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Monday, October 03, 2011

NCPTW Conference tips

On WCENTER, Risa Gorelick posted some handy tips that the WPA email list sends out that might help first-time NCPTW attendees (edited with peer tutors in mind):


General First Time Conference Attendees:
  • wear comfortable shoes!
  • network with EVERYONE.  Meet new people. 
  • Stay hydrated.  Conference hotels are dry and you'll talk a lot.
  • Bring snacks (Powerbars, candies, etc.) in case you're in a session during lunch.
  • Go to the parties (don't sit in your hotel room...).
  •  Try to  go to a session on something you don't know much about rather than go to all the sessions on [subjects you know something about].  You'll meet new people and learn something to boot.
  • Try not to go up to some big name and say, "wow, you're so-and-so" (s/he will know that already).  Instead, introduce yourself and start a conversation.  [Don't be afraid to talk to people, in other words!]
  • It's OK to go up to someone you know from...[their scholarly work or from] Facebook whom you haven't met in person and introduce yourself face-to-face.
  • If you are on Twitter, tweet what you're learning at the conference (though try not to do it while someone is giving a presentation as it is rude to be typing on your smartphone while someone is taking).
If you're presenting for the first time:
  • Prepare a 1 page (double-sided) handout to share with those in your session.  30 copies is probably enough.  On it, have your contact info....
  • Try not to read a paper to the group.  Instead, have talking points/PowerPoint.
  • Time yourself so you don't go over (you don't want to get "the hook" or the gong).
  • Be realistic on how much you can read in 15-20 minutes if you read a paper (probably 6-7 double-spacked, typed pages).
  • Have a back up in case the technology doesn't work (e.g. handouts of your PowerPoint slides)
  • Smile--people came to hear your talk.  They're interested in what you have to say on your topic.
  • It's nice to have a friendly face in the session--pair up with someone and go to the other's talk and s/he'll go to yours, too. (Most comp/rhet/writing center people are overly friendly so there should be a lot of friendly faces in the session, but it's reassuring to know there's a special friendly face in the room just for you).

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