts) to provide to your audience.
  2. Provide a portable microphone for audience members to ask questions. Repeat the question before answering it so that the audience has another chance to hear it and to check that you've got the question right. Sometimes you can paraphrase and answer a slightly different or clearer question.
  3. Be conscious of speaking more deeply, more loudly, more slowly, if requested to do so.
  4. Face the person who requests it as much as possible while still maintaining contact with the rest of the room. Make sure that key points are always addressed to that person and look to other spots of the room for lesser points.
  5. Try to avoid shouting. It may amplify your voice but it doesn't make the words more clear.
  6. During group exercises, visit the person with hearing difficulties first when making the rounds of the room, to make sure that all has been heard up to the point where the exercise starts.
  7. Think about how your visual presentation complements your verbal presentation. Make sure your slides present your key points rather than a bulleted agenda. You can do this by considering what notes you want someone to take from your talk and then put those on your slides.
  8. Make sure that important terminology is on the screen. This enables attendees whose first language is not English to "hear" you correctly, even if your pronunciation is not clear or different from their own.
Do you have any tips to add?

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