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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Presenting a research paper in a foreign university

Presenting abroad has been a worthwhile experience, every time. Not because you could get opportunity to see Pyramids in Egypt, get a pint of bitter tastes better in a pub on the River Cam, or you will never forget the sight of St. Peter's Basilica on a winter morning. Taking part in international intellectual exchanges simply broadens your horizons, enhancing your teaching and scholarship.

Here are some important points to consider while you are presenting abroad:
  • Practice reading your paper ahead of time
  • Try to attend smaller gatherings for better interaction. Mega-conferences, by contrast will have many sub-sessions, will have all-too-brief time for papers, and a miniscule audiences for many panels.
  • Don't just present your own paper and leave. Attend many sessions, if not most.
  • Go slow and make it plain. When you are delivering a paper at an international conference, remember that your audience will be composed in large part of people for whom English is a second language.
  • Never exceed your share of the time for more than a minute or two; indicate that you are aware when you have hit the time limit; and reassure your audience that you are wrapping it up
  • Look at your audience - every now and then. Of course, looking at your audience also means you have to be able to remember a sentence or two of your own words for the twenty seconds it requires to say them. Another reason to rehearse.
  • Display a sense of humor
  • Interact

Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

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