Guidance for speakers

Below are some guidelines for speakers at our regular events and conferences.  You can also listen to talks from our 2012 conference to get a sense of how different speakers presented at a previous UKMW. Past presentations on our slideshare account, and previous event reports should also give you a sense of our events.

Our audiences

Our audiences represent the range of jobs and roles that work with museum technologies, so avoid or explain jargon that’s specific to one department or discipline.  Attendees are a smart bunch and will be impatient about pitches disguised as papers.

Our audiences usually tweet, take photos and make copious notes – if they’re not looking at you while you present, it doesn’t mean they’re not paying attention! You can make it easy for them to share your ideas by including any links or twitter handles at the start of your presentation. Don’t forget to introduce yourself and mention your institution or project.

Please provide enough context for the audience to understand the importance of what’s being presented. Even better – tell them what you want them to learn from your talk right at the start. If you’ve got to discuss theory or technical issues, translate it so that practitioners can follow along. Good MCG presentations are frank about failures as well as successes, and use evocative images rather than long bullet points on slides.

Everyone loves presenters who keep to time! Timing is really important so please rehearse your paper in advance. This will also help you speak slowly and clearly on the day. Ask friends or colleagues to point out any jargon that has slipped into your presentation so you can remove or explain it in your talk. For further tips on public speaking, check out articles like ‘10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Giving Good Tech Talks‘.


As a speaker, you agree to provide your slides on or before the event at which you are speaking. Usually, slides are in Powerpoint or Keynote format: please get in touch if you would like to use another format.

  • As a speaker you agree to provide us with your slides for upload to the MCG Slideshare space and embedding on the MCG website. If you would prefer to upload the slides to your space you can share the link in advance. We’d also like a copy of the original slide deck for our archives. You retain full copyright over your slides but grant the MCG the rights to use these as appropriate on the MCG website
  • We may also record or livestream audio and/or video from the event. If you’re not up for that, just let us know.
  • Attendees are usually big tweeters, so include any twitter usernames or URLs in your opening slides for maximum impact
  • We don’t ask for full papers in advance (or at any stage) but we’re happy to post any accepted papers we’re sent

Information for potential presenters

UKMW/Museums+Tech: we usually have about 8 papers of 15-20 minutes plus 1 or 2 longer keynotes. We also have 5 minute ‘lightning talk’ slots with a separate call for contributors designed to let people share late-breaking news, ask for feedback or announce new projects.

Spring events: these are usually smaller events (40 – 80 attendees), so we can be more experimental. Presentation times and formats vary.

We don’t ask for full papers to be submitted in advance, and we don’t publish proceedings. Our audiences are usually keen bloggers and tweeters so presentations at our events tend to get a lot of exposure on social media.

We tend to prefer having just one presenter per talk, as in the past multi-presenter talks have been more likely to go over time. You can include multiple presenters in a proposal and nominate one person to represent the group on the day.

If you’re thinking about proposing a paper but aren’t sure if your idea is on-topic, or you’re concerned about fitting in event attendance around childcare or other personal responsibilities, or if you have a question that’s not covered here, feel free to contact the event organisers or head of the programme committee.

A note on costs: we’re a volunteer-run organisation and we try to keep event costs down for attendees. This means we can usually only offer one free event ticket per paper. Additional presenters can purchase concession tickets (affordably priced to cover catering and venue costs) – please get in contact if this is likely to cause a problem. Like most museum conferences, we can’t contribute to travel costs for papers accepted via a Call for Papers. However, we are keen to hear from new voices so we will happily look for bursaries if you need help with the cost of presenting at our events.

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