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December 8, 2023, 1:00-6:00PM
Axinn Center 

Welcoming First-Year Scholars to the academic community

click here to read the 2022 Middlebury Campus article

Student Presenter FAQs

Why a symposium for First Year students?

We want to welcome you to the academic community by giving you and your classmates a taste of what it's like to be a public scholar. But just a taste! Three minutes or less for speakers at the front of a room. Ideally, you'll enjoy the experience of presenting and hearing what your peers have to say. Come spring, you might even sign up to present at another Middlebury tradition -- the Spring Student Symposium.

Can I use notes?

That's up to your professor. If they've left it up to you, let's be honest: we're more engaged by a speaker who uses notes sparingly, or not at all. Ultimately, though, you should use the style that helps you feel most comfortable and connected to your audience. To find what works for you, you might practice working your way down this list:

  • Script

  • Note cards

  • Note card

  • No notes!


Bottom line: Don’t wing it! Find what works for you and commit to it.

What are we doing about slides?

Presenters using slides can assume that a tech person will be at the podium, changing slides for you. To prepare, just practice saying “Slide, please.” To submit your slides and/or presentation title, click here. Even if you won't use slides, you should still submit your presentation title.

Should I stand behind the podium?

Well, not if you're using slides (the tech person will be there).  Even if you're not, though, speakers tend to feel more connected to the audience when they step out from behind the podium. Maybe give it a try and see how it feels?

Where can I get help with my content?

Peer Tutors at The Writing Center will hold a special FYS Writing Night on Thurs Nov 30 , 7-10pm. No need to register -- just stop by the CTLR.


Where can I get help with my delivery?

Oratory Now Coaches will offer a Delivery Prep Session on Wed December 6 at the Innovation Hub, 132 Blinn Lane from 7pm-9pm. They’ll have snacks on hand and you can expect some one-on-one time with a peer coach. To reserve your space (and help us estimate snackage) just use this form. ​Of course you can always use go/speak to request a private O-Now coaching session.

​        Help Me Prepare
Submit Title / Slides

Click the box below to submit a link to your Google slide(s). Please submit a title even if you won't use slides.


Please submit by Tues, Dec 5.

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