Nov. 10-14, thousands of public health experts will converge on the San Diego Convention Center with a singular purpose: to discuss new research and ideas in public health.

Among thousands of presenters, how can you stand out from the crowd and offer the best presentation possible? Here are APHA’s tips for a successful meeting presentation.

  1. Visit the APHA Speaker’s Corner. This is where you’ll find deadlines, requirements and lots of other helpful information before the meeting. Log in to the Speaker’s Corner now to make sure you’re all set before November. You should also take a moment to read through APHA’s Oral Session Guidelines, which has helpful guidelines for how to organize your presentation, how to make it accessible and how to upload presentations and handouts by the Nov. 1 deadline.
  2. Practice, practice, practice! Anna Keller, director of convention services, has organized and attended over 15 APHA Annual Meetings, and she’s seen it all from speakers and presenters. “The biggest favor you can do for yourself is to spend time preparing for your APHA presentation. Take the time to understand who your audience is, how long you’ll have to speak and other logistical details. Then, practice your presentation with a time limit and with your visuals. Practice in front of an audience if you can- coworkers, family and even pets work. You’ll feel more confident and eloquent at the meeting if you’ve taken the time to practice.”
  3. Give your research context. Your Annual Meeting presentation is your chance to share why your research matters. You can publish data at any time, but a live meeting is your best opportunity to give your research context and explain to whom it matters and why. APHA’s Oral Session Guidelines recommends starting your presentation with an opening statement to get your audience acquainted with your subject area.
  4. Think about your visuals. Put time in to your PowerPoint presentation and handouts. Start with APHA’s slides on how to make a great presentation. Also, think about how you plan to help the audience visualize your data. So much of public health is focused on the numbers. David McCandlesss presented at TEDGLOBAL2010 about the power of how we represent data. He explains in the clip below how paying attention to design and visuals can help your data come alive. A good visual presentation can help your audience “tease out unseen patterns and connections.”
  5. Keep the conversation going. Be open to taking questions and engaging in a discussion with your audience. Encourage them to contact you about your research, and make it easy for them to do so by providing your contact information in your presentation. Include your email, title, organization and twitter handle if you have one. Bring extra business cards to hand out to anyone who has questions!

Have more questions about presenting at APHA 2018? Check out our FAQs for Presenters.

Register now for APHA’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Expo. APHA’s Annual Meeting is the largest annual gathering of public health professionals. Thousands of people attend, and thousands of new scientific papers are presented each year on every public health topic. APHA 2018’s theme, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now” puts health equity at the center of our field’s attention. Learn more and register to attend.