Help with Presentations

Presentations should be of interest to members of the Association – either directly relating to neuroscience nursing or current developments in nursing as a whole. In general, a good presentation – whether verbal or written – consists of:

  • A Beginning – The introduction
  • A Middle – The main content
  • An End – Summary and conclusion

In other words :

  • “Tell them what you are going to tell them”
  • “Tell them”
  • “Tell them what you have told them”.


Ensure that you know the time limit allowed for your presentation and prepare accordingly. Do not worry if you finish early – stop if you have said what you wanted to say. On the other hand, do not overrun your time limit as the programme schedule is often ‘tight’ and the Chairperson may have to curtail your presentation if it is too long. Do a “trial run” with some colleagues/friends if you are not sure how much material to include.

Time allotment options will be available on the abstract, and will normally include time for questions. Dual or multiple presentations are also possible – i.e., two or three people sharing the time slot. If a longer time is required, this must be negotiated with the organisers.

Presentation – Virtual Format

When presenting a paper, it is important to speak clearly; make sure you have a good microphone on your computer. Being in a smaller room or using a headset can help improve the sound quality. Having your camera on is an important way to make attendees feel connected with you as you discuss your topic so consider the lighting. Try not to sit inform of a window as this can make your face seem dark. Consider what is behind you that will be visible in the background – you may want to have a background ready to upload to obscure your real background.

You can use videos in your presentation if you would like too. Ensure you have asked the event organisers what you need to do to ensure sound. A range of formats such as power point or prezi can be used – but again make sure that you have practiced using the format and that it presents how you want to.

Text size and amount is also important – consider that some people may be watching on smaller mobile devices.

Questions and comments

At a more formal presentation, it is usual to invite questions and comments (on the content of your paper) at the end – allow 5 or 10 minutes for this at the end of, but within, your time slot. Sometimes the organisers may have arranged a “speaker’s panel” at the end of, e.g., the morning or afternoon session, instead. Organisers will tell you before the day the options that are available to attendees for asking questions. Attendees will either be able to virtually ‘raise their hand’ and then be invited to turn their microphone on and ask the question or there may be a comment bar where attendees can type questions. If you are presenting a topic that you have researched well and have knowledge about, you should be able to answer questions. If you do not have an answer, say so. A colleague or someone else in the audience may be able to assist in providing an answer. If you are asked a question from the comment bar, read it out so that other members of the audience have heard it. The Chairperson of the session should assist in directing the question and discussion part of the programme. Do not get involved in lengthy discussion/debate – remember the time factor! Individuals can always speak to you later if they want to know more.

Remember the following points:

  1. Good preparation is crucial and helps to reduce nervousness.
  2. Speak as clearly as possible – not too slowly or too quickly. Your own accent may not be easily understood by others, so try to enunciate your words well and avoid the use of abbreviations and colloquialisms.
  3. Breathe deeply before you commence and try to relax.
  4. Have a glass of water at hand in case you need a drink.
  5. Do not be afraid to pause briefly if you encounter a problem. Ask the audience to bear with you – they are usually sympathetic!
  6. If there is a major problem – e.g., equipment breaks down – try to keep composed. A sense of humour may help and the team will be on hand to support.
  7. Look at the camera, you may not be able to see all the delegates but maintaining eye contact is important.
  8. Try to look as though you are enjoying yourself (depending on your topic, of course!), even though you might be wishing the ground would swallow you up.
  9. When you have finished, go and relax!
  10. If you are unable to do your presentation after offering/being accepted please let the organisers know as soon as possible.

Ethical Considerations

These relate to all aspects of presentation:

  • never use people’s real names unless you have their permission to do so; this is particularly important when using a case study approach; maintain confidentiality at all times
  • if using X-rays, scans, charts, etc., as visual aids remember to delete names from them
  • if you refer to the work/research of someone else, acknowledge your sources; ensure that you have permission to divulge information if necessary
  • it is the individual presenter’s responsibility to ensure that copyright is not infringed in any presentation
  • the BANN does not necessarily endorse the views of individuals expressed in presentations at conferences