guidelines are intended primarily for younger or less experienced conference
participants. They attempt to summarize some of the more widely agreed-upon
principles for the presentation of research findings at academic conferences.
This is especially important for CIM, which is both international and
interdisciplinary, each of which is associated with specific
difficulties of communication.
guidelines can seem bureaucratic and encourage uniformity, which can limit the
intellectual range of a conference. At CIM, the last thing we want to do is to
discourage scholarly experimentation and risk-taking, or to generate a series of
posters and papers whose sameness of format makes them predictable or boring. On
the contrary, intellectual plurality is one of CIM's primarily aims. We
nevertheless want to optimize communicative efficiency. That is not an easy
task, given the wide range of approaches to and opinions about forms of
presentation at conferences, which can only be partly covered in a document such
The following text
is divided into requirements and suggestions. You must adhere
to the requirements. The suggestions are intended to stimulate thinking about
the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to the presentation of
research findings. Apart from the requirements, all CIM participants are free to
present their work in whichever way they see fit. If you have any questions
about these guidelines, or suggestions for improving them, please contact the organisers.
If your abstract has been accepted as a poster, please read the
following guidelines carefully.
have some advantages over talks:
- Conference participants will find themselves constantly walking
past posters, which will stand throughout the conference in the main lobby.
- All conference participants will have the opportunity to view all posters. That is not the case for talks: conference participants will be able to attend only half of the talks in the parallel sessions.
- Each poster will be additionally allotted 10 minutes for a brief oral presentation, so authors will have an opportunity to communicate directly with a broader audience (see more details below).
guidelines for accompanying abstracts and conference proceedings are the same
for posters as they are for talks, including invited talks. All abstracts are 2
pages long and all proceedings contributions 2-10 pages.
Your poster must be in English.
We recommend that the maximum metric paper size is DIN A0 ( 84 cm wide x 119 cm high). We expect posters displayed in portrait orientation (height greater than width). You may print your poster in other (small) page sizes and assemble your poster as you wish on the poster boards that we will provide. Please take into account the size of your fonts and the level of magnification (see suggestions).
Authors will be responsible for setting up and removal of posters. At least one author of a poster must be available to present it during the coffee breaks and lunch break on the two days (i.e. the day of the ten-minute presentation and the next day) that the poster will be hanged. We will provide the means for you to hang your poster.
Apart from the poster, a ten-minute slot is allocated for the oral presentation of each poster. The goal of this brief presentation is not to present the full paper, but rather to give a glimse into the participants' research that will attract delegates for a more detailed presentation and discussion around the actual poster. Authors should not try to fit as much as possible into the ten minutes, but preferably to give a few interesting/exciting points that will urge delegates to discuss the issues raised further during the lunch and coffee breaks. These ten-minute presentations of posters are also an opportunity for authors to play audio examples that cannot be presented in front of the posters. The same requirements for talks apply for the poster presentations, with the following exception: each poster presentation is allotted exactly 10 minutes (without extra time for discussion). All powerpoint presentations (if this means of presentation is selected by speakers) must be loaded on the same computer available in hall so as to avoid wasting time for connecting computers - contact the technician 10-15 minutes before the session.
The first thing to do when preparing your poster is to contact your local printer. Approach both private, independent printers and your university's printing office. They may only be able to accept certain software formats. Ask also for the price of a black-and-white or color poster and of a poster with and without plastic lamination. Finally, ask how much time they will need to print your poster.
The text of your poster should be as concise as possible, but still self-explanatory. Write in point form or in short sentences; you can then expand on each point as you explain your poster to passers-by. The text size should be no less than 20 points, so that everything can be read at a distance of about 3 meters . Use a font that is easy to read from a distance, such as Arial or Times New Roman.
Write the title, author(s) and affiliations of your poster across the top. Letters in the main title should be about 3 cm high (or font size about 100). Arrange materials in columns (not rows). Headings and subheadings may either follow the structure of your abstract, devoting a paragraph to each abstract subheading, or the specific content of your project, or a mixture of both. Place an Introduction and a statement of Aims near the upper left corner and Conclusion(s) near the lower right. For empirical papers, include the conventional headings Method (with sub-headings such as Participants, Stimuli, Materials, Equipment, Procedure) and Results. If there was a specific instruction to experimental participants, it should be prominent. An Implications section is always interesting.
Illustrations can communicate a lot of information quickly ("a picture paints a thousand words"), so prefer illustrations to text whenever possible. Quantitative results are better presented as graphs than as tables. Each illustration should have a heading at the top (smaller than other headings and larger than the text) and detailed information in a caption below. The caption should briefly describe not only the content of the illustration (as in a regular figure caption in a paper) but also any conclusions drawn from it. Make the illustration as uncluttered as possible by ruthlessly deleting non-essential content. Clearly label the axes of any graphs.
Handouts: You are free to bring and distribute a handout on your poster, or copies of your proceedings paper. Be sure to bring enough copies, as you may have trouble making photocopies at the conference venue. Remember that all conference participants will have a copy of the abstract booklet that includes your revised 2-page abstract and a copy of the CD-ROM with the full paper and poster proceedings .
your abstract has been accepted for presentation as a talk (including keynotes),
please read the following guideline carefully.
- You must present in the English language.
- Regular talks will be allotted 20 minutes plus 7 minutes for
questions and 3 minutes break for changing rooms. You must stop talking when
your time is up. Presenters in parallel sessions will not be allowed more than
20 minutes under any circumstances. The timetable will be strictly adhered to
so that people can easily change rooms and plan meetings during breaks.
- You are not required to use powerpoint or similar software, but
please be aware that most or all presenters will, and the suggestions below
assume that you will. (In the following text, the individual pages of a
powerpoint presentation are referred to as "slides" - but the standard equipment in the
conference rooms does not include an old-fashioned analog slide projector.)
- Bring a backup of your powerpoint file or similar. Expect something
to go wrong, even if you never had a problem with your computer before! Bring
your powerpoint file or similar on two separate storage devices such as your
computer laptop, a USB-datastick, a CD, an iPod with USD cable, or another
standard storage device with a standard cable connector. Please also consider
sending an email to yourself with your talk as an attachment; you should be
able to download it from the internet at the conference.
- On the morning of your talk, attend the technical check
before the session (see program). Load your powerpoint presentation on the computer available and check that everything works fine. For powerpoint presentations, the ppt file and all audio/visual files must be in the same folder (without sub-folders). If it is absolutely necessary (e.g. if you want to use a program that runs only on your computer), bring your own laptop and check that your and our equipment work together in harmony. Listen
to the sound examples and adjust the volume and sound quality. Make sure that
your talk looks the same on the screen as it does on your computer monitor.
The writing on your slides should be legible from the back row; if not, use a
larger font or more contrast between text/diagram and background.
- Meet your chair and technical assistant 10-15 minutes before the
start of your session. If you have a handout, give it to an assistant along
with any instructions on what to do.
- If something
goes wrong with the equipment during your talk, ask the technician to fix it.
Don't try to fix it yourself. Meanwhile, keep talking - even if you
have to improvise without slides. Your 20-minute period will not be
extended on account of a technical problem.
Apart from these requirements, you are free to present in any way you
wish. The following suggestions are primarily intended to help you to
maximize the communicative efficiency of your talk. They aim to help
you get the greatest amount of important information across to your audience in
the short time available. This is of course an important issue for every
speaker. With this in mind, we suggest, but do not prescribe,
certain forms of and approaches to presentation.
- If English is
your native language, please avoid idiomatic expressions that an international
audience might not understand, and don't speak too fast.
- If English is not your native language, please consider having a
draft of your talk and your pronunciation of key words checked by a native
Structure and timing:
- Begin by explaining the background in each of the two main
subdisciplines of musicology (say, 5 minutes). Use the start of your abstract
as a guide. After that, clearly state the main aim
of your research. You can do that in less than one minute. Then spend
5-10 minutes explaining the detail of your arguments and findings. By the
15-minute mark at the latest, you should be stating your main
conclusion(s) and evaluating them in the light of the presented evidence
and arguments. During the last 5 minutes, you should do little more
than repeat and summarize the main points and consider their implications.
Avoid launching into new issues, arguments or results near the end of your
- When you
practice your talk, it should take about 18 minutes. In the real performance,
you can then speak a little slower (to compensate for the unfamiliar situation
and audience) and finish within 20 minutes.
- Be careful to define terminology that may be new, unfamiliar, or
used differently in different disciplines.
- Use concrete examples (especially sounding music examples) to
explain and motivate generalities, theories, or concepts. Present examples
near the start, not near the end of your talk. Take advantage of the available
- A handout will usually not be necessary, as all participants will
have your revised abstract (in the abstract booklet) and your proceedings
paper (on CD and in the internet). A handout may nevertheless help you to
present certain kinds of content. If you choose to distribute a handout, we
suggest a single piece of DIN A4 that has been prepared from 4 original pages
by reducing to about 70% and double-sided copying. We regret that we cannot
make copies for you and strongly recommend that you make about 30 copies of
your handout before arriving at the conference.
Further tips and ideas for beginning speakers or those new to
- Structure your
talk clearly. Speak in grammatically complete sentences and divide your talk
into sections (at the very least: introduction, main part, conclusion). Pause
briefly between sentences or sections. Make sure your audience knows when you
are coming to the end of a section or subsection, and beginning a new one. At
the start of each section, indicate the aim of the section (i.e., answer the
question "Why are we talking about this now?").
- Your audience
will include not only of a range of disciplines but also a range of levels,
from novice to expert. Offer neither a tutorial nor a highly specialized,
technical address that only experts can follow, but instead pitch your
presentation at an intermediate level. Include both a universally
comprehensible (but short!) introduction and some technical content that
demonstrates that you are at the cutting edge of your field.
arguments and evidence both for and against your main question and
subquestions. Avoid making unsubstantiated claims. A brief statement of your
personal opinions regarding the main question or hypothesis can usefully
explain the motivation behind your work and alert your audience to possible
sources of methodological bias. Beyond that, your audience will be primarily
interested in the available, reasonably objective material that is directly
relevant to your topic.
- Your evidence
may include findings from existing literature, quantitative or qualitative
data, results of statistical analyses, or sound demonstrations (allowing the
audience to judge for themselves). If your evidence includes the results of an
experiment, make it clear to the audience what happened in the experiment. If
you collected data from human participants, report the instructions to the
participants. If your evidence includes statistical evidence, make a concise
statement of what statistical procedures you used and why, but don't let
statistical issues detract from the main questions. At this interdisciplinary
conference, the results of statistical procedures (e.g., values of F, t,
p) should be avoided unless they are absolutely central; if included,
they should be clearly and concisely presented on slides (visuals).
- Inform - don't
infatuate. Discerning listeners will be more impressed by a speaker who
honestly and modestly conveys helpful, interesting information than by a
speaker who tries to disguise questionable material by means of long and
grammatically complex sentences, overstatement, unnecessary jargon, unfounded
claims, or destructive, ad hominem criticism of related research.
discriminatory language. For example, don't refer to unspecified people as
"he" unless they really are male; consider switching everything into the
plural and using "they".
- We do not
recommend that you read from a script, because it reduces eye contact with the
audience and hence the spontaneity and efficiency of communication. But a
script can be useful if you consider the following tips. Write short, clear
sentences that your audience can immediately understand without repetition. At
regular intervals, throw in improvised comments that respond to the needs of
the moment and maintain personal contact with the audience. Be prepared to
leave out prepared material if you suddenly realize that it is not central or
that you don't have time to explain it properly. (Don't say that you are doing
that - just do it.) Even if you do not use a script, you may find it easier to
improvise your presentation if you have written a text in advance. When
planning the timing of a scripted talk, allow time for improvisations,
interruptions and other delays. Expect to say no more than 100 words per
minute and talk for no more than 18 minutes, remember that your chair will
introduce you and there will be inevitable small delays. If you use a script,
it should be about 1500 words in length.
- Maintain the
loudness and clarity of your voice throughout the talk. If possible, stand. If you
must sit, remember to look up. Establish and maintain eye
contact with members of audience in different parts of the room. Their
expressions will tell you if you are interesting, comprehensible, too loud or
quiet, or too fast or slow. Respond to these signals. Don't stare constantly
at your script, the computer monitor, or the screen. Avoid the temptation to
point toward the computer monitor.
- Allow about 1
minute per slide, i.e. about 20 slides for a 20-minute presentation. Make sure
that the audience has time to take in everything on each slide. Don't expect
your audience to read text at the same time as you are telling them something
else. Don't block the view of the audience by standing in front of the screen.
To point at the screen, use a pointer.
- Slides should be
as concise as possible, but still self-explanatory. Limit text to 20-30 words
per slide. Use font sizes between 18 and 24 (remember the people in the back
row). Colours should contrast sharply, e.g. black letters on a white
background, or white letters on a dark blue background; avoid pale or pastel
colours. Write in point form (not in sentences, unless you are quoting) and
expand on each point in your spoken presentation. Prefer graphics to text
where possible. Figures should be uncluttered. A blackboard or whiteboard will
be available for additional graphics or ad-hoc explanations.
- When presenting
graphs, ensure that the two axes are clearly labeled and say clearly
what the axes represent. Given the interdisciplinary audience, it is usually
best to avoid mathematical equations altogether.
- Rehearse your
talk before the conference with a friend or colleague or better, in front of a
group. If you find that it is too long, don't try to cram the same material
into less time by speaking more quickly and allowing less time per slide.
Instead, relentlessly weed out material that is in any way tangential or
unessential. In principle, any topic can be presented in any
amount of time.
- During the
question period, remember that as speaker you are in a more powerful or
authoritative position than the audience members. So don't interrupt
questioners (leave that to the chair), but let them finish before you reply.
Make sure the audience understands both the question and your answer - if
necessary, repeat the main point of a question before answering it. Keep your
answers brief, to allow time for further questions. If you don't know the
answer to a question, confess your ignorance (maybe someone else in the
audience does). Don't argue with a questioner; you can always continue
discussion in private.
We wish to
emphasize that these are no more than suggestions. You are free to present your
work in any way you consider appropriate. We nevertheless hope that these
guidelines will help you to maximize the amount of relevant information that you
successfully communicate to your interdisciplinary audience during the short
time available for your presentation.
Guidelines for session
There will be no meetings for session chairpersons ("chairs"), so if
you have been asked to chair a session, please read the following suggestions
carefully and contact Emilios Cambouropoulos if you have any questions. The guideline is intended to help you
achieve the following two aims: (1) to make sure that everything runs to
schedule, and (2) to support and stimulate a fruitful academic exchange during
the question period after each talk. Thus, you have two main
tasks: (1) to make sure each speaker stops on time, and (2) to
take control of the question period.
- Bring a reliable watch to the conference and synchronize it with a
reliable source (e.g. the radio), the reception desk, and the members of the
support teach assigned to your room.
- Go to the room in which your session will be held about 15 minutes
before the start of the session to meet the speakers and the technical
assistant. Make sure that the speakers have everything
they need, and discuss with them how best to signal to them when they have 5
minutes, and then 1 minute, to go, and when their time is up.
- During the three minutes that precede each talk, help the technical
assistant to make sure that the first slide of the coming presentation is
projected to the screen and that the sound demonstrations will work. Start
each talk exactly on the half hour - not 1 or 2 minutes late.
- At the start of each talk, announce the names of the authors, the
title of the paper, and which author(s) is/are presenting the paper. That
should take about 10-20 seconds. Do not offer biographical background
information on the authors of regular papers, as this will steal time from
their presentation. If people need this information, it is provided in the
- If there is a
technical problem at the start of the talk, let the assistants solve it.
Introduce the speaker on time and encourage the speaker to start talking
without slides, while the assistants are working in the background. When the
slides appear, the speaker can quickly repeat anything that s/he has already
said and get back on schedule. In the unlikely event that the problem is never
solved, continue with the advertised program and ask at reception afterwards
if the talk can be repeated later. Do not change the program yourself.
- During the talk,
sit near the middle of the room and in the direct line of sight of the
speaker, so s/he can see your signals.
- Make sure the speaker stops on time, i.e. at 20 minutes after the
half hour. Not 21 or 22, but 20. Use whatever combination of appeasement,
politeness and public impatience that you consider necessary. The timetable is
a clear agreement between the speakers and the other conference participants.
The question period is for the benefit of the audience, not the speaker
(although the speaker will also benefit from it). The audience will thank you
for being strict.
and discussion period
- During the
question and discussion period, stand at the front of the room. Use clear hand
or arm gestures to indicate who should ask the next question.
- If necessary, remind both questioners and speaker(s) to be brief.
Audience members should primarily ask questions; any background information
that they give should be kept as brief as possible. Speakers should briefly
answer the question posed, and then stop and take the next question. As a
rule, questions and answers should not last more than about 30 seconds each,
i.e. up to one minute for each question-answer pair. The speaker and
questioner should not continue back and forth; if they do, ask them to
postpone their public conversation until a private moment, to allow others to
contribute to the public discussion. If people don't comply with these
guidelines, don't be afraid to interrupt them. Be polite and tactful, but also
- Questions from
the chair: If no-one raises their hand with a question at the start of the
question period, do not hesitate to ask a question yourself, to break the ice
and get the discussion moving. Please consider preparing these questions
before your session. You probably will not need them, but it is good to have
- Establish and (if necessary) announce the order of questioners.
Encourage shy audience members to ask questions before allowing the confident
ones to ask a second question. If there are a lot of questions, announce in
advance who will pose the last three questions, apologize to the others, and
stop when the last person's question has been answered. That should, of
course, be as near as possible to the allotted time.
- Do not extent the time allotted to talks that are scheduled before
breaks or before the end of the day. The discussion following the last talk
before a break should stop 3 minutes before the start of the break. People who
still have questions can continue privately.
- One members of
the support team will be allocated to your session. If you have a problem of
any kind, do not hesitate to ask them to solve it.
- If one of your
speakers fails to appear, ask your audience to take a break or attend another
talk and come back in half an hour. Don't change the timetable!
- Session chairs who do not feel fluent in English may find the
following expressions useful. Of course everyone uses different expressions,
which change depending on the situation.
- Introduction: "Welcome to this session, which is entitled ....
The first talk is entitled .... Its authors are ...., ......, .... and ....
The talk will be given by ....."
- At the end of the talk: "Thank you."
(clap) "Are there any questions?" OR 20
minutes after the half-hour: "I'm sorry, we have run out of time and must
end now." (clap) "Are there any questions?"
- 27 minutes after the half-hour: "I'm sorry, we must end the
question session now so that people can change to another room if they wish
to (or make their way to the coffee pot). Thank you again."
Like all other guidelines on this page, these should be regarded only
as suggestions. Please chair your session in the way you consider most
appropriate, taking advantage of your professional experience and personal
Guidelines for chairs of keynote
There will be no meeting for keynote chairs, so if you have
been asked to chair a keynote, please read the following
suggestions carefully and contact Emilios Cambouropoulos if you have any questions. The guideline is intended to help you
achieve the following three aims: (1) to create a congenial atmostphere that
motivates the audience to pay attention to and understand the contents of the
lecture, (2) to make sure that everything runs to schedule, and (3) to support
and stimulate a fruitful academic exchange during the question period. Thus, you
have three main tasks: (1) to introduce the lecture, (2) to stop the speaker/s
on time, and (3) to take control of the question period.
Please prepare a 3 minute biographical overview of your keynote speaker's
professional achievements, including a brief account of her or his academic
career, research interests, publications and current projects. The main aim of
this introduction is not to make the speaker feel important - which may best
be regarded as a positive side effect - but to give the audience useful and
interesting information about the speaker. At an interdisciplinary conference
like CIM, most of the conference participants may be unfamiliar with the work
of the keynote speakers. Your introduction should also arouse the audience's
curiosity about the coming lecture. You will find biographical information
about the speaker in the abstract booklet. Please also visit the
speaker's personal website, email her or him directly for information, or
talk to her or him at the conference before the presentation.
- Timing: Bring a reliable watch to the conference and synchronze it with the
reception desk and the support team members assigned to your session.
Come to the room 10-15 minutes before the start of the talk and meet
the keynote speaker and support staff. Adhere closely to the following
schedule: 2-3 minutes for your introduction, 40 minutes for the lecture itself,
and 10-13 minutes for questions, total up to 55 minutes. Remind the speaker when
there are 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 1 minute left of their 40-minute timeslot,
and when their time is up. Show the speaker in advance how you plan to
communicate this information during the talk, and ask him or her not to
comment on your signals when you make them. Explain the point of the 10 minute
signal, which is that the speaker should then be moving toward the concluding
section and no longer introducing new material. It is ok if the speaker stops
on or before the 1 minute signal. The speaker must stop 45 minutes after the
scheduled start of their keynote. After all, if the talk was interesting (which we
expect it will be!), 10 minutes is not very much time for discussion.
- Question session: Please read through your speaker's
proceedings contribution to get an idea of the content of their presentation
in advance. This background information will help you to manage the question
session. Apart from that, please refer to the above guideline for session
chairs. It's ok if the question session stops a couple of minutes before the
timetabled end of the session, to give people time to move.
Like all other guidelines on this page, these should be regarded only
as suggestions. Please chair your keynote lecture in the way you consider most
appropriate, taking advantage of your professional experience and personal