Best Practices for Virtual Engagement by Presentation Type and Role

2020 Convention

The following information should be considered in addition to the information found on the NCA website. This year’s virtual convention will consist of both asynchronous and synchronous sessions. Asynchronous content will be available beginning November 1 on NCA Convention Central. Most synchronous sessions will take place as originally scheduled on November 19-22. The online convention program will be updated to reflect any changes to the original schedule. We encourage all registered participants of the Annual Convention to log in to NCA Convention Central throughout the month of November to participate in this year’s virtual event.

Session Chairs

Session chairs also serve as virtual meeting hosts, meaning they will have host controls during the virtual session. If you are chairing a synchronous session, the link to your Zoom session will be provided in the online program.  

As session chair, you should plan to enter the session 10 minutes before the scheduled session time. Prior to the start of the session, an NCA liaison will provide host controls to you as the chair before the liaison exits the session. At that time, please test audio and video. As session participants enter the Zoom meeting, you should ensure they can be seen and heard and that there are no technical difficulties preventing them from presenting. If there are technical difficulties, please help to resolve those in a timely fashion. Session chairs will be responsible for starting sessions on time, welcoming viewers to the session, introducing the participants, keeping time for the participants and providing time cues, and moderating the Q&A session. Session chairs are also charged with ending the meeting on time. Sessions not ending on time will be terminated, as the next session cannot begin until the prior session ends. 

Tips for successfully serving as a session chair include: 

  • Having the online program visible so that you can easily introduce the participants. 
  • Providing attendees with an overview of Zoom etiquette and the logistics of the session. 
  • Reminding session presenters and viewers to remain muted until they are recognized to speak. 
  • Using and monitoring the chat feature in order to hold the Q&A session. This will enable you to take questions in order, reading them for presenters to answer. As attendees may also use the “reaction” tool to raise a hand, watch for these emoticons as well. 
  • Providing time cues when presenters have three minutes remaining and again when they have one minute remaining for their presentation. 
  • Thanking presenters and attendees and ending the meeting. 

Finally, session chairs have the added charge of keeping the meeting space safe. NCA will provide a link to the Zoom session, available only to registered members. However, session chairs should be familiar with how to manage the waiting room, manage screen sharing, and manage participants. The following resources may be helpful in helping you create a safe virtual session: 

Session Presenters

Synchronous presentations will occur via Zoom. A link to your Zoom session(s) will be provided in the online program. On the day of your presentation, log into Zoom approximately five minutes prior to the start of the session to test your audio and video. Ensure that the session chair/host can hear and see you and make any adjustments to sound and audio prior to the session start time. Mute yourself until it is your time to speak. When it is your turn to present, you should unmute your microphone and present your paper/materials. Once your presentation is completed, please mute yourself again. Remain muted unless answering a question during the Q&A session following all presentations.

You do not need to upload visual materials meant to be shared during your presentation, such as PowerPoint slides, videos, or other materials accessible via your computer. Rather, you can share these materials during your presentation through the screen-sharing function on Zoom. If you need to share your screen, please be familiar with the process of doing so in advance of the session. 

In preparing for your virtual presentation, it is important to pay attention to your physical environment as well as the needs of your audience. Ensure your space is distraction free, that you have proper lighting, and that you present against a neutral wall when/if possible. Also, think about ways to make your presentation as accessible and inclusive as possible, including making accomodations for automatic captioning and using inclusive language. Listed below are several resources for creating engaging, accessible, and inclusive virtual presentations. 

Session Respondents

If you are a respondent to a synchronous session, a link to your Zoom session will be provided in the online program. Please be on Zoom five minutes prior to the start time of the session to ensure that your audio and video are functioning properly. The session chair/host will introduce you and invite you to provide your response. Mute your microphone until it is time for you to respond to the session’s presentations. Once you have provided your response, please mute your audio again. 

Individual Paper Presentations

Asynchronous presentations are pre-recorded, 12- to 15-minute presentations that presenters should upload to NCA Convention Central for others to view. Please revist this page often, as directions on uploading your asynchronous presentation will be provided here. 

You are welcome to use any means of recording your presentation. However, the presentation must be uploaded as an MP4 file. If you lack access to a video recording program, NCA recommends using Zoom (which provides a free basic plan) or a narrated PowerPoint to record your presentation. Other presentation recording options may include Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and GoToMeeting, among others. 

Asynchronous presentations enable people to view your work without worrying about factors such as time zone difference or geographical location, and allow the presenter the opportunity to be more creative with their presentation. You may choose a number of presentation styles, including a narrated PowerPoint or Prezi, a speaker-only lecture, or a speaker-in-window presentation. Just as with synchronous presentations, you will want to pay attention to your physical environment and the needs of your audience. Ensure the space in which you are recording is quiet and has proper lighting, consider scripting your presentation, develop effective slideshows that take into account issues of colorblindness, blindness, or hearing difficulty, and think about ways to actively engage the audience during your presentation. You may also want to use a good headset and rehearse your presentation several times in order to ensure solid audiovisual quality. 

All asynchronous sessions will have a discussion board. Presenters are encouraged, if possible, to be online during the originally scheduled time of their session to engage in discussion with presentation viewers/attendees. 

Resources that may be helpful in creating engaging, accessible, and inclusive pre-recorded presentations include the following: 

Scholar to Scholar Presentations

Scholar to Scholar sessions are informal exchanges in which convention participants can come by, view your poster, and then engage in conversation with you about your research. As Scholar to Scholar sessions will be asynchronous this year, presenters will upload their poster presentations to NCA Convention Central. In NCA Convention Central, registered convention attendees will be able to view the poster file during the poster session. Discussion boards will be available for all Scholar to Scholar sessions. Presenters are encouraged, if possible, to be online during the originally scheduled time of their session to engage in discussion with attendees. 

Scholar to Scholar presentations should be approximately 10-12 minutes in length and be recorded using a narrated PowerPoint slide. The PowerPoint slides should include an introduction slide that provides the presenter’s name and title of the poster, and a second slide of the actual poster. Presenters should spend time explaining their poster to viewers. Uploaded presentations must be MP4 files.

Scholar to Scholar presenters should pay attention to their physical environment and the needs of their audiences. Ensure the space in which you are recording is quiet and has proper lighting, consider scripting your narration, and develop a poster slide that considers issues of accessibility, including ease of reading. 

Resources that may be helpful in creating an effective PowerPoint poster include:

All sessions will be available via NCA Convention Central through December 31, 2020. Only registered convention participants will be able to view content. 

For information on convention accessibility (transcripts, live captioning, etc.), please visit the Convention Accessibility page.  

Technology is not perfect! Despite the best efforts of the NCA Convention Team, we are sure to have issues as we navigate our first virtual convention. We ask that you please be patient, and we thank you in advance for your flexibility, understanding, and positivity as we work together to make this years’ convention the best virtual experience possible. 

If you find yourself experiencing difficulties accessing or navigating NCA Convention Central or the online program, you may reach out to the NCA convention team here.  

All synchronous sessions will be recorded.

Note that neither Zoom meetings nor chat rooms are 100 percent confidential. Transcripts from these sessions will be provided to NCA. Thus, if you would not want it seen, do not say it or type it in a session or chat room. 

Note that in choosing to participate in the virtual NCA Annual Convention, you grant NCA permission to record and distribute your image and your spoken words for convention and convention-related purposes. There is no reimbursement provided for the right to use any video or recording.