A research presentation is a unique opportunity for scholars to present and share findings from a particular study or analysis. For students who completed COMM 402, you might recall that Jim Kuypers (2011) in Rhetorical Criticism: Perspectives in Action refers to this phase of the research process as the “counter-communication stage” (p. 19). Essentially, “[t]he idea is to share your [findings] with some segment of the public with the hope that it will provoke some type of feedback; the best [research] attempts just this” (p. 19). Keep in mind that feedback received (e.g., from professors, peer reviews, etc.) is but one form that results from public exchanges about an idea. The point here is simply that, “once released to this public realm, a [researcher’s] work takes on a life of its own. Feedback, positive or negative, should be viewed as what it is: evidence of the critic entering into a larger conversation” (p. 19). Now, in order to feel confident and prepared, you’ve got some work to do!
What to expect during your panel session – In previous years, the USRC holds several panel sessions organized thematically with four presenters each. Each paper presentation should last about 10–12 minutes. Each panel session is started and concluded by the chair, who serves a dual role as a respondent. The panel chair is typically a professor of communication and each has their own style. In general, the chair will introduce the panel, the panel theme, and name all of the presenters and their paper titles. Following the order provided by the chair, each paper is delivered from a podium. Panelists typically take 10 seconds to re-introduce themselves and their paper title, and off you go! After all papers have been presented, the chair transitions to the role of respondent and will provide some overall concluding thoughts to wrap up the panel as well as open up the discussion for whatever time is remaining (This is also why you should not go over the time allotted to you!). Typically, these open dialogues allow audience members to pose questions, seek points of clarification, and/or offer additional perspectives and interpretations that might assist you (the researcher) in continuing to develop the project—These conversations tend to be very positive, engaging and provide feedback or affirmations of how awesome your project is!
A couple things to keep in mind:
Identify and characterize the scholarly conversation that you are seeking to contribute to. This means:
For PDF version: Preparation for an Academic Presentation at the Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference, sponsored by the Western States Communication Association
Written by Alexandra Jackson Nevis; Approved by Department Chair. Spring 2017.