Presentation Guidelines

Presentation Guidelines

You want your audience to remember the central points of your talk and to leave wanting to read your paper. You want them to contact you in the hall during the conference to get greater insight. You want them to remember that what you said stimulated discussion, and that you were open to other ideas.

If you don’t speak in public often – and even if you do – review your presentation with someone else to see if you’ve met your goals. Thank you for helping present a great conference program!

***Before you read the presentation guideline, please make sure the speaker and co-presenters are all registered.  You will not receive the speaker’s zoom link unless you are registered.  

1. Presenting Online

  • We highly recommend presenting in real time, on the original date and time listed for your session in the MW21 program.
  • Please upload your presentation slides and materials here by March 31 if you are presenting on April 5, 6, and 7.   Please file your presentation by the title of your session plus the date of your session.  For example, InnovationinMuseum_April7.
  • Please include visual descriptions of all images for accessibility. Find more info on accessible presenting below.  All images in your presentation as well as all images in your online papers must be visually described with “alt text.”
  • If you are presenting on April 16, please upload the files by April 9th; If you are presenting on April 23rd, please upload the files by April 16; If you are presenting on April 30th, please upload the files by April 23rd.
  • And/or you can provide a recording of your presentation, which will be live streamed during your scheduled session time if you can’t attend then, or in the event that technical problems disrupt your live presentation. Please speak to the chair and conference organizer to coordinate.   Upload your presentation recording here. All video file formats are supported, as well as ppt, keynote, and pdf. Please file your presentation by the title of your session plus the date of your session.  For example, InnovationinMuseum_April7.  We ask you to attend the Q&A portion of the session.

2. How to Join the Sessions

All MW21 Online sessions will be recorded, and available for MuseWeb members to access after the conference. As always, you can purchase the printed book of MW21 selected proceedings, and the published MW conference papers will remain freely available in our archives.

To access the MW21 Online conference, you must be a member. You will receive a zoom link as well as the instruction 3-4 days before the presentation date.

Links to the platforms for each MW21 Online session will be provided when ready. Simply click the link to join the session.

3. Accessible Presentations

Please make sure your presentation is inherently inclusive.  Watch the video “Make your presentation more accessible and more impactful for all audiences: March 26, 2015 webinar with Ting Siu.” Download the slides from the webinar and this bibliography of resources discussed in the webinar.

Captioning Your Videos and Images

These days, there are many tools, platforms, and services that can help you make your videos more accessible. Here are some resources:

4. Technical and Logistical Setups for Speakers and Chairs

Please check your sound, microphone, and camera before your session.  Look directly into your computer’s camera, not on the screen or at the other participants. Put the camera at eye level.

Zoom Planning

Perform these steps below to prepare both your computer and yourself for using Zoom. We recommend using a headset if possible to get the best quality audio for your presentation. If you do not have a headset, you can also call in from your mobile phone to Zoom.

  1. Download Zoom to the computer you will be presenting from prior to the session here.
  2. Go to and make sure your audio and video are working.
  3. You should plan to appear on camera while presiding over your session, and you can find information on sharing your video on Zoom here.

How to share my screen in Zoom?

Before the Conference: Presenters and Chairs

  1. Please have a look at the program to confirm that you have no conflicts with your scheduled session date and time. Let us know immediately if you do!
  2. If you do not see your name in the program, or your name is grayed out, please check your membership status and contact the accounts team to help you.
  3. Please also check that your profile is up-to-date at If your profile page says, “You are not currently a MuseWeb member” please update your membership here first.  If you are still experiencing the issue, please contact the accounts team to help you.
  4. If you don’t have it already, please download Zoom well before your presentation session (free). Although you can present or chair in Zoom through the Chrome or Edge browsers without downloading the Teams app, you will likely have a more stable experience in the app, and the app also includes live captioning.
  5. For those who are not experienced in presenting or chairing through Zoom, we are holding training sessions on several dates in March. Please join any of these to do a quick run-through of the basic functions you’ll need for your presentation. We estimate this will take about 15 minutes.
  6. All sessions will be recorded and will be available to MuseWeb members after the conference.
  7. Tell your friends and colleagues about your presentation session! You can use your presentation’s “hash-dash” code, in the title of your presentation in the MW21 Online program, to promote your session on social media.
    1. Please also let everyone know that we are offering scholarships to attend MW21Online for free to anyone who has lost their livelihoods as a result of the pandemic.
    2. Free MuseWeb memberships, including MW21conference attendance, are also available for volunteers who help people join and participate in our sessions.
    3. Institutional discounts are also available if more than 2 people are joining from the same institution. More info here or from

For presenters (chairs see below)

  1. Please review the presentation guidelines, and in particular guidelines on accessible presenting. To the extent you are able, we strongly encourage you to describe any visual elements in your presentations. This makes your presentation more accessible not only to people who might not be able to see your slides etc., but also helps those who can see, focus in on what is meaningful in the image and relevant to your presentation. It also helps you slow down and focus in on the 2-3 key points you want people to take away from your presentation, rather than rushing to try to pack more information in. This is particularly helpful in an online presentation scenario; in fact, in our recent survey we had more than 40 participants, most fully-sighted, request visual descriptions of MW21 presentations. As with museum experiences, an accessible presentation is a better presentation for everyone!
  2. If you are presenting live (as opposed to sending a pre-recorded presentation), you will present from your desktop using screenshare in Teams, so you can present any media or materials that can be displayed on your own computer.
  3. If you are sending in a pre-recorded presentation, it will be played at the allotted time in your session, and the session participants will have a chance to discuss it with the chair moderating the discussion, even if you are not present for the session.
  4. Please upload your presentation materials the day before your presentation at the latest; this gives us a back-up in case you have any technical problems with presenting from your own computer during the session – and is obviously essential if you are not presenting live! Please tag your files to your presentation by naming your file(s) with the “hash-dash” code for your presentation, which you’ll find in the title of your presentation in the online program.  For example, if your presentation’s hash-dash code is MW21-3a, your video file will be called This will help us ensure your files are available and presented correctly during your session.

For chairs

A session host will be assigned to your session who will assist you with Q&A and any technical issues.  In addition, there will be a session admin who will take care of admitting people to the Zoom session, muting, playing videos, etc. so you won’t need to do any of that. Your role is:

  1. Introducing the session and each presenter in the order in which they appear in the MW21 Online program. Please read the papers (if any) and bios of the participants prior to the session.
  2. Timekeeping – letting speakers know when their time is up or near an end if they are presenting live. Some will be sending in pre-recorded videos, so you will just introduce those and the session admin will set them to play.
  3. Moderating the Q&A by keeping an eye on the chat and flagging questions to presenters.

Before the conference, we highly recommend contacting the speakers and introduce yourself to the group.  Please discuss the format and details as well.

How to Promote Your Session

The quick tips for getting the most out of your smartphone’s video capabilities.

1. Shoot your video horizontally.

  • This is the optimal layout for social media videos and it avoids the possibility of recording too close up/ covering the microphone.

2. Be close to the microphone.

  • Its best to place the phone about a foot away from you.
  • Also, film without any background noises so the audio is clear.

3. Placement is important.

  • Aim to capture from the top of your head to the middle of your chest.

4. Ensure your image is steady.

  • Use a tripod.
  • Don’t have one? No worries! You can make your own makeshift tripod by leaning your iPhone against a flat surface such as a stack of books.

5. Be mindful of proper lighting.

  • If shooting during the day, its best to record yourself in front of a window where lots of natural light can get in.
  • If shooting at night, be sure to set yourself up in front of a lamp so that your face is well lit.

6. Trim the beginning and end of your video.

  • When you finish recording, click “Edit.”
  • From there press and hold on the video timeline below your video and slide your finger at the same time.
  • You’ll see a yellow outline around the video timeline that will slide left or right with your finger. This works for editing both the beginning and end of a clip.
  • When you’re finished tap Done.
  • Doing this eliminates the awkward screen pressing “record and stop” at the beginning and end of the video.

7. Keep it short.

  • Optimal length is between 15-20 seconds.

8. Have fun! Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

  • Smile and relax, let your audience get to know you a bit.

9. Upload your video.

Types of Sessions

Formal Session: Length of Speaking Time (1.5 hours)

Generally, one formal session has three groups (three papers).  The 1.5 hour time is divided to three groups – 20-30 mins each.  Keep it 20 mins each if you have the Q&A or discussion at the end.  (MW formal paper generally takes 20 mins to present.)  Check with the chair of your session about speaking times. Typically you will have either 20 or 30 minutes in total, and some of this should be reserved for questions and discussions.

If your portion of the shared time is 20 minutes, plan to speak for no more than 12. If it is 30 minutes, plan to speak for no more that 20. You’ll have a bit of space to over-run, and still leave time for questions. Having a limited amount of time means that you should not try to say everything – it is more important to focus on the part of your thesis that is new or different and deserves further explanation.

How to Session/Professional Forum

It is allocated for 1 hour. We suggest leaving good 10-15 minutes for the audience to ask you questions.

Online Demonstrations

It is allocated for 30 minutes.  However, please keep your online demonstration to less than 10 minutes in length. You can, however, prepare a longer recorded presentation for participants to access after the session at their convenience. Please see the file upload and naming guidelines at the top of this page.

Lightning Talks

Lightning Talks are 7 minutes each in a 1.5 hour session. As time is tight and turnaround must be quick between lightning talks, you will need to provide your slides to your session chair before the session so all the slides for your session can be played by the Chair just in case of the technical issue. Slides and recordings of the lightning talks will be published on the MuseWeb conference site, and presenters are invited to blog about their topics (up to 1,000 words) on the MW site before or after their presentations.

Birds of Feather Coffee Roundtables

This session will be held during the coffee break. You will need to propose a topic before the conference here.  You can moderate the discussion, or you can ask for help from MW conference team to moderate it for you.  Each topic will have max of 20 attendees. First comefirst served


You can send your own handouts/materials/survey to the participants ahead of time.   Each session will have the session host volunteer to assist you.