Instructions for Presenters and Moderators

Instructions for Papers (Oral Presentations) at MPA Main

If your paper has been accepted to be presented in an oral session, you will have 15 minutes total to speak. It is wise to limit your presentation to 12-13 minutes and leave 2-3 minutes for questions. The vast majority of speakers present a PowerPoint presentation for their talk. [Note: Invited papers have 30 minutes rather than 15.]

Here is a video guide that people can watch if they’d like to see some ideas for how to prepare a talk!

TECHNOLOGY INCLUDED IN THE ROOMS: Laptops (Windows) with LCD projectors using PowerPoint will be available in all meeting rooms for MPA sessions. There is no wifi in the rooms. There are no clickers (for advancing PowerPoints) in the room. We cannot get wifi in the presentation room so if you need wifi, bring your own hotspot. There is no audio system in the room beyond the computer’s built in speakers. If you wish to use your own computers, please bring the appropriate adapters.

If you are using PowerPoint, please arrive 5-10 minutes in advance of the session in which your paper is scheduled, and load your presentation on the the laptop provided on the table at the front of the room. This will make the transition from one talk to the next go most smoothly. You may bring a flash drive. The computers do NOT have internet access and do not have additional audio support and thus if you need to play video, you must have it on your flash drive and it is likely best without audio.

Presenters are expected to attend their entire paper session.

Instructions for Posters

You can get much more detailed information about how to design your poster and what to expect at our page all about Designing and Presenting your Poster! Briefly, posters are to be mounted on a board whose dimensions are 8′ wide and 4′ high. Posters can be any size as long as they will fit on the poster board. Your poster should be able to be mounted with push pins or tacks (which will be provided) onto this space. Poster sessions are typically two hours in length (though they vary so check the program). You should arrive about five minutes ahead of the session, and you should remove your poster when the time period is over.

Your poster will have a number next to it in the program (on both the mobile app and paper program). That is the number for the board where you’ll hang your poster. Find that board and that’s where your poster goes!

Presenters are expected to stay by their posters during the poster sessions so that they can be responsive to attendees’ questions and comments.

Instructions for Professional Development Sessions

These are single presenter or panel type sessions focusing on various aspects of professional development, broadly defined (e.g., teaching development, mentoring development, graduate school success, job market issues, early and mid-career success strategies). The focus should be on faculty or grad student development (as Psi Chi tends to focus on undergraduate development).

These sessions ten to run for 50 minutes and presenters have a lot of latitude in how they present. Presenters should keep in mind the goals for the session and what skills or knowledge attendees should leave with at at the end of the session.

Instructions for Moderators

The primary task of moderators is to announce each speaker and to make sure the session runs on time. If you want to volunteer to moderate a session, please contact the MPA Executive Officers ( It’s a great way to serve the organization.

  • Oral Sessions:
    • You should arrive at your assigned room at least 5 – 10 minutes in advance of your session. If the room is clear, proceed to the front table and make sure that the a/v equipment is in working order. There is a telephone in each room and there should be a phone number of the a/v people on the front table by the computer. Individuals with PowerPoint MUST load their presentations at the beginning of the session and you should ensure they do so. It will make the transition from one talk to the next run more smoothly if people don’t need to load their presentations between speakers.
    • IMPORTANT: The moderator should either contact speakers prior to the conference or should speak to them before the session starts to ensure they understand how to pronounce the speaker’s name. This is an essential part of welcoming a speaker. Please feel free to ask for a phonetic pronunciation if that would be helpful. Names are important and being respectful of others’ names is something MPA considers core to its mission of belonging.
    • Start the session on time. Introduce each speaker and the title of the paper. Keep the papers on time. You should offer warnings to let people know when they have five minutes and two minutes remaining on their 15-minute time block. Do not permit people to go past their time period, and do not permit questions if the time limit has been reached.
    • If there is time at the end of a talk before the next talk begins, please allow the presenter to take questions immediately after their talk. DO NOT wait until all speakers are done to allow for questions for the entire session. Each speaker should have their own question time unless they go over their time limit.
    • If the speaker does not show, DO NOT start the next presentation until the time indicated in the program. Simply have a break.
  • Poster Sessions:
    • Poster session moderators should arrive in the poster area approximately 10 minutes in advance of their session. Walk around to see if anyone needs assistance setting up their posters. Extra push pins should be available in the registration area at the back of the posters. Once the posters are set up, and the session is underway, you are free to leave.