In-person presentations

Here are some more specifics about how the typical presentation format will work during the conference.

45-minute track session

The 45-minute track sessions are your standard conference fare. Presentations are limited to 45 minutes, but they usually run about 30–40 minutes, with a live Q&A to follow.

Rooms and technical equipment

We ask that you bring your own laptop to run your presentation, or consult with your program chair to make other arrangements. Each track room offers HDMI and USB-C cables for you to connect to the projector. If your device uses unusual or other connectors (or if you have needed other adapters for past presentations), please bring those adapters.


Since your presentation will run on your own laptop, slides can be in the program you're most comfortable with. When possible, please minimize the need to load live content from the web in your presentation.

You're welcome to revise your slides right up to conference day. A member of the Program committee will be in touch about an in-progress review of your slides one week before the conference.


Please consider these accessibility best practices when designing your presentation slides and recording your videos.

  • Check your type and background colors for a nice contrast. Choose bold over subtle. Use this color contrast checker to verify your color sections.
  • Make sure your font size is large, and be aware of the amount of type you are placing on a single slide. Choose simple, short and large type size over complex, long and small type size. Fonts like Calibri and Calibri Light (defaults) are easier to read than more elaborate fonts.
  • When using images on your slides to illustrate your point, include a reference to or description of the image while you are speaking, so those with low vision or those who aren't able to view your slides will still understand the substance of your point.
  • When creating digital media in your presentations, remember these key points:
    • Text Alternatives: Provide descriptive alt text for non-text elements like images.
    • Video Captions: Add accurate captions to videos. It benefits both hearing-impaired viewers and enhances the overall experience.
    • Audio Transcripts: For podcasts or audio-only content, provide written transcripts.

More resources on accessible conference presentations

Inclusive language

Words are powerful. They're how we tell stories, entrust each other with knowledge, reach out and let our feelings be felt, and are touched by those of other people in turn. Even at the best of times, with the best of intentions, it's possible to heavily impact others harmfully with our choices in words.

There is a lot of harmful language ingrained in the way we speak. Popular terms and phrases may have an origin or make a reference that you are unaware of. HighEdWeb promotes inclusion and kindly asks that you be mindful of the words you use during your presentation. Language that may not seem harmful to you, can be to others. Harmful language can be perceived as harassment, which is a code of conduct violation. Please work to avoid language that is harmful to people with disabilities, language of a sexual nature, language that leverages racism or gendered language.

When creating your presentation slides and delivering your presentation, look for examples of language that may exclude folks, and then look for a more inclusive alternative.

  • "…so that we couldn't just ask the web guy to do it…" versus "…so we couldn't just ask the web person to do it…"
  • "…we were going into the project totally blind…" versus "…we were going into the project with no information whatsoever…"
  • "…our first designs were so lame…" versus "…our first designs were really awful…"

Industry jargon and technical acronyms are often appropriate and necessary in a HighEdWeb presentation, but be sure to include an opportunity to quickly explain or describe the term for those in the audience who are not already familiar.

Keep in mind that the conference may have attendees from different locations and backgrounds. Be careful not to assume knowledge of United States or North American laws.

It's fine to include an in-joke or pop culture reference in your presentation, but think about the folks in the audience who are not in on the joke. Let those who get the reference have a laugh, but also include an explanation or some context to bring new people in, rather than leave them feeling left out.

Language both reflects and reinforces our assumptions, biases and stereotypes. We will all make mistakes sometimes. If someone calls your attention to some language choices in your presentation, take a moment to thank them for letting you know and to think about how you could improve your presentation style or content going forward in a way that may remove those barriers.

More resources on inclusive language and conference presentations