Conference Presentation? You need a website! Guest Post by Jennifer van Alstyne

 
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Jennifer van Alstyne is a communications strategist for the HigherEd World. As owner of The Academic Designer LLC, she helps faculty, grad students, and scholarly organizations share their work effectively through social media strategy, websites, and graphic design. Check out her website.

 

Presentation Impact

Hi! I’m Jennifer van Alstyne, The Academic Designer. Today I’m going to be talking all about how a website can be the best advocate for your research when you’re giving a conference presentation.

There’s tons of advice out there on how to give a great presentation. And Echo has you covered on all things storyboarding, visual, and tech-y.

I want to talk to you about your online presence. Because if you’re not sharing your research online, people are missing out on your work.

 Alexandra Gold talks about audience attention and retention on the GradHacker blog on InsideHigherEd. But what if you have a good presentation?

 You have The Mindset You Need to Create a Compelling Presentation, but how do you make the biggest potential impact?

Think about it this way. You’ve spent time to research, propose, and write this presentation. You made slides and practiced. Oh yeah, did I mention travel?

With all that work, it’s important to amplify your message. The internet is a powerful tool for that.

Whether there were 15 people in the room, or 250 people, a personal website is the best way to ensure your audience gets your message.

Communicate Your Message

Some of you are saying, “Hey, I shared my presentation on Twitter. I even used the conference hashtag!” And that’s awesome.

 
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Social media is a great amplifier, but the half-life of a social media post is short. Your work deserves more.

A personal website is a great hub for anyone looking to share their work with the world. Whether you have a 1-page site with your bio and a headshot, or a more extensive portfolio of your research, a website is the answer.

Why? Because a website is static. That means that it doesn’t change or go away, unless you want it to.

You have control over your website. Unlike a faculty or employee page, a personal website is your own. You can update it as needed, or change out the photo.

And, you can always share your website on social media. But it’s highly unlikely someone looking for info about you is going to scroll through your tweets to learn about you.

So, you have a presentation coming up. You worked hard. You practiced. You answered all their questions.

 
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If you can direct them to a website where they can:

            Learn more about you

            Get in touch

            Download a handout

            Read or listen to the presentation

Well that is going to have lasting impact. And, it can help spark a larger audience for your work by giving you the ability to share it online.

Handouts

Creating handouts for your presentations is great because at the end of a conference, people unpack their bag, go through their folder, and pull out your sheet.

That reminds them of you and your presentation, and gives them a way to get in touch if they want.

Let me ask you this. How many of you actually want to ask a question or comment on someone’s panel presentation after the fact? It happens! And when it does, it’s great.

Most of the time though, we just think - Oh, that person was cool. I want to see more from them.

All sorts of things drive people to connect. There are all sorts of reasons someone might want to get in touch after a conference. And that’s something we don’t often think about.

Your handout can drive people to your website. But your website can also host your handout, abstract, and so much more.

Slides

In addition to any handouts, PDF’s, and general information about the presentation, your website can share your talk with the world.

The best part about websites is that they allow you to embed visual, audio, and textual elements.

You can share your slides right on your website. Whether you created your presentation in PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Keynote, you can share it online.

After all, you worked hard on those visuals. More people should see them!

Or you could

...turn the slides into graphics and include the accompanying text below them

...record your presentation at home and share the audio and transcript

...share your presentation paper as text, or as a PDF

Be sure to grab Jennifer’s FREE guide!

 
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