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RSA 2018--Best Presentation Practices and Accessibility Guide

Dear Conference Attendees, 

The accessibility guide for the 2018 RSA Conference is now available for download from rhetoricsociety.org and from within the conference mobile application. This guide contains important information for all attendees. Information about traveling to downtown Minneapolis, the location of pharmacies near our hotels, how to obtain CART service, and the wifi password for the conference (50rsa2018) are all in the guide. Christa Olson (christa.olson@wisc.edu) and Stephanie Larson have done a wonderful job with this document. Not only does it contain useful information, but it also has hyperlinks from the TOC to its various sections and pictures of the interior of the conference hotels. 

In addition to the accessibility guide, I want to call your attention to some best practices that everyone should consider during their presentations.  

  • Be mindful of timing.

    If you are presenting a paper as part of a panel, please plan your paper to take no more than 15 minutes (for a panel with 4 speakers) or 20 minutes (for a panel with 3 speakers) or 30 minutes (for a panel of 2 speakers). If you have a respondent, please include the respondent’s speaking time in your calculations so that you leave at least 15 minutes for audience engagement and participation at the end. In most cases, each page of double-spaced text written in 12pt Times font will take 2 to 2:30 minutes to read. 

    If you are a panel chair, please coordinate with its members about how you will signal time limits during presentations before the presentations begin. If your panel does not have a chair, and most don't, please take a moment to organize your speaking order and process in the minutes before your event begins. 

    Please gather your things and exit the room once you have reached the scheduled time for your panel to end. We have only 15 minutes to move from one panel to the next and each panel deserves a few minutes to setup their laptops and organize for their presentations. 

    If you must exit the room in the middle of an event, please try to wait until the moment of transition from one speaker to the next. Also, leave some sitting space near the entrance of each room for individuals who might slip into the event after it has started. 

  • Prepare your presentation with accessibility in mind.

    • If there is a microphone in your presentation room, please use it (even if you have a loud voice; even if no one tells you they’re having trouble hearing you);
    • Make several printed copies of your presentation available for audience members who wish it. You may mark these as “draft” or “do not circulate” if you wish, but be sure to put your contact information on the document;
    • Offer at least two large-print copies;
    • Caption all video clips you intend to show and provide transcripts of all audio clips;
    • If you share handouts, make a couple using large print;
    • If you share online materials, create them using HTML and include Alt-text for all https://www.associationdatabase.com/aws/RSA/am/gi;
    • Ensure the font on any projected slides is in 22-point font at minimum;
    • Projected slides will be more visible if you choose a dark background and light font. Avoid background and font combinations with low contrast
    • Include https://www.associationdatabase.com/aws/RSA/am/gi that are clear, large and easy to interpret from a distance; offer a brief description of any https://www.associationdatabase.com/aws/RSA/am/gi used as part of your presentation.
  • After your session ends, continue conversations outside your presentation room.

    While we encourage robust conversation and are glad when presentations spark lively discussion, please move out of the presentation room once your session is over so that the next presenters have enough time to set up. Make use of the conference hashtag (#RSA50) to generate and continue discussions online.

A food and restaurant guide for Minneapolis along with some suggestions for city activities will arrive in your inbox before long. Be sure to look for it. 

On behalf of, 

Kirt Wilson
Christa Olson
Co-Directors
2018 Conference

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