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Meeting Essentials for Presenters

2020 Virtual Annual Meeting > Meeting Essentials > Presenters

Action Items

Please review all the preparatory details below and complete these steps, explained below, by early October:

  1. By default, most live sessions will be recorded for asynchronous access by conference attendees through December 31. Your chair will contact you soon asking if you do not want to be recorded. If that is the case, please notify them so they can follow the proper procedure for informing AFS staff by October 7.
  2. Communicate with your chair about what they need from you, including a draft or preview of your paper and information for introductions.
  3. Submit all of your AV files to the conference platform by October 7.

Preparing for the Meeting

  • Review Help with Zoom (e.g., how to operate video and audio settings) and Open Water help for instructions about how to access the platform; when the platform is available, the access link will be posted to the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting page.
  • Review our guidelines for accessible presentations to consider what steps you can take to facilitate participation by all attendees. If you can add captions to your AV files, please do.
  • All presentations will be scheduled in live sessions with Q&A.
  • If your paper includes media, like a slide show or audio/video clips:
    • you will share AV using Share Screen in Zoom, which introduces room for technical glitches. The best way to ward off those problems is to upload all of your AV files to the conference platform (link to be provided here when it is available) so that others can assist in a pinch, and to...
    • pre-record your paper because it allows you to streamline your presentation into a single, integrated file, thus reducing opportunities for technical difficulties and allowing you to concentrate on interacting with other panelists and the audience. Pre-recorded papers do not have to be highly polished productions!
      • See Help with Zoom/Presenting over Zoom/Sharing AV Materials about using Zoom's Share Screen for presentations with with audio or video; the same settings apply if you record your presentation in Zoom.)
      • The slide deck about how to pre-record your paper includes an apparent link for uploading your files; don't use it! It is just a demo. Use this form instead.
  • Don't prerecord your presentation, but just present live:
    • if your paper does not include media, since live presentations aren't as dependent on bandwidth or knowledge of Zoom controls.
    • if you are part of a forum.
    • if you find pre-recording uncomfortable or impracticable. However, we still strongly recommend that you submit all of your audiovisual media files in advance of your session, primarily because your chair or Zoom moderator will be able to play your files for you in case you have technical difficulties. 
  • Uploading files is a quick and easy process; use this form. Once uploaded, attendees may access your files asynchronously, and your session's chair or Zoom moderator can operate the AV controls, if necessary, during your live session. Keep a copy of your file for your own use during the session.
  • If you opt for live presenting, be mindful of your technological needs and anticipate taking some of your allotted time to handle them during the presentation. Technical problems tend to take up more time than expected, and these difficulties can throw off a carefully-planned schedule!    

During the Meeting

  • Follow the directions of your chair/moderator throughout the session.
  • Make sure your microphone is muted when you are not speaking to minimize background noise while others are speaking.
  • Turn your microphone on when it is your turn to speak.
  • Try not to speak over other attendees, both as a matter of courtesy and because computer microphones often cancel each other out when one speaker tries to talk over another.
  • Introduce yourself before speaking. Remember that not all other attendees will necessarily have access to video chat and may not recognize you from voice alone.
  • If you don’t want audience members to record your presentation, say so.
  • If you will be playing any media files, including a prerecorded presentation or other video, audio, or slides, it may be best to play the files on your own device when you screen-share with the  meeting room, since this may reduce bandwidth issues. If so, be aware of the Zoom controls to share your audio in addition to your screen (see Help with Zoom). If you have trouble, and you've uploaded your files in advance, your chair or Zoom moderator may play your files in your place.


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