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5th Women and Leadership Conference - Leading Differently: Capacity Building, Knowledge Sharing, Intergenerational Networking
Presenter Guidelines

The International Leadership Association and ILA’s Women and Leadership member community are excited to welcome each of you to our first virtual online conference. Women have always been pioneers and first in so many aspects of leadership, and each of you exemplifies the conference theme and is Leading Differently!

Click on each section below for more information. Please read the first three sections carefully, and then proceed to your specific session type.

All Zoom session links are available in the Women and Leadership Conference online program. To enter your session, or any session you plan to attend, you must log in to the online program.

IMPORTANT: You must be registered for the conference to access the Zoom session links. If you have not registered yet, please do so ASAP at:

1. Go to the online program at We recommend you use Google Chrome to access the program and click into Zoom.

2. Click on the “Sign In” link in the Navigation Menu on the left side of the page OR click on the lock symbol in the top right corner of the page. 

3. Enter your ILA username and password (the same ones you used to submit to and register for the conference). You will be returned to the main online program page.

4. Enter the session title at the top of the page or use the Browse/Search filters on the left side of the page. Click on the title of the session.

5. Click on the black “Zoom Virtual Meeting...” button below the “Online Resources” header near the top of the page.

6. A popup box will display. 

  • If you are using your computer/device for both audio and video, simply click on “Launch Zoom Virtual Meeting”. You will not need to enter the meeting ID or password.

  • If you are using your computer/device for video but need to dial in for audio, a list of telephone numbers by country can be found at You will find the meeting ID and the password in the popup box. Click on “Launch Zoom Virtual Meeting” and then dial in with your phone.

7. You will be redirected to the Zoom platform and placed in a waiting room. The session host will admit you upon arrival.

Questions? Email us at

You can create a personal schedule of sessions you want to attend. Log in (see directions above) and browse the online program. Select a session and click on “Add to Personal Schedule” at the top of the session information page.

To view your personal schedule, log in to the online program and select “Personal Schedule” in the Navigation Menu on the left side of the page or click the calendar icon in top right of the page.

IMPORTANT: All program times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time (New York City, UTC -04:00). You can set your time zone preference so that the program displays both New York time and your local time. If you haven’t been to the online program recently, you will be prompted to set your time zone. Log in to save your time zone preference. Instructions can be found here.

Questions? Email us at

Quick Links

In Advance of Your Session

1. Check the equipment and software that you will be using to connect to the conference as well as your presentation space.

  • Zoom Account. You do not have to have a Zoom account to participate as a presenter; however, you do have to have the Zoom desktop client or app installed on the device you will use during your presentation. Make sure you have the latest versions. Find out more at
  • Internet Connection. Use a hard-wired connection to the Internet if possible. Wi-Fi connections can be unstable. Turn off your VPN if you use one. It is not recommended!
  • Microphones and Speakers. We recommend that all presenters use headsets.
  • Camera.
    • Check the built-in camera on your device or use an external camera
    • Camera should be at or a little above your eye-level
  • Space. Set up the space in your home/office.
    • Do not have lamps or windows at your back.
    • If you do not have a neutral background in your home/office space, consider using a virtual zoom background. More suggestions on backgrounds are available below under “During Your Session.”
    • Make sure you have a comfortable chair!

IMPORTANT: We highly recommend that you join a test Zoom meeting to familiarize yourself with Zoom and to test your microphone/speakers and video (be sure to select “Join with Video” when entering the test meeting). For more information and the link to join a test meeting go here:

2. Prepare your presentation slides (if applicable to your session format)

  • Simplify your slides and stick to the essentials! You won't have the luxury of projecting your slides on a large screen.
    • Keep in mind that most participants will be viewing the session from their own computer screen.
    • Simplify your language and stick to the essentials - less is more on each slide.
    • In a virtual world, it is okay of have more slides than you would if you were presenting in person.
    • Avoid wordy, complicated slides.
  • Template slides with the look and feel of the conference are available online at:

Here are a couple of articles with tips for virtual presentations that may be helpful:

Upload Supplemental Material

Upload handouts, slides, flyers, CVs, program flyers, etc., to the online program to share with the attendees. Remember, you will not be able to provide handouts during your session, so uploading is a great way to get information into attendees’ “hands”! As a presenter, you can direct the participants to the uploaded materials, which can be found on your session information page.

IMPORTANT: Uploading information to the online program will not pre-load anything for your Zoom session. This is simply for sharing with attendees.

Two reminders:

  • The system allows for one (1) file to be uploaded. If you want to include multiple documents (for instance multiple papers, handouts and a paper, handouts and a PowerPoint presentation, an original paper and a PowerPoint presentation, etc.), you will need to create one file (PDF is recommended) that contains all the material you want to upload.
  • Only the original submitter or individuals with editing access can upload material. If you follow the steps below and do not see a link to upload, then you do not have editing access. Please coordinate your efforts with the original submitter or request editing access from and include “Editing Access Needed” in the subject line.

Instructions for Uploading Supplemental Material

1. Log in to the CFP/conference program site at using your ILA username and password (click on the 'lock' icon at the upper-right corner). If you have forgotten your username or password, click on the appropriate link above the username and password fields. Please do not create a new profile; your presentation proposal will only be accessible through the profile under which you submitted.

2. Under the Navigation Menu, click on “Main Menu”.

3. Under Submitter Menu, click on the “View a Proposal/Read Reviews/Upload Supplemental Material".

4. In the Submissions tab, you will now see a list of your submissions. To the right of each title will be an “upload” link. Click on the word “upload”.
If you do not see any titles listed under the Submissions tab, it means that you do not have editing access to your submission. Please contact and include “Editing Access Needed” in the subject line to request editing access.

5. Near the bottom of the next page, click on the “Choose File” button to browse your computer and select the document to upload. You may upload one of the following formats: Microsoft Word (.doc is preferred over .docx), Adobe PDF, or Rich Text Format(rtf). Note that individual files cannot exceed 10 MB.

6. Select the appropriate file and click “Open” to upload it to the system.

7. Click the “Accept and Continue” button. You will receive confirmation of your submission by email within twenty-four hours. All files will be converted to PDF format. Uploads typically are viewable immediately; however, in rare cases, the conversion may take up to 72 hours.

If at any time you want to replace the uploaded document with a revised version, simply follow these same steps, choose the new file, and it will replace the previously uploaded document. If you already uploaded a paper as part of the proposal process, it will be replaced by the new upload, as each presentation can have only one file associated with it. 

During Your Session

1. Arrive to your designated Zoom room 10-15 minutes prior to the start of your session

  • You will enter the session via a waiting room. The room is set up to automatically start recording as soon as the host starts the meeting.
  • The room host (an ILA staff person or a conference program committee member) will admit you into the room from the waiting room. You will be designated as a “co-host” so you can share your screen, allow others to share, etc.
  • Conduct a quick camera, microphone, speaker, and screen sharing check, and co-host assigning.
  • Any tools, files, and documents you plan to share during your session should be open and easily accessible on your desktop.

2. Backgrounds/Clothing

  • Real and virtual backgrounds are exciting and often tell a story about the presenter; however, we want to be careful that our background does not distract from our presentation.
  • The recommendation is for a plain virtual background or one that has a single photo (floral, landscape, library, etc.). If not using a virtual background, please consider the physical space around you and make it as simple and uncluttered as possible.
  • Clothing is business casual
    • Remember: most people will see you only from the waist up!
    • Check to see how colors transfer on camera; not all reds are equal. Avoid stripes!

3. Virtual Things to Remember

  • Fewer Visual Cues: When we interact with each other on camera, please be aware that it is harder to read communication cues from people’s body language.
  • Lack of spontaneous engagement: Getting into the conversation is often more difficult for virtual participants than when people are sitting in the same room.
  • Technology glitches: There is usually something that goes wrong, and presenters must adapt quickly.
  • Cultural breakdowns: Participants with different communication styles or expectations for how interactions should occur may find it difficult to contribute.
  • Disengagement: Participants can easily become detached from the session and distracted by what is going on in their physical space. Be creative and keep everyone engaged: Think about how to use the tools available on zoom to keep participants engaged. For example, you might try asking people to use the thumbs up and clap emojis or to respond to a question in the chat box.

4. Creating “Presence” – finding your voice!

  • Look into your camera as much as possible. That’s how you make eye contact with your audience.
  • Use the colors of your voice (think timbre, tone, and other vocal qualities - bright, mellow, husky, etc.) and make sure you warm up your voice before a session.
  • Vary your pace, tone, pitch, and timing to keep participants engaged and to emphasize important points, but make sure you do not speak too quickly.
  • Smile! This enthusiasm will translate.
  • Use silence appropriately. Allow it for processing and thinking, but don't let it go on for too long.
  • Create energy to engage participants; if you don't sound excited or interested, they aren't likely to be either.
  • Unstick yourself. Your posture affects your voice. Use the same body language and gestures you would in person.
  • Control your breathing.
  • If you tend to get nervous, do some deep breathing or visualization exercises before the start of the session.

IMPORTANT: All sessions will be recorded and made available to registrants, typically within one hour of the session.

Questions? Email us at

In addition to the guidelines above, here is some additional important information specific to Panel sessions.

1. Prior to your scheduled Zoom panel presentation, meet with panel presenters and coordinate:

  • Make sure all presenters know when the session will start in their local time zone.
  • Confirm that each presenter will arrive in the Zoom room 15 minutes prior to the session time.
  • Panelists and the panel chair should coordinate in advance so that the session is carefully moderated, engaging, and interactive, with time reserved for audience participation, questions, and comments. If possible, conduct a dress rehearsal on Zoom.
    • Consider having the agenda and questions from the moderator written prior to the dress rehearsal for each member of the panel for review.
    • A run through should take place at least two days prior to the event via Zoom. Use the run through to work out any kinks, work on timing, and to review each person’s role during the panel presentation.
  • Decide how you wish to interact with attendees:
    • Interactive Q&A throughout your session
    • Q&A through the chat
      • Who will monitor your chat?
    • Interactive Q&A at the end
      • Use raise hand feature, use chat, etc.
    • There are several features within Zoom attendees can use to be interactive

2. Transition between Speakers and Slides

  • After the chair or panelists provide the introduction to the session, ask attendees to put their Zoom camera in “Speaker View”. This way they can view each panelist as they speak.
  • As each panelist speaks, either say your name or use a transition phrase, such as “Amy will now address the issue of perceptions….”
  • Panelists should mute their microphones when not speaking.
    • Mics are sensitive and pickup background noise which can be distracting.
  • Panels do not normally have slides, if you have a slide, moving between the share screen and stop share can be a distraction. Therefore, panelist should determine beforehand who will control the slides and try to make the slideshow continuous to avoid distractions.

Questions? Email us at

In addition to the guidelines above, here is some additional important information specific to Workshop sessions.

Most workshops will have two-three facilitators and include hands-on activities that engage the participants in how-to or small group endeavors. Presenting a workshop live and online will be very different from face-to-face. A quick google search resulted in the following two links with tips for presenters:

1. Coordinate with your co-presenters in advance.

  • Consider how you will transition between speaking, activities, engaging with your audience, and slide transitions.
  • Decide if you want to use breakout rooms.
  • Decide which Zoom interactive tools you want to use.
    • Chat: If you decide to use chat, designate one team member to monitor. This person will then be able to ask questions or review comments on behalf of the participants.
    • Interactive features under Participants
      1. Use raise hand feature to call on someone.
      2. Ask yes/no questions

2. At the beginning of the session, be sure to have attendees select “Speaker View” in Zoom. This way they can see each facilitator.

3. As facilitators your Zoom cameras should be in “Gallery View”. This will allow you to see up to 49 attendees in full screen if you are using dual monitors. This is a great option for reading the non-verbal messages of your virtual audience and will help you to prepare for your Breakout Rooms. Please refer to this link on how to change the view:

ZOOM Tools for Workshops

During your workshop we anticipate you will want to allow screen sharing for participants, chat, utilize the whiteboard, and perhaps annotate during screen share. All of these features will be available when you are made the host (some are also available even if you aren’t the host).

An ILA staff person or one of the program team members will meet you in your room 15 minutes before the start of your session and at that time, they will make one presenter the host and co-presenters co-hosts in order to access Zoom features.

If you are uncomfortable managing breakouts, an ILA staff person or one of the program team members can manage breakout room logistics for you.

Zoom can automatically assign individuals to breakout rooms based on an equal division of the number of attendees in your room or you can manually set up and assign.

Click on the Breakout Rooms icon at the bottom of the screen.  

You will get a pop up that allows you to select automatic or manual breakout assignments.

You can enter your calculations here or click on Create Rooms and one will be created. Click Add a Room to keep adding 

After rooms are created you can hover next to them to rename, delete, or assign

Clicking on Options reveals the following

The link to open all rooms also appears when you click Options.

When you are ready for your group to breakout:

1. Ensure instructions are clear (use whiteboard, time they have, topic, etc.);
2. Ensure a facilitator is in each Breakout Room;

  • If you do not have enough facilitators for each Breakout Room, let attendees know they have an option to Call you by using the Ask for Help button.

3. You can send messages to the breakouts.
4. You can Close All Rooms to bring everyone back together. 

Questions? Email us at

In addition to the guidelines above, here is some additional important information specific to Interactive Discussion sessions.

1. ILA staff or a program committee member will be present to moderate the room and assist as needed.

2. Presentation order will be as listed in the program.

3. Each presentation will be allotted 30 minutes. There are 3 Zoom rooms total and 3 sessions per room.

  • The first 10 minutes should be used to frame your topic and the discussion. Presentation slides are permitted.
  • The remaining 20 minutes should be used to facilitate a discussion with participants. You can allow participants to steer the discussion or you can ask specific questions if you are looking for targeted feedback. Come prepared with several questions to start/keep the discussion rolling. Let your audience know how you want to engage with them:
    • Chat: the audience can post questions or comments that you can read and respond to
    • Interactive features under Participants
      1. You may wish to use the raise hand feature to call on someone.
      2. Ask yes/no questions

Questions? Email us at

In addition to the guidelines above, here is some additional important information specific to the Oral Presentation session.

1. ILA staff or a program committee member will be present to moderate the room, session, and chat.

2. Presentation order will be as listed in the program.

3. Each presentation will be allotted 11 minutes. Presentation slides are permitted.
We've all seen Ted Talks and presentations that provide incredible information in a similar amount of time. It's all about the prep!

4. After all of the presentations in the session are completed, the room monitor will use the remaining time for Q&A and discussion. They will moderate questions via the chat and the raise hand features in Zoom. 

Questions? Email us at

In addition to the guidelines above, here is some additional important information specific to the Developmental Roundtable Discussion session.

The developmental roundtable discussion format is designed for individuals who are at various stages of their projects and interested in receiving feedback. It is aimed at building a community of scholars who can support, challenge, and collaborate.

1. Before the conference, the session chair will contact presenters to facilitate the sharing of papers, drafts, or proposals (you may use your original submission or distribute an updated version of your detailed abstract or paper). Please feel free to contact the session chair at if you have any questions.

2. All presenters will be asked to review the information provided for each presentation in the session before attending the conference, so they are prepared to provide valuable peer feedback.

3. During the session, each participant should come prepared with a 4-5-minute overview of their project or study, and two to three questions on which they would like feedback.

4. The other participants should ask clarifying questions, offer suggestions, and help each other address hidden assumptions and potential challenges.

5. Presentation order will be as listed in the program. Each presentation will be allotted up to 12 minutes (4-5 minutes for overview and 7-8 minutes for group discussion). Presentation slides are permitted.

6. After all of the presentations in the session are completed, the chair will send each junior scholar and a senior scholar to a breakout room for the remaining time in order to have a more detailed discussion.

Questions? Email us at

Thank You to Our Amazing Sponsors

Show Your Support for Women and Leadership! View Sponsorship & Advertising Opportunities or Contact ILA Director of Conferences, Bridget Chisholm to Discuss: +1.202.470.4818 X103 or


International Leadership Association
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Phone: +1 .202.470.4818