I have been very fortunate in being able to attend several LIANZA and SLANZA Conferences, as well as various other similar events over the years. The highlight of my conference experience so far was the IFLA, Libraries for the Blind Pre-Conference 2007, held in Grahamstown, South Africa. I presented a paper on a pilot study conducted by the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. What an amazing experience. I met people from all over the world and learned a lot about the hardships faced by people in Africa who are blind or have low vision.
What works when presenting at a conference is knowing your material well and being organised. The first time I presented, the speaker before me went over-time and I was asked to cut my presentation short. Being familiar with the material meant I knew precisely what sections I could I could gloss over and how much time it was likely to cut out. It also helps with fluency. This is something I have become better at over the years. I know my first few presentations were very robotic and stilted. Technology is a mixed blessing when presenting. I like using PowerPoint slides, because it helps me to focus my thoughts. Hopefully, it also means that people are looking at the presentation rather than at me! Being able to get into the room ahead of time for a chance to check the equipment is great. If this is not an option, ensuring you know what equipment is available is vital. Preparing for technology failure is also important. Have handouts available and ensure you are able to present without slides if necessary.