California Dreamin’

15 12 2008

I didn’t want to say anything until it was official because I’m superstitious about some things, but I’ve booked my ticket and hotel room so I think I can announce it.  I’ll be presenting a paper in March at the Global Arc of Justice: Sexual Orientation Law Around the World conference, hosted by the Williams Institute of UCLA law school and the International Lesbian and Gay Law Association, in Los Angeles!  I’ve known that I was probably going for a month, but now that funding for 3/4 of the trip came through and I was able to book the flight, I have an ear-splitting grin on my face.  It will be amazing academically, with several of my favorite scholars, and professionally, with several people from the NGOs at which I’d most like to work in attendance, and also I have to admit that it’s pretty cool to be in West Hollywood for three nights.  I’ve never been a big LA person, though I went to San Francisco once when I was 14 and loved it, but I keep thinking about the L-Word and laughing to myself.  It’s like a fantasy trip.  If anyone reading has academic experience, I would love some advice.  I know nothing about presenting a paper: for example, do you tend to stick with laying out the paper’s argument or do you extrapolate and give interesting facts with just your core argument as a teaser for people to read the paper?  I don’t know if/when this will be published, so a teaser seems a bit silly, though maybe this will be a jumping-off point to publication.  Also, PowerPoint or index cards?  Any other tips?  I’d love to hear them.

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5 responses

15 12 2008
amandamae

This is awesome!! I am so excited for you! I’ve never had to present a paper within this context, so I’m afraid I have no real advice. But SQUEE how cool! Definitely looking forward to hearing the follow-up!

16 12 2008
rebecca

Same here – sorry for the lack of advice, but congratulations!

18 12 2008
alisa

I’d suggest using powerpoint. If nothing else, making slides is a good exercise for organizing your thoughts. (I actually love them because it’s like make a collage; the closest thing to art I’ll ever be able to do!!)

In my genre, the standard talk outline is:
-motivation: why is this problem important/interesting
-background (if needed) and/or previous work in the area
-experiment
-results
-conclusions/future work

I tend to do a practice talk like only once or twice. Friends who are less experience practice a lot. It’s good if you can give the talk to your friends and they will give you feedback, like what’s unclear on the slides. Their questions will help you to anticipate audience questions.

Finally, the best advice I ever got about nerves: make sure you know the first two sentences you are going to say and don’t worry about the rest!

best of luck!

23 12 2008
hersandhers

Congratulations on your trip! It sounds like a wonderful experience!!!

23 12 2008
alesbianandascholar

Amanda, Rebecca, and hersandhers – Thanks! I’m super-excited, if a little nervous. Looking forward to it.

Alisa – Thank you for the advice! I do think I’m going to use a Powerpoint, if only just with broad headings to keep myself on track and the audience following.

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