NEW for 2021: Uploading Optional Handouts to Whova

NEW for 2021: Interactive Poster FAQs

Specific Session Type Instructions

More Resources

General 2021 Presenter Instructions (PDF)


Uploading Posters and Optional Handouts (New for 2021)

Presenters will need to submit posters or optional handouts directly to the online conference platform, Whova. All registered presenters received an email with a unique link directly from Whova providing instructions.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Upload your files right away so attendees can view your documents and there is time for NCFR staff to resolve any issues. Sessions begin Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Only upload the final version of your documents. You will not be able to modify or delete any uploaded files.

Optional handouts can include a 1- to 2-page executive summary of your presentation, including implications of your work for policy, practice, research, or pedagogy. Many attendees find these materials beneficial.

All handouts should be accessible and saved as a PDF.

See Interactive Poster FAQs

Things Every Presenter Needs to Know

  1. Register by Oct. 11, 2021. All presenters, chairs, discussants, facilitators, presiders and moderators must be registered for the conference. Please register, if you have not done so already. You will receive a unique link to Whova that will allow you to update your profile and upload optional handouts and materials between Oct. 11 and Oct. 23. We encourage you to upload these additional materials as attendees find it very useful. All documents should be final.
  2. Whova, the conference platform, will officially open Oct. 25. Take the time to log in and become familiar with Whova before the conference begins. Go to  
  3. Be engaging while presenting. Use interactive tools to increase engagement (e.g., the various tools offered through Zoom). See this video on effective virtual presentations by NCFR member, I. Joyce Chang, Ph.D..
  4. Control your environment. You will want to have an environment free of noise and distractions. This includes anything that may interrupt your computer audio. We suggest closing out extra tabs, apps, and software programs not needed during the presentation as well as silencing notifications to avoid disruptions during your presentation.
  5. Use a wired headset during your presentation to create a higher-quality presentation and overall conference experience by eliminating extra audio noises. High-quality microphones can also help create more professional presentations.
  6. Use high-speed internet and an ethernet cable. We recommend using an ethernet cable to connect to high-speed internet rather than Wi-Fi to decrease internet difficulties during your presentation. Wi-Fi can be spotty at times. If you must use Wi-Fi, ensure you have a strong signal to ensure your connection remains stable.
  7. Adjust your lighting. Place lighting at the side or in front of the computer rather than from behind. You will want as much light as possible so that you may be visible without “washing out” your image. Avoid direct sunlight in your shot. It is oftentimes too bright and not controllable.  
  8. Adjust your camera so that you have the proper body positioning; your body is neither too close nor too far away. The camera should be level with your eyes. Look at the camera during your presentation to create eye contact with the attendees.
  9. Choose a neutral background and solid colors for clothing rather than plaids, stripes, or patterns. Keep the attire simple and professional.
  10. Use full-screen mode during your presentation. We recommend printing your notes prior to the presentation to allow for the full-screen mode. Presenter mode is also helpful.
  11. Access and navigate to your session by logging into Whova. Go to
  12. Arrive to your session 15 minutes early to prepare for your presentation, check in with the facilitator, and conduct a technology check. You will also be able to greet attendees as they arrive.
  13. Zoom. The conference software integrates with Zoom for conference sessions. All presentations will run through Zoom with Zoom links being provided by NCFR. You will not be able to share Zoom links. Be familiar with Zoom features prior to your presentation, including screen sharing. Presenters will be able to share their presentations during their session.
  14. Practice, Practice, Practice before you present live. Speak clearly and at a natural pace. We encourage you to have a “dress rehearsal” with the other presenters of your session. We encourage you to discuss the introductions, transitions between presenters, the full presentations, discussion, answering questions, and use of technology.
  15. One or multiple slides decks? For non-poster sessions, decide whether the PowerPoints will be all in one file with someone advancing the screen or whether each person will share their screen. Poster sessions should have one slide deck.
  16. Presentations are time limited. Please stay within your time limit. See your specific session type instructions for how much time you have to present.
  17. Introduce yourself at the beginning of your presentation if you have not been previously introduced.
  18. Refrain from reading your notes. This will increase audience engagement.
  19. Determine when to respond to audience questions. Sessions will have facilitators or moderators to facilitate questions during the Q&A portion of the session. However, presenters may choose to answer any questions in the chat area when they aren’t presenting. We recommend that you discuss with your facilitator or moderator how this will be handled prior to the session beginning.
  20. What is your backup plan? We recommend you consider what to do if your electricity or internet does not work. Please plan accordingly.

Instructions for Preparing Presentations In Advance

Remember that hearing is different from reading. A paper delivered orally is different in style from an article meant to be read in print. Use your printed paper as a source and prepare an outline from which you give your presentation. Attendees do not like to hear papers read. Talking off the top of your head, however, can also be annoying.

Get the beginning and end right. Critical to the success of your presentation are the first two minutes and the final minute. Start with an attention-getter (e.g., a story), and end with the one point you want your audience to remember about the talk.

Structure your presentation thoughtfully. The structure of a paper presentation requires thoughtful planning. State your objectives and how you will meet them. In the first few minutes, place your topic into historical or developmental context. Summarize key points at the end of each segment of the presentation. Emphasize the direction your research has taken, and the results and interpretation rather than techniques. Try to present some practical applications of your work. The audience prefers to receive both practical applications and theoretical material at a session.

Practice to your time. Various session types have different time limits. See the session type descriptions to know your time limit. Sessions are on a tight schedule and there are others presenting in your session. You must adhere to the time limit specified by your session facilitator. As a rule of thumb, six pages of typed, double-spaced pages with one-inch margins equals 12 minutes of presentation time.

Practice your presentation in front of a small group of supportive colleagues to ensure an effective performance.


PowerPoint Instructions

  • Remember that you — not PowerPoint — are the presenter. Use your slides to emphasize a point, keep yourself on track, and illustrate a point with a graphic or photo.
  • Font sizes should be at least 24-point for the body, 28-point for headers, and 32-point for titles.
  • Text should be bold, sans serif like Calibri, Helvetica, or Arial, and a combination of upper- and lower-case letters for easier reading. Type in all caps should be avoided.
  • Keep it simple, clean, and concise. Use consistent wording. One item per line works best, so use key words rather than complete sentences. The optimum display on a slide is no more than 6 to 8 lines and 30 words per slide. Avoid having too many words on one slide or in one bullet. The text is meant to supplement your presentation. Emphasize key points.
  • Use only two levels of bullet points.
  • Double space between each line of text to allow for easier reading by all.
  • Present numbers selectively. For processing ease and better recall of information, do not overload the screen with numerical information. A chart or graph showing differences between conditions, ages, etc. is easier for the audience to process than a table full of numbers indicating the same differences.
  • Keep graphs simple. The most effective graphs are pie charts with 3 or 4 slices and column charts with 3 or 4 columns. Ensure your tables, graphs, etc. are large enough so that people can view them on their screens. Be sure to describe all tables, graphs, etc. so that the visuals are more easily understood by all.
  • Avoid statements like, “as you can see….” or “do you hear what I’m saying” to ensure inclusivity.
  • Be aware of problematic idioms or expressions with racist, sexist, or otherwise offensive origins (such as grandfathered, “man up”, or peanut gallery), and phrases that use cultural appropriation (such as guru, ninja, or spirit animal).
  • Keep the background simple. Colors should be sharp and in strong contrast without being unsettling. Limit the number of colors used on one slide. Do not only use color to distinguish information. Varying font size is helpful too.
  • You are not required to use PowerPoint. Use any presentation software with which you are comfortable (e.g., Prezi) and follow these same guidelines. Whichever software you use, you must have it downloaded on your own computer to use yourself.
  • When advancing slides, pause for 10 seconds to let people read it before saying anything. Then read the text aloud ensure people who are unable to see the text know what is on the slide.
  • If you use animations, set the speed of the animations to be slow so they can be described fully.
  • Send your material in advance, if possible, in the event that NCFR staff needs to provide alternative text (tagged PDF or braille).

Resources For a Successful Virtual Presentation

Zoom Resources

TED Masterclass


NCFR will be recording all presentations, including PowerPoints, handouts, and any other materials. NCFR will store all recordings, including those provided to NCFR for presentation, so that others may continue to view the materials. Full credit is provided to the presenters.