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Event Proposal, Planning & Participation
Event Proposing & Planning Tips
- Think through how your event connects to the annual theme, and write a brief but specific explanation. Express the details and connection to the theme as clearly as you can in the application. Don’t assume that the planning committee knows exactly how you see this event in your head.
- Consider proposing an interactive event like a workshop or demonstration. Active and experiential learning are often more powerful than a lecture or panel. For example, rather than a panel, hold an interactive dialogue session where participants move from table to table to meet a new person or facilitator.
- Consider making the event multi-disciplinary. Perhaps you could partner with people from other departments/divisions.
- Consider how your event may connect to local communities, organizations and academic disciplines (taught at NWACC).
- If you are proposing a panel or presentation, still think about how you can interact with and engage the audience -- a question, poll, activity. Don’t be scared to ask the SACF co-chairs or planning committee for advice.
- For anything involving multiple points of view, consider how those can be represented in your event. Is this the most charitable, most understandable version of this idea that can be represented? Are there points of view, ideas or notions that will be left out? Is there any way to incorporate them? How coherent is each idea and point of view; are there too many things being presented in a single event?
- Think about the communities that could be impacted by the points of view presented; how will they view these presentations; how are those communities going to be represented in the event? However, one need not run away from controversial topics, ideas, theories, frameworks, values and ideologies. They are welcome.
Consider every technological resource that you will need to be successful. Be sure to list all the software and hardware that you will need, including mics, to do your event.
Event Presenting Tips
- Avoid reading presentations directly off scripts or written papers as much as possible.
- If using a slideshow (such as PowerPoint or Prezi), reduce the total amount of text as much as possible and focus the message. Don’t utilize strobe effects, hard-to-read fonts, confusing contrasts, or complicated layouts.
- Avoid excessive jargon when speaking or projecting text on slideshows. Be sure to think through how you would explain each issue to a nonprofessional who is not in your field of study, discipline, art or is generally unfamiliar with the topic.
- Slow down as much as you can. Less is more. Don’t over-pack your presentation with information. Consider how much the audience can mentally digest over the 75 minutes. Speak to your audience clearly and forcefully, utilizing the microphone and other technology. Pace yourself, use dramatic emphasis here and there, speed and slow down your presentation for effect.
- Contingency plan your event. If there’s a key piece of technology at the core of what you are doing, consider how you would carry-on without it. We do our best to have properly functioning tech, but these things fail from time to time.
- Print off your presentation or any notes that you need for your event.
- Arrive at least 30 minutes before the event and check in with the SACF Planning Committee folks.
- Engage with your audience whenever possible and feasible. Interactivity keeps your audience focused and on its toes.
- Leave time for questions. Audiences frequently have them. Think through common questions that might arise and how you might address them succinctly.
- Give the audience your contact info so that people can connect with you after the event, if they like.