Plenary Presenter Logistics

Download a PDF of these instructions 

Important Background:

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), founded in 1938, is the oldest interdisciplinary professional association focused solely on family research, practice, and education.

Attendees of the NCFR Annual Conference are largely scholars and professionals in the Family Science discipline. Most attendees are researchers and faculty members, research-focused students, practitioners, or those interested in applying their research to policy.

There are three featured plenary addresses during the conference. Plenary topics fit closely with the conference theme. Plenary presenters are well accomplished in their disciplines.

Plenary Session Details:

  • Plenary sessions are scheduled on Wed., Nov. 3, Thu., Nov. 4, and Fri., Nov. 5 at 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central Time. An individual Zoom webinar link will be emailed to you prior to the conference. This link should be used to access your session.

  • There will be a Fire Side Chat after the session to continue discussions with attendees. You can access this session directly through Whova, our conference platform. You can navigate to the session through the conference agenda. Search for your session number.

  • There will be a practice session on a Monday in October, 2021. More details regarding the date and time for your practice session will arrive as we get closer to the conference.

  • See below for specifics on how to prepare for your presentation. You can also review the Presenter Instructions 2021 NCFR Virtual Conference for additional details.

Plenaries will be conducted live through Zoom Webinar. Session attendees will not be visible and will be on mute.

The total session time is 75 minutes and will include:

  • 15 minutes of pre-recorded materials at the start of the session. This video will include the conference host sponsor, plenary sponsor, NCFR Board President, and conference program chair welcomes. This video will also introduce the presenters.  

  • 45 minutes presentations

  • 15 minutes for discussion and Q&A. Attendees will be in listen-only mode and may ask questions through the Zoom Q&A feature or through the chat feature.

  • See your Staging Guide for more specific details. This will be provided in October.

Each plenary will include a moderator who will provide reflective statements after the plenary presentation. The moderator will moderate the discussion and Q&A portion of the session. Two facilitators are included in the plenary. One person will monitor the chat and one person will monitor the Q&A feature. Each facilitator will review audience questions, establish themes across multiple questions, and prioritize questions. The moderator will take turns calling on the facilitators to ask the audience questions. The moderator may provide additional reflective comments between questions. Facilitators may ask follow-up questions to infuse implications.

Presenters, the conference program chair, moderator, and facilitators should arrive at their session at 11:05 am CT to ensure you are logged in and ready to begin at the start of your session. Any last-minute details can be determined during this time. A PowerPoint with announcements will begin and attendees can begin arriving 5 minutes prior to the start of the session. At that point, presenters and others involved in the session will be put on mute.

All presenters, chairs, moderators, and facilitators must be registered to participate in your scheduled session, including invited individuals. See to register.

All plenaries will be captioned.

  • All plenary slides should leave blank space at the bottom of each slide (about 2-3 bullet points of space) where the captioning will be placed.

  • Email a copy of your presentation, optional handouts, and your biographical information (if you have not already done so) to the Conference Program Chair and  to Judy Schutz ([email protected]) by Sept. 20, 2021 for captioning purposes.

During the conference

  • NCFR Zoom Support will be logged into your session to welcome you before the session.

  • Write your name within Zoom so others know your name. Click on ‘participants’. When the dialog box open, click on ‘more’ next to your name. Click rename and enter your name.

  • Presenters, discussants, moderators, and facilitators will have video and audio capabilities.

  • Presenters will be allowed to share their screens to share their slides.

  • Face the camera when speaking to allow for lip reading.

  • Be enthusiastic during your live presentation. 

  • Avoid reading your paper, notes, or handouts. Refer to your notes or prepare an outline from which you present your presentation.

  • Relax and enjoy yourself as you present your paper, and your audience will respond accordingly. 

  • Be calm and have a sense of humor, especially if technical difficulties arise.

  • All attendees should have their names visible.

Increasing Engagement

Interactive sessions allow for more engagement among participants and a more stimulating session. The following are suggestions to increase engagement.

  • Using tools for polling, word clouds, quizzes, rankings, etc. Mentimeter is one software that can be used. Feel free to use the software with which you are most comfortable.

Preparing Your Presentation

The following is an in-depth list of instructions to assist in preparing slide presentations. See also Presenter Instructions 2021 NCFR Virtual Conference.


  • Keep the title as short as possible so others can read it quickly.

  • Use upper- and lower-case type. Avoid all upper-case type.

  • Serif fonts (such as Times New Roman) are generally easier to read in the body of the text. Sans serif fonts (such as Arial or Calibri) are best used in titles, headings, and captions for emphasis.

  • Use bold and bullets for emphasis.

  • Font sizes should be at least 24-point for the body, 28-point for headers, and 32-point for titles.  

  • Keep it simple, clean, and concise. 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.

  • Use only two levels of bullet points.

  • Double space between each line of text.

  • Leave blank space at the bottom of each slide (about 2-3 bullet points of space) where the captioning will be placed.


  • Text should be printed on a contrasting background (dark text on a light background, or light text on a dark background).   

  • Avoid harsh colors, such as neon, and text/background color combinations that are hard to read (e.g., red and yellow, red and green, red and black, purple and green, yellow and green, or blue and red).

  • Choose no more than two colors (in addition to either white or black) for the graphic elements of your slides (such as borders or horizontal rules) to emphasize elements and draw attention to your slides.

Tables and Charts

  • Keep graphics as simple as possible. More complex data can be presented in a handout.

  • Photographs should be used sparingly. All images should include a citation, if they were not personally created. Obtain permission to use copyrighted images.

  • Do not use hand drawn images.

  • All images should be high-quality and look good on screen.

Accessible Presentations and Resources

Design your presentation and materials with accessibility in mind.

A Note About Providing Handouts at Your Session:

Handouts are recommended, but not required. Handouts or presentation slides can be posted alongside the information about your session.

Handouts can be an executive summary of your main points. Be sure to include implications or practical ideas for one or two areas of policy, practice, or education.

All handouts should be accessible and saved as a PDF.