Presenter Guidelines

Upon accepting to present your proposal as a session for MCN 2021, you agree to abide by the following Presenter Guidelines.  

Presenter Terms & Conditions

Each session organizer and co-presenter (including invited presenter or panelist) must agree to:

  • Confirm that you will present at MCN 2021 by August 9, 2021. An individual can only participate as a presenter, co-presenter, or panelist in up to three (3) sessions for any session type throughout the program. 
  • Register for the conference by August 31, 2021 or your name will be removed from the program. Registration opens on August 2.
  • Let MCN schedule your session at a day and time it sees fit. MCN reserves the right to change the schedule as it sees fit. 
  • Use the Program Change Request Form to request a change to a scheduled session no later than September 7, 2021. Email requests will NOT be accepted. You are welcome to submit a request to change the date and time of your session due to any extenuating circumstances. MCN honors session change requests at its discretion. Changes are not guaranteed. 
  • Present your session virtually as outlined in your original session proposal. Instructions for remote participation will be shared with you in the weeks ahead. 
  • Attend a short rehearsal session (in September) with the MCN conference tech team in advance of your session to review technical support plan for your session and run through your presentation materials in advance.
  • Grant permission for MCN to record video and/or audio from your session and collect related materials (e.g. slide decks) to distribute at its discretion. Presenters can opt-out of this process through the Program Change Request Form. Sessions designated as ‘Chatham House Rule’ will not be recorded and shared publicly. 
  • Abide by MCN’s Community Guidelines and Code of Conduct.

Session Specific Terms & Conditions

Session presenters and co-presenters of all session types recognize the need for advance presentation and agree to present on the topic(s) outlined in their original session proposal. 

Ignite sessions

You agree to attend a few Zoom calls with nikhil trivedi throughout the summer to develop and refine your talk. 


Because MCN charges an additional fee for workshops, you agree to the following:

  • Once your proposal for a workshop is accepted, MCN will expect you to deliver it using the platform(s) designated for the virtual conference.
  • You may cancel your workshop at no charge before September 15, 2021. Should you be unable to deliver your scheduled workshop after that date, you will be expected to find a suitable replacement at no cost to MCN, and with MCN’s approval.

Presenter Registration Discount

Presenters and co-presenters will receive a special link to register for only $100.

Registration Cancellation & Refund Policy

You may cancel your MCN 2021 conference registration and receive a full refund up until September 28, 2021.

No cancellation after that date. No exceptions.

Presentation Guidelines

General considerations

  • Focus on concise delivery of information to achieve your learning objectives. Packing in too many slides or too much content can obscure achievement of those objectives.
  • Avoid presenting images of complex charts or tables. Graphics should be legible and easy to describe.
  • MCN conferences are about dynamic conversations. If you’re presenting prepared remarks, prepare for a robust Q&A afterwards. Better yet, build in ways to engage your audience throughout your presentation.
  • If you are delivering a workshop, be sure to to provide various ways to participate and engage with content

Inclusive Presentation Deck Design and Content

  • Use high-contrast colors for your deck design to ensure legibility. Check your colors with the WebAim contrast checker.
  • Avoid using color as the only method for distinguishing information, also use an underline or visual highlight for those who may experience color blindness or modify their display.
  • Use simple, sans serif fonts at least 16 point large (e.g., Arial, Verdana, Helvetica) to maximize legibility 
  • Include alt text on images in your slide deck so that anyone revisiting your presentation or following along on their own can access descriptions of visual content. (how to in PowerPoint, and Google Slides)
  • Deliver text as text—don’t not include text as images, but if you absolutely must for effect, be sure to include alt text.
  • Caption audio and video materials for attendees who may have difficulty hearing the content.
  • Use tables for presenting data, not for changing the visual layout of the page. In the table, include a heading row (rather than starting with data in the first row) because screen readers automatically read the first row as a heading row. 
  • Use formatted bulleted lists and numbered lists, not manually typed numbers or symbols. Usually software does this automatically when you start a new line with a number followed by a period and space, e.g. “1. “. (Format lists in Google, and in Microsoft PowerPoint)
  • Provide a list of names, proper nouns, and any unusual or technical terms you might use in your presentation by October 1, 2021 so that we can seed our captioning AI with this information to improve the quality of captions and transcription.

Preparing for the conference

  • Align on format, Slack channel to keep the conversation going at the end, social media plans, and other logistics.
  • Agree on and prepare how each presenter will be introduced. We suggest name, institution/role, pronouns, land acknowledgement, and visual description.
    • Pronouns – Ever if you feel your pronouns are obvious, please be explicit about what they are. Communicating your own pronouns tells everyone that you are not going to assume their gender. It is an important move towards real inclusivity at the conference and in wider society. It creates a healthier space for everyone to bring their ‘whole self’ to conference and be respected for it. An example sounds like “Hi, my name is Shah Rukh Khan, I’m the Director of Interpretation at The Historic House Museum and my pronouns are he/him.”
    • Land acknowledgement – Land acknowledgments are an important way of showing respect and honoring the Indigenous Peoples of the land on which we work and live. Acknowledgment is a simple way of resisting the erasure of Indigenous histories and working towards honoring and inviting the truth. An example sounds like “I’m calling in from just outside of Chicago, which is the traditional homelands of the Council of the Three Fire: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations. I offer my gratitude to the land itself and the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi People who have protected these lands and waterways past and present.
    • Visual description – Offer a visual description of what you look like on-screen to your attendees who may not be watching the video portion of your presentation. Think about describing your appearance and any dominant features of your clothing or background. An example sounds like “I have cinnamon-brown skin with a short salt-and-pepper beard and short black hair. I’m wearing a white collared shirt with a black tie. And behind me is a turtle tank.”
  • Ensure speaker needs for the session are arranged and will be met (AV, etc.)

Coordinate the tech support needs to be prepared to communicate how you will need your session supported by the tech team. (this could be incorporated into your first bullet)

Presenting During the Conference

  • Arrive fifteen minutes before the start of your session to check presentation materials and troubleshoot any last minute tech issues.
  • Alert attendees to any special format for the session, housekeeping, or general announcements e.g is there a preferred Twitter hashtag they should use specific to the session’s topic, where to look for the conversation on Slack.
  • If the session is held under the Chatham House Rule, remind attendees to refrain from recording, live tweeting, or otherwise sharing and identifying information with others outside of the session.
  • Speak slowly and clearly. Remember that English may not be everyone’s first language.
  • Before you launch into your presentation, introduce yourselves and ask your audience if they can hear you okay so you can make any sound adjustment immediately.
  • Presentations have time limits, which will be applied. Presenters should be prepared to keep all presentations within their designated times, or have them cut short.
  • Read text on slides aloud as a part of your presentation to make it accessible to attendees who may have low or no vision.
  • Describe images for attendees who may have low or no vision attending your session, or are simply listening in. Graphs and charts should be described and summarized as to their purpose in your presentation as well, e.g. “This line graph shows a dip in on-site visitor attendance during the pandemic” This is also super helpful for understanding the transcription of your session.
  • Describe animations and video materials, you may want to describe in advance of hitting play to ensure attendees with low or no vision have context for the audio portion of content. 
  • If you’re responding to a question in the chat, repeat the questions so everyone can hear it.

Sharing Materials

Please ensure any materials you provide are screen reader legible documents rather than image scans (e.g. Docs, PDFs). In addition to the above guidelines, they should:

  • Be delivered as text, for instance a scan/image of a document will need to be turned into text to be legible by a screen reader (this also makes it searchable and copy-paste-able!)
  • Use a heading structure that conveys your information in an organized way and is easy to follow.
  • If providing a PDF, in addition to proper heading structure, be sure that the reading order is correct. Indiana University has a nice article to help you address converting to and making a PDF accessible: 

Finally, please share your slide deck on Sched and MCN Slack channel  #mcn-2021 ahead of your presentation, so attendees can download and follow along with your slides during your presentation if preferred.