Task 5.30. Read the text and present its contents in the form of an interview: ORGANIZING A CONFERENCE

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Task 5.30. Read the text and present its contents in the form of an interview: ORGANIZING A CONFERENCE

In the modern world people are eager to share information, discuss and solve common problems at non-governmental level. That’s what conferences, congresses, round-table discussions and other forms of meetings are for. But an idea to hold a conference and its implementation are different things the latter requiring a considerable amount of time, money and effort.

The preparatory stage of holding a conference is forming the Organizing Committee which elects its chairman and assigns duties to other members. They are to determine the general theme of the conference and its compohent topics, as well as dates, venue, budget and other organisational questions. The most essential organizational question seems to be the one of financing. Every participant should pay a fee which includes the registration fee, payment for publication of abstracts and full-length papers, accommodation, meals and participation in social events. But for sponsors, Organizing Committees would sometimes have failed to pay for secretarial services, facilities (equipment, sound and lighting systems), the rent of premises and entertainment.

Computers have greatly facilitated the task of organizing International conferences, but still a lot of paper-work is involved unless the conference is a virtual one. For example, the Organizing Committee should arrange printing announcements, formal invitations, leaflets, brochures, handout material, conference proceedings and reports. The invitation letters usually enclose application forms to be filled in by would-be participants. After receiving the invitation you may either accept or decline it. Having accepted the invitation, you should send all the necessary documents and the abstract of your paper to the Organizing Committee for arranging a preliminary programme. If you fail to meet the deadline for submitting the abstracts, your presentation will not be included in the programme.

Should the conference take place in a foreign country, don’t forget to receive a visa before going on the scientific mission. Participants are informed about the location and terms of registration by letter, by e-mail or they can find this information on the conference web site (page) in the Internet. At the registration desk a participant submits the registration fee paid receipt and fills in a questionnaire containing entries which refer to detailed information on the participant and his or her scientific activity. After the registration participants may look through the notices put up on a bulletin board in order to extract some additional information concerning the conference or make acquaintance with other participants. Though here some problems may arise because of language


barriers. That’s why it is necessaiy that the working language (in which papers must be written and presented to the audience) should be fixed at International conferences and participants and official guests attending plenary meetings should be provided with earphones to listen to synchronous interpretation into major languages (such as English, French, German or Spanish).

No doubt, for you, the principal event at the conference is your presentation. It is very important that you should realize the difference between a written paper and its oral presentation. Readers can concentrate on subjects of interest, reread the passages difficult for understanding or omit inessential paragraphs. The audience of the confcrencc does not have such an opportunity. So, it depends on you whether the main ideas of your paper will be conveyed to your listeners. Experienced speakers say that papers (consisting of a brief introduction, the main part and the summary which emphasizes the merits of the scientific investigation done) should be delivered in a simple language and within the fixed time limit It is desirable that the presentation should be accompanied by demonstration of visual aids.

At most sessions presentations are followed by discussions or debates. Any participant may take the floor, comment on the papers, and voice his/her opinion or enlarge on the problem under consideration. If you are against the ideas presented by a speaker or think that he or she is mistaken, you may ask the chairman to give you the floor, express your disagreement and clarify your point of view offering convincing arguments. It’s the function of the chairman to see that strict timing is kept and that speakers do not wander from the subject under: debate. The chairman can prolong, postpone or interrupt the discussion.

As a rule, conferences are accompanied by exhibitions of relevant books, software and video materials. Besides, participants are invited to take part in social events, such as visiting museums and theaters, going on guided sightseeing tours.

A well-run conference not only stimulates further scientific activities of its participants, but is also of great interest to the whole scientific community. The abstracts of contributed papers are published as proceedings of the conference and distributed among the participants while full-length papers (from 10 to 20 pages) are sometimes published on CD-ROM or in special issues of scientific journals.

Task 5,31. Home Assignment. Prepare a five-minute-long paper based on the material of your home reading and present it at the conference in your group. Work on the recommendations given below:


1. You should begin with addressing the chairman of the conference and the audience, e.g.

“Mr. Chairman! Ladies and gentlemen! I am greatly honoured to be invited to address this conference”.

2.Then you announce the subject of your paper, e.g.:

“I should(would) like to talk in this paper about...” “The subject of my paper is ...”

3. The introduction to your paper may begin like this:


“First of all, I would like to ...”

“In the introduction to my paper I should like to ...”

“Let me begin with...”

“As many of you know...”

4. After the introduction you make a transition to the body of your paper with the help of
the following sentence:

“Now, after a short (brief) introduction, I would like to turn to the main part of

my paper.”

In the main part you should give the general review of the problem under consideration and then emphasize the most essential details. Here are the phrase-! used for logical connection of passages within the text:

“First; second; third; next; then; later; afterwards; finally (eventually); however;

besides; nevertheless; moreover”.

“As I have already mentioned...”

“I want to emphasize (point out) that...”

“Allow me to call your attention to ...”

“As an example I can suggest...”

“As far as I know...”

5. We recommend you to begin the summary of your paper with the words:
“Now let me review what I have said about”.

And do not forget to say “Thank you for your attention” at the end of your presentation. Requirements:

1. In the paper you should express your opinion about the problem under consideration.

The following phrases may be used: “In my opinion / to my mind...”; “I think / believe / consider that...”; “If I’m not mistaken...”

2. The language of your paper should be simple and understandable!

Task 5.32. Before presenting your paper in presentation skills:

You should...

1. thoroughly investigate the phenome­non or problem you are going to consider in your paper and plan your presentation thinking about your aim.

2. pay much attention to clear and logical structure of your paper.

3. organize the content identifying the
main points and supporting ones and
linking your ideas.

4. use simple and understandable
language, vary sentence structure and

to the audience read the brief instruction

You shouldn’t...

1. write your paper at the very last
moment re-arranging some relevant
information found in the Internet or other

2. put down your i;deas as they come to

3. present the content as a set of
disconnected ideas.

4. use rare and archaic words, idiomatic
expressions, extremely long sentences or
short ones with similar structure.


5. speak distinctly, stressing words and 5. mumble monotonously. sentences correctly.

6. speak slowly, maintaining eye contact 6. read very quickly without looking up with your audience. at the audience. ' ' '

7. use visual aids and handout materials. 7. mention some charts, diagrams or

pictures without showing them to the audience.

8. stay within time-limits. 8. ignore time-limits.

9. thank your listeners for their attention 9. leave the rostrum without thanking the and encourage them to ask questions or ai:dience for attention.

make comments.

Task 5.33, Discuss the papers presented by your fellow-students at the conference in your group using the following expressions:

- May I take the floor?

-I’d like to raise a question...

- I’d like to voice my opinion on this subject... / I’d like to comment on ...

- Would you, please, clarify your point of view?

- I’m in favour of..., but I’m against...

-1 agree with the previous speaker to some extent, but... -1 doubt that...

- Could you enlarge on this problem, please?

- I’m not certain about the ideas expressed in the previous speech because ...

- I’m afraid you are wrong/mistaken.

Task 5.34. Quiz. Choose the answers that suit you, calculate your score total and read the comments:'

1. You have been investigating some phenomenon or problem for a certain period
of time and generated a number of original ideas. What will you do with them?

a) You will apply for participation in the nearest relevant conference, present your ideas to the scientific community and willingly discuss them with experts.

b) You will think them over again and again, then formulate them in an article and submit it to your scientific adviser for assessment.

c) You will browse (= look through the information in) the Internet from time to time to see whether there is anything similar to them there.

2. If you received a formal invitation to a very interesting conference held in
Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, would you ...

a) accept it straight away?

b) find out more information about the country and then consider the invitation?

c) decline the invitation because Iceland is too far and you think it is too cold there?


3. If the working language of the conference (you’d like to participate in) were
Portuguese, would you...

a) accept the invitation, go to a linguistic center to get your paper translated into Portuguese and take an intensive course in this language nevertheless hoping that the Organizing Committee will provide synchronous interpretation of papers into English at the plenary meeting?

b) contact the Organizing Committee and ask them to permit you to deliver your paper in English?

c) decline the invitation became you aie not good <u languages?

4. If you were interested in the subject of a conference, but the participation fee
were very high, would you ...

a) borrow money and pay the fee?

b) find out whether you could participate in the conference for one day only and pay less?

c) decline the invitation because you are short of money?

5. If you took part in a conference held in London, would you ...

a) attend all the meetings, take part in discussions and workshops and, in general, focus your attention on the conference?

b) be selective, attend only those meetings you like and go sightseeing in spare time?

c) deliver your paper and go shopping?

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