Attendance Preparation

How to prepare your OTM Academy participation and presentations


1. The paper review exercise

About a month before the OTM Academy takes place, you are invited to participate in a paper review session. The papers to be reviewed are the ones of the other OTMA participants. The "real" OTMA review system is used (same set of instructions, same criteria etc.). Even if, in some cases, papers do not match your expertise, we do ask you to timely provide a review. Not being an expert on the topic makes you focus on the general principles of scientific writing (method, writing style, logical coherence etc.). A specific session of the OTMA will be devoted to paper reviewing in general and a discussion of the anonymous comments and review styles in this exercise.


Some general guidelines on how to review papers is available.


In addition, you are supposed to very thoroughly read/review at least one of these papers to prepare a question on the content of the paper during the audience discussion (see below - paper presentation) as well as to discuss potential improvements to the paper during the paper improvement exercise (see below). Hence, it is crucial that you prepare well by e.g., clearly articulating which parts of the paper (and why) are unclear to you and/or how the paper can be made stronger, more convincing etc.


2. Preparing your presentation materials

Do allot sufficient time to prepare your presentation slides! And please do not make slides by proudly copy-pasting parts of your paper into them... your audience will have a copy of that text before them and reading the same small print on the screen can be exceedingly boring to the point of annoyance.

Some professional advice on how to prepare the slides for an effective oral presentation may be downloaded. A lot of it may seem obvious and you may think you know most of it already, but even experienced speakers and many professors :-) fail this test occasionally. So please read it carefully and apply it when preparing your paper presentation, it does help!

By the way you will find it also helps tremendously if you are able to do a trial presentation with these materials for your adviser, colleagues and/or fellow students in your own institute or company.


3. The paper presentation at the OTM Academy

PhD students registered for the OTM Academy are expected to participate in all OTM Academy sessions —up to two full days. The working language is English. Each PhD student receives a discussion slot of 60 minutes (regardless of the length of the paper) during the OTM Academy. The slot is organised as follows in three parts:
  1. Formal presentation of his/her paper and work during 15 minutes using prepared slides. Subsequently the audience can ask questions to the presenting author for about 5 minutes.
  2. 15 minutes are reserved for expert feedback by specific OTMA faculty members on your writing, presentation and discussion skills.
  3. And finally, at least two professors of the OTMA faculty give critical comments and positive suggestions for about 25 minutes and will discuss these interactively with the author in a constructive and friendly atmosphere. These professors will have studied your camera ready version (and, if possible, your initial submission).


4. The coached Final CR paper improvement exercise

This will be a key part of your OTM Academy participation. During this session, accepted students work in small teams, together with the OTMA faculty, to work on their submitted papers and improve research methods or work plans where needed. The students are asked to discuss and critically reflect upon the most relevant issues pointed to by the OTMA faculty (during the paper presentation sessions - see above) as well as to provide remedial suggestions and improvements. The small teams are built according to the paper distribution of the paper review exercise (see above). Students are expected to continue work on their final CR ("camera ready") version after the conference. You must upload the final result before the Workshops Final CR Deadline, about one month after OnTheMove ends, as this will be your actual, and only, paper to be published in the OnTheMove Workshops and Academy Proceedings volume by Springer LNCS, approximately three months after OTM and OTMA.]


5. The poster presentation

A separate poster session is scheduled during which all the OTMA participants present their poster for about 3-5 minutes. This is quite short, but also in real poster sessions you only have a short time to grab people's attention with your poster. So, prepare this "elevator pitch" well by focusing on the highlights. The OTMA faculty can comment and ask clarifications for about another 5-10 minutes (on the style and form of the poster, normally not on the content). Of course, the poster is about the work you describe in your OTMA paper. As an OTMA student you incidentally are welcome to optionally participate in the "live" poster sessions of the OTM conference. The location and moment for this is announced on-site.


Your poster has to prepared according to the overall OTM guidelines regarding dimensions (A0 format - vertical) and material. Poster authors will in general have easels to display their posters. The panel size is approximately 2m (width) x 2,5m (height). Note, that you should not prepare a separate poster paper - except when explicitly notified in the acceptance message. You don't have to submit the A0 poster beforehand. Simply bring it along to the conference. Note that Adobe offers the option in the printing menu to print an A0 poster on several A3 (or even A4) pages (which you can glue together afterwards) so that it is not necessary to produce a costly single sheet A0 poster.


A template of how a good poster looks like is available (check the dimensions!). Also some useful advice on how to prepare your poster presentation. May we also warmly encourage you :-) to use the OTMA logo to visibly label your poster as an OTM Academy poster.


6. The hosted rehearsal session for accepted OTM papers [not always organised]

Occasionally, a few PhD student-authors who are to present an accepted paper in one of the OnTheMove conferences or workshops, are invited to fill a OTMA-hosted "rehearsal session" during the days of the Academy. On the one hand this offers them an opportunity to rehearse their presentation in front of the OTMA audience and faculty members, on the other hand it allows you, as a regular OTMA student, to use this session as a sort of "live practice". Indeed, you should reflect on the author's presentation content and style, ask questions, make suggestions or comments and even offer scientific criticism. Or just recognise interesting good presentation techniques you can re-use or learn from. OTMA Faculty will actively solicit your opinion during the discussion section that follows each rehearsal slot.


[OnTheMove authors -who are still PhD students!- who are interested in a slot in this session are invited on the OTM registration page to tick the appropriate box so that they may eventually be contacted by the OTMA organisers.]


7. Extra personal feedback session [optional]

Most of the OTMA faculty members remain available during the other days of the OTM conference in case you want to ask them for additional clarification of the remarks made during the academy sessions, to have them introduce you to other researchers present at the OTM conferences they know, to discuss some of the issues in your scientific work or simply to ask them for some advice. It is up to you to contact them and make an appointment and make some preparations if needed - e.g. provide extra material (papers, results, ... ).