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Shannon Kelley Felton, Emerson College

Bright and early in beautiful Las Vegas, the troops rallied to pitch original Public Diplomacy efforts to a panel of peers and esteemed international academics. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous – because I absolutely was. My project had originally been a collaboration with another student. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend the conference, and so I was on my own. I felt like I had lost my crutch. However, I pulled it off – not exactly as planned but eloquently enough. Through this I have learn a valuable lesson and thus, I would like to offer some tips to future presenters:

·        If your project were not worthy of recognition it would not have been accepted to the conference. Own it and do it justice in the presentation.

·        Show up early!! The cardinal law of conferences is that technology will always fail. If you leave it until the last hour, it is almost guaranteed that your PowerPoint will not load, the printer will jam, or the projector will over heat. Being prepared for this unfortunate occurrence means showing up early to work out all the kinks (even if you are scheduled for 8:30 in the morning).

·        The question and answer session is just as important as the presentation itself. The people who ask you questions are genuinely interested in your work. Try to answer all questions to the best of your knowledge, and as if it would be in the Washington Post the next day.

·        Finally, accept constructive criticism and be gracious. How else will you improve for the next time you are accepted to conference for your brilliant work?

Good luck!!
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