The message, not the medium: improving lecturing at international conferences.

Posted on August 9, 2019


A session we filmed at the EAA conference a while back. I am always amazed at the lack of practical presentation training new archaeologists receive and I am glad conferences are not starting to run more of these sessions:

Session Details

Author: Collis, John (United Kingdom) – University of Sheffield
Co-Author(s): Pearce, Mark (United Kingdom) – University of NottinghamLodewijckx, Marc (Belgium) – University of Leuven
Keywords: Lecturing Teaching Training CPD

We often present our research to the largest audiences at conferences, in many cases much larger than the numbers who read our scientific papers. It is therefore important that we maximise our impact by giving the best presentation we can, especially when we are addressing an international audience as at the EAA. For many years the EAA has offered written advice on how to communicate in lectures and posters, though trying not to be too prescriptive – there is no right way to present a paper, but there are simple mistakes which can be avoided. There are many excellent papers given, and one way is to observe and copy the techniques of the best presenters, but there are still too many lecturers (and not only people new to lecturing), who make poor presentations and have clearly not read or followed the advice. This session, supported by the EAA Board together with the Committee for Teaching and Training aims to discuss how we can best promote good practice, not only at the EAA but also at all conferences, and how we can best help students who are not given training at their institutions. We shall deal with common mistakes by presenters, how to prepare a lecture, with tips for more effective presentation. The session is aimed not only at those wishing to improve their own presentations, but especially at those responsible for training young professionals and how to incorporate it into Continuing Professional Development for more established lecturers.

The impenetrable abstraction of obscurity: before and after the colon

Author: Mr Hinton, Peter – Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (Presenting author)
Keywords: Inaudible, incomprehensible, arrogant

This awful presentation will explore archaeological presentation in real-time, with detailed illustrations and expositions. It will take some simple, well understood concepts, strip them of meaning and enrich them with complexity, using language, illustrations and styles of presentation that will prove enormously pleasing to the speaker.
Can you hear me at the back?

Conference presentation: some dos and don’ts

Author: Professor Pearce, Mark – University of Nottingham (Presenting author)
Keywords: Presentations, PowerPoints, speaking

Why do non-native English speakers find it easier to understand other non-native English speakers’ presentations than those of native English speakers? Why is less more in PowerPoint slide design? How many concepts should we try to convey in a 15 minute presentation? Conference presenting is a form of marketing – the speaker sells their ideas. In this presentation I shall explore some common mistakes by presenters at conferences, and show how some simple rules can ensure success in communication.

Introduction to ‘The message, not the medium: improving lecturing at international conferences.’
Author: Professor Collis, John, Ralph – Retired / Sheffield University (Presenting author)
Keywords: lecturing, PowerPoint, conferences

I will introduce the theme and the hoped-for outcomes of the session dealing with topics such as how to encourage lecturers, especially experienced ones, to read the EAA advice, how we might provide training for less experienced lecturers, and how we can best disseminate good practice throughout the profession.

Posted in: Videos