Making the Most of the Moments you Have as a Presenter


Todd Conaway, Instructional Designer, UW | Bothell, OLC Presenter Services

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Whether you are new to presenting at conferences or a seasoned veteran, you can always improve your skills and possibly lessen your anxieties. And these days, conferences have all kinds of presentation formats to choose from and attend. What are the best ways to share your ideas and information within each of the format types? And beyond the “content,” what are the presentation skills that work best? Of course, there is no single “best way” but there are likely a variety of elements that will make a presentation a success.  

Participating in a helpful and supportive critique of your presentation may seem a little scary, but it is not, and it is well worth the time. And you’ll meet someone new!

The OLC conferences have rich support for presenters ranging for the detailed Presentation Guides and Tip Sheets, to live (and recorded) webinars given by skilled presenters. There is also the opportunity to learn from a coach. 

What are the specific qualities of the most memorable presentations you have attended? What did you learn? And how did you learn it? Perhaps you learned something from another attendee in a small group discussion? Perhaps the presenter shared a link to some resources? Maybe a question was asked that prompted you to further explore new ways to approach challenges in your work? 

Do you share your resources with the participants? Do you add your slides to the conference site? Maybe the slides are done in Google Slides and you create a short link that participants can easily write down or visit while you are presenting? Maybe, you build out a small website with all kinds of resources for your audience?

I have been able to do a number of presentations over the past fifteen years and some days I think I am getting better. Sometimes not so much. I have learned to create spaces for faculty to share their ideas and usually create a free WordPress site to house resources. I always bring business cards with the url to the site on it to hand to participants as the presentation handout.   

A few years ago, the faculty asked me to do a presentation about giving presentations. I was able to do it live for a couple of years and then one semester I could not make it. I created the Spark page below and as it ended up, while I loved going to the classroom and giving the live presentation, I created a decent resource for her class that many other faculty found valuable.  


There is more to presenting than reading slide notes or remembering a script. Whether you hope to improve your slides, or if you wonder what the right tool to deliver your presentation with, there are many things to consider.   

If you have questions about your presentation and would like some help, consider asking for an OLC mentor or coach. You can do that here. The Deadline to request coaching services:  Monday, February 17, 12pm EST and the coaching sessions run early February – March 20, 2020.


Presenter Guides

If you’re looking for a quick reference on ways to enhance your presentation, consider taking a look at our Presenter Guides. These downloadable resources serve as a quick refresher on the best ‘advice’ or ‘tips’ our coaches have to offer.


These virtual sessions provide you with detailed guidance on strategies and techniques that can help you craft a successful presentation. By attending the live webinars, you will have the opportunity to hear best practices, ask questions of the webinar presenters, and share any insights or lessons learned from your own experiences. Be sure to mark these on your calendar so you don’t miss them!


All meeting links are available on the Presenter Services website.


February 5, 3:30pm ET – Workshops

February 12, 1:00pm ET – Discovery Sessions

February 14, 11:00am ET – Innovation Studio Design Thinking Challenges

February 20, 2:30pm ET – Conversations, Not Presentations & Career Forum Roundtables

February 27, 1:00pm ET – Present & Reflect and Streaming Sessions

Even if you are a seasoned presenter, we would encourage you to attend the webinars as your insights may help to enrich the conversation for individuals who are less experienced.


One of the best ways to improve upon a skill is to work with a coach who can offer feedback and guidance that is tailored specifically to your needs. OLC now offers this as a free service to all conference presenters upon request on a space-available basis. We encourage you to sign up early.  

Pre-conference Coaching – Connect with a coach to explore strategies for engaging your audience, enhancing your slides, practice presenting, and more.

Onsite Coaching – Have a coach attend your live presentation at the conference and receive custom feedback.

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