Connecting Minds 2016Vancouver BC - May 27 & 28
 

Frequently Asked Questions


For many of you, this will be your very first conference. In an effort to make this event more fun and exciting than stressful, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If you still can't find answers to your questions, you are more than welcome to contact us directly. We look forward to seeing you showcase your talents at this year's Connecting Minds conference.


1. Can I attend Dr. Kilbourne's keynote if I am not presenting or if I do not plan to attend the rest of the conference?

Anyone who registers and pays for the conference is eligible to attend any or all of the conference events, though do keep in mind that we have limited capacity so please register early to avoid disappointment. We encourage all registered attendees to join us for as much of the conference as possible—to listen to their peers present fascinating new research, to network with students from across North America, and to enjoy the atmosphere that has made Connecting Minds such a popular event.


2. What should I wear to the conference?

Although there tends to be a range of clothing attire at a conference, the standard is business casual.


3. Will meals be provided at the conference?

All conference attendees will be provided with appetizers during the Friday night social. On Saturday, we will provide a mid-morning snack and a full lunch. There are also a number of excellent restaurants in the area. Please ask any of the conference organizers for recommendations.

On Friday night the conference organizing team welcomes all conference attendees to join them at for a social event following the events of the evening. More detailed information (as they become available) can be found on the Social Events page.


4. Will there be a place to store my poster during the day?

Yes. We will provide a secure area for poster storage.


5. Will I have access to the internet during my oral presentation?

Yes. All presentation rooms have internet access.


6. Is there Wi-Fi access on campus?

Yes. There is free wireless available on campus. Please ask at the registration desk for a password.


7. Can I use my own computer during the oral presentation?

Yes. Each Kwantlen computer has the capability of connecting to a secondary machine (such as a notebook). The Kwantlen computers use a standard VGA interface, so make sure you have the necessary adapter.


8. Do you have any tips for those presenting posters?

Although there is no one correct style for a conference poster, you should be sure to follow a few basic rules to maximize the effect of your work.

Firstly, the poster space is limited to 4 x 4 ft. area. Please ensure your poster does not exceed these dimensions.

Secondly, you should try to keep your poster fonts large as it will most likely be read from a distance. Also remember that someone from the research team should always be standing by the poster to discuss the material with inquisitive students and passersby.

Thirdly, try to follow a semantic structure when developing your posters. It has been discovered that people tend to read posters as they do books, focusing first on the top left, then working down, before moving to the right.

We have included a sample poster for reference and illustration purposes.


9. Do you have any tips for those set to deliver oral presentations?

Avoid using cue-cards. Remember, people are there for an engaging talk, not a stale, lifeless recital of your findings. Moreover, many will not have any in-depth knowledge of your area, so if you forget a few points, no one is going to cry foul (there is a 5 minute Q&A following the presentation). Practice your oral presentation and don't rely on reading aids. You will be guaranteed to provide a much more interesting and entertaining talk. Think back to your own experiences. How many great presenters can you recall that relied on reading-aids?

Your PowerPoints should only hit on key points and provide additional visual material (images, graphs, tables, etc.). The rest of the information should come from you, the speaker. Remember the age old maxim: Less is more (and doubly so with PowerPoints).

We all have nervous quirks. Some of us like to fiddle with our pens. Others, to put their hands in their pockets. Still others, to play with their hair. Mind your nervous habits as oral presentations are incredibly stressful for most of us, and they will manifest in full force. Get a friend to identify your nervous habits during a rehearsal and try your best to limit their occurrence. If you tend to play with your keys, leave them on the desk. If you fiddle with your pen, don't bring one. It's now time to put to use all that you've learned from your degree!

Start off strong! Make your opening monologue and first slide engaging. Most of your audience will be unfamiliar with the depth of your topic. Bring it back to the mainstream so your audience knows right away how this can benefit and help society at large. After all, your research should filter back into the community. While it's important to provide depth in your presentation, don't forget about the big picture!

Pauses are great. Most presenters jam up and flood their presentation with "ums" (and other verbal filler) thinking if they stop talking, the heavens will fall. Take a pause and think about your next sentence. There is nothing wrong with an extended break. You may think a 5 second pause is an eternity, but remember, your audience is relaxed and not under stress. You should also avoid the use of common slang, like "like." You may be an undergraduate, but these presentations are still full blown academic discussions, and you should try your hardest to rise to the occasion.

Be engaging; ask questions. Inject humour when possible. While these are perhaps more advanced tips, there is nothing wrong with trying out new material, especially when on the road, as it where. Be creative. In the past, presenters have stolen the show by their showmanship as opposed to their findings!

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