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3rd International Workshop on
Web Site Evolution

November 10, 2001; Florence, Italy

WSE 2001
Theme: Access for All

Speaker and Session Chair Guidelines

High-quality presentations are essential for the success of WSE 2001. To help you plan your presentation for WSE 2001, this document provides important information about the audiovisual equipment that will be available in the meeting rooms, along with guidelines to help you prepare and deliver your presentation. Please read this note carefully and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Scott Tilley (

The Setting

WSE 2001 will be held in one of the meeting rooms of the Grand Hotel Baglioni. The room will be equipped with one standard computer projector ("beamer").

NOTE: You are responsible for providing your own notebook computer to connect to the projector, and ensuring that the two devices work properly. Please orchestrate this process with your session chair.

Your Session, Meeting Your Sessions Chair

Each session has a session chair who will coordinate your session and introduce you. Check the WSE program for the name of your session chair.

Make sure you (1) meet your session chair before your session so s/he will know who you are; (2) meet your session chair at least 15 minutes before the beginning of your session; and (3) give a short one-paragraph typeset or neatly handwritten biography to your session chair to introduce you.

Out of respect for your fellow speakers, be present at the beginning of the session in which your presentation occurs, and remain in the session for the duration of all presentations.

Your Presentation

Here are some helpful hints for both the preparation and delivery of your high-quality talk:

bullet The WSE audience draws participants from a wide variety of areas, from academia, government, and industry. Make sure that your talk includes enough background material and motivation so that it can be understood by those who are not specialists in your area. It is a good idea to have one slide of your talk on motivation and one slide on related work to set the stage.
bullet Check the conference web site at for the time allotted for your talk. Most WSE 2001 presentations are allotted 10-15 minutes. Special talks, such as keynotes, are allotted more time. The time varies slightly, depending on how many speakers there are in each session. Try to keep your presentation within the time limit, so that we have room for discussion.
bullet Use at least 24 point type for body text and at least 28 point for titles.
bullet Use a limited number (i.e., 1-3) of typefaces for your entire presentation.
bullet Use colors effectively. Light text on dark background projects better with a computer beamer. This is the opposite of what is used for transparencies.
bullet Important: Use PowerPoint animation very sparingly. It is rarely justified to use more than one click (keyboard, mouse) per slide/page. Animating individual bullets (i.e., one click for each bullet on a slide) is usually inappropriate for a WSE 2001 presentation. Excessive animation results in talks where the animation is more important than the contents. Moreover, completely animated or timed PowerPoint presentations (i.e., "click-less" talks) rarely work for a WSE audience because a single question can mess up the entire talk. Avoid the "new PowerPoint user" syndrome whereby the presenter tries to use too many of the fancy PowerPoint features and ends up spending more time figuring out the sequence of slides rather than focusing on the content while giving their talk.
bullet Always speak to the audience, not to the screen.
bullet Speak slowly and clearly. Pauses that seem long to you are usually quite fast for the audience.
bullet It is critical that you present your talk and answer questions in the time allotted to you. Your session chair will manage the talks in the session and keep speakers on track. It is important to have some time at the end of your talk for questions

Here are some useful resources with hints and instructions for preparing high-quality talks:


Experience has shown that following these simple guidelines can greatly improve your presentation. Have a great workshop and remember: enjoy! :)

Last modified October 29, 2001 by Scott Tilley.