Breakout Session FAQs

Presenter at a podium


Presenter Checklist (Make a copy or download these important key dates!)

PowerPoint Template for Download


Session Materials

Yes. These are due by April 24. We ask that you upload a copy of your final presentation slides (PDF) and any session materials prior to the conference. EDUCAUSE will post them to your session listing in the online agenda and mobile app. This can be a game-changer for some attendees who may need to access the presentation in an electronic format (i.e. someone who is visually impaired) as it will allow them to better prepare for and more fully experience your session.

Important Note: 

  • This statement below appears on the PowerPoint template and highlights the terms of the permission agreement you accepted in EDUCAUSE's Publishing Agreement. If you are using your own PowerPoint, we ask you to please include this statement on one of your slides:

    This presentation leaves copyright of the content to the presenter. Unless otherwise noted in the materials, uploaded content carries the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, which grants usage to the general public, with appropriate credit to the author.

Yes. EDUCAUSE strives to hold meetings, conferences, and other professional events where all attendees feel welcome and barriers of any type do not exclude people from attending or participating. We ask that you take the time to review the Accessibility Information for Presenters section to help you create and deliver a presentation that all attendees can enjoy.

Please convert your presentation slides to a PDF. All supplemental materials should be uploaded as PDFs as well. File sizes should be 2GB or smaller. Note: You will present from your own computer in your meeting room using your final presentation slides.

See below for instructions on converting a copy of your presentation as a resource.

  • First find and fix any accessibility issues using PowerPoint’s Accessibility Checker.
  • Select File > Save As and choose where to store your PDF.
  • Do NOT select “Print to PDF” or “Save as Adobe PDF”!
  • Change “Save As” type to PDF (*.pdf).
  • Fill the Title field with the title of your PowerPoint presentation.
  • Select the “More Options” button near the title of your document and then select “Options.”
  • Check both “Document Properties” and “Document structure tags for accessibility” boxes.
  • Select “Save” and close Options.
  • Select “Save” to convert PDF.

Lead presenters will receive an email from your speaker liaison in mid April with a link to upload these into the speaker portal. When you get the link, please follow the detailed instructions to have this completed by the due date.

If you have updates to your slides, you can go back into the speaker portal to delete and re-upload the updated document(s).

Please rename files to be uploaded with the session title and the resource type (examples: "Name of Session Slides" and/or "Name of Session Handout").

Your Presentation

This is a tough question to answer depends. It depends on your presentation skills and comfort level with the content. A good rule of thumb, however, is that for every hour you spend presenting, you will want to spend 10x that time preparing. Preparation is the single most important part of making a successful presentation!

Don’t skip any of the preparation steps:

  • Strategy and Logistics: Know who you are speaking to, why you are speaking, so you can figure out what you are going to present.
  • Brainstorm and Outline Your Presentation: You will want to map out your entire session using a session outline template such as this one. This is where you list out how many minutes you have to speak, then write a short script for each section, and who is presenting which sections. Add in items such as engagement activities, special notes about AV, slide transitions, videos, etc. This outline or script is essentially the game plan for your session.
  • Practice: Your practice sessions should be 50% of your preparation time and should begin well in advance of the event. We can’t emphasize this enough: The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you will be! Do several dry runs of your presentation. The success of your presentation depends on it! Tip: Time your presentation from start to finish!
  • Create Your Slides/Visuals: Keep it simple and visually interesting.
  • Presentation: Good luck! All your preparation will pay off!
  • Debrief: What went well, what didn’t. How can I/we improve for next time?

Yes! The Presenter Concierge section of our website offers tons of articles, videos and resources for you, including slide design how-to’s, tips on delivering an outstanding presentation, engagement strategies, accessibility and more. Take the time to develop your presentation skills to create and deliver a presentation that is memorable and impactful. Here are a couple of our favorite resources:

EDUCAUSE has a dedicated staff person whose primary role is to support presenters. The speaker liaison provides ongoing communication leading up to the event, answers questions and can provide extra assistance through Speaker Support Sessions if needed. We currently offer training through pre-event meetings and the EDUCAUSE Presenter Support Modules. These five-minute (or less) videos will help you create an outstanding presentation by focusing on the practices adopted by the most effective speakers, presenters, and facilitators. The content also includes machine-readable PDF versions.

  • Presentation Best Practices Introduction (3:10)
  • How to Use Presentation Time Effectively (4:10)
  • Using Visuals (4:13)
  • Presentation Content and Detail (4:19)
  • Audience Interaction (4:22)
  • Panels (3:38)
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (3:19)

We love panels! However, there are some important do’s and don’ts to having a successful one. For example, having an experienced moderator is must. A skillful, knowledgeable moderator will bring out the best in your panelists and keep the session on track. We encourage you to use these tactics to fulfill your panel’s potential:

Logistics (Meeting Room Setup, AV—and More!)

All education breakout sessions will be held at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis (1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN).

Meeting rooms will be assigned in early April and published within your session listing in the online agenda. Your speaker liaison will send a communication at that time that includes your meeting room assignment and a diagram of the floor plan. Room sets will be based on your session format. Note: Room assignments are subject to change so please always double check your room prior to your presentation.

Session rooms vary in size but will hold anywhere from 95 to 300 people. The room assigned for your presentation will depend on your topic and format. We cannot anticipate how many people will attend your session, and seating is first-come, first-served. (Preconference workshops are the exception.)

All of the session rooms will have the following standard audiovisual setup, which includes:

  • LCD projector with HDMI capabilities and screen (16:9, widescreen format)
  • Projector stand
  • Internet wireless access
  • Hard Ethernet drop
  • Sound patch for computer audio to the room through house sound
  • Wireless lavalier microphone
  • Wired microphone at lectern
  • For panels of three or more, one additional table mic is provided

The following will NOT be provided:

  • A presentation computer. You will need to bring your own laptop to display your presentation.
  • Adapters/dongles that you may need.
  • Slide advancer. If you use a slide advancer, please BYOC (bring your own clicker)!

Please note: EDUCAUSE is not able to accommodate additional requests outside of the standard AV. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the AV provided, it is important to contact EDUCAUSE no later than April 1. After that date, our program will be finalized with the hotel.

Yes, wireless internet access will be available for both presenters and attendees. The connection speed will be sufficient to access and navigate web pages and email.