Message for 2021 Mentors

If your student has been invited to present their work on a category panel, please review the Guidelines for 2021 Panel Presenters and assist your mentee as needed.

If your student has been invited to be part of the Poster Session, please review the Guidelines for 2021 Poster Presenters and assist your mentee as needed.

Most students have not participated in in-person or virtual conferences before and may find the task quite daunting. Please be sure to give your student the benefit of your experience. Make them aware of ways to present themselves and their paper to make the best impression. How much and what kind of help will vary with different students and mentors, but consider some of the following:

Panel Presentations

  • Talk to the student about how best to present the material in their paper. Some presenters read their papers, but others prepare a talk that outlines the main points and develops them in excerpted form. Many students use visual aids (PowerPoint, video clips, etc.), but some do not, and some visual aids can distract from the presentation. Advise your student about effective visual aids and help them decide what and how much is appropriate.
  • Consider setting up practice sessions to help the student prepare for public speaking in an ONLINE setting. A presenter who reads with head down and is barely audible will not do as well as one who looks into the camera and speaks confidently. Even if your college uses the Zoom platform for instruction, some students may not have had an opportunity to make extensive whole-class presentations or display PowerPoint slides using the Share Screen function. Practice sessions will help your student not only to perfect the presentation but also to relax and gain confidence.

Poster Presentations

  • The Beacon’21 Poster Session will be asynchronous with email-only interaction between the presenter and session attendees.
  • Designing a conference poster is a challenging task even for a seasoned professional. The presenter has to decide not only how to convey the complexity of a fully developed paper in the form of an abstract but also how to design a poster that is visually appealing. Advise your student what content to include, how to lay it out, and what images will enhance the visual impact.

Finally, attend the conference to support the students and share in the experience. Be a friendly, supportive presence for your student. You will be proud to see your student's presentation and the presentations of other Beacon’21 Scholars.