Speaker Information

NHSA works hard to provide an array of continuing education opportunities to fit every interest and specialization. Our conferences, institutes, and The Academy provide a broad perspective and fresh ideas to attendees which give them a deeper understanding of critical topics in Head Start and increases the effectiveness of their efforts on behalf of Head Start children and their families.

Please take the time to review this page to help you structure your proposal and presentation.

  • Speaker Guidelines
  • Speaker Requirements 
  • Presentation 
  • Rehearsing

Speaker Guidelines

Knowledge of the Subject
Speakers and moderators should have both in-depth and broad knowledge of the presented subject, going beyond their personal experience or the experience of their organization or firm. This will help provide examples for participants that illustrate various points of view or methods of doing things and allow more complete responses to questions. It is also valuable to incorporate a global perspective whenever possible on the topic of discussion.

Session Presenters
There should be no more than three speakers in each session. Please keep this in mind when pitching a session.

Speaker Substitutions
Speaker substitutions are generally discouraged. Our speakers are chosen for their knowledge and communication capabilities. If for some reason you need to cancel, please let us know ASAP, and provide replacement recommendations in case we do not already have a speaker on the waiting list for that particular topic.

Learning Outcomes
The learning outcomes should be clear, concise, and measurable. Learners should be informed of these intended learning outcomes prior to and during the learning event.

Session and speaker evaluations permit the critical question to be asked and answered: have the learning outcomes been met? They assess individual achievement to satisfy external requirements and provide information that can be used to improve curriculum and to document accomplishments or failures. Evaluations can provide feedback and motivation for continued improvement for learners, faculty, and curriculum developers.

Continuing Education Units
NHSA does not award Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Audio Visual Equipment
NHSA will accommodate the following equipment: 1) projector; 2) projector cart; 3) sound system, including a wired hand-held microphone; 4) a cable to the podium; and 5) screen. Please note that presenters are responsible for renting or providing any audiovisual or equipment needed for their session(s) other than what is provided.

Internet Access
NHSA tries to provide Wifi for presenters. Additional information will be provided in a Presenter Toolkit for details for your event.

No Commercials
Presenters are not to sell or promote any product, service, or publication during their session. Distributing promotional literature is prohibited outside of the exhibit hall. No more than one slide may be used in the presentation describing the organization’s capabilities and business operations.

Non-Discrimination Policy
Speakers and presenter involved in developing, administering, and delivering education sessions, special tracks, workshops, or presentation at any NHSA event are expected to maintain a high standard of professionalism and are not to discriminate or make discriminatory remarks based on gender, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and/or sexual orientation.

Speaker Requirements
Presenters are required to upload their PowerPoint presentation one month before the event. In addition to the session slides the PowerPoint should also include:

  • Title
  • 3 to 5 Learning Outcomes
  • An interpretative summary of the presentation – free of jargon and technical terms/details. A layperson reading the summary should understand the core message and structure of the presentation.

All lead presenters and co-presenters are required to register for the conference and pay the applicable registration fee. Please visit the conference website for registration information and refer to your speaker agreement for registration fee discount information.



Please be in the session room 15 minutes before the session is scheduled to start. At the beginning of the session, please state the learning outcomes/objectives and purpose of your research/presentation. At the end of the session:

  • Highlight the significance of your presentation
  • Review learning outcomes
  • Assess mastery of learning outcomes
  • Remind participants to complete session evaluation form

Presentation Tips

  • Rehearsal is the most important part of preparing your talk! Thorough preparation will help improve your performance and make you feel more relaxed.
  • Rehearse your talk with your slides until you can practically ignore your notes. One way to reduce dependence on your script is to underline key words to recall ideas.
  • Pace your rate of speaking according to the familiarity of your subject. When introducing something new, slow down.
  • Your presentation is a combined verbal/visual presentation. Let the slides carry the message, but don’t depend only on the visuals.
  • Time your rehearsals. Trim or extend as required to keep your presentation within the time limits.
  • Make a list of questions the conference audience might ask. This will help you during the discussion period after your talk.
  • Make sure your slides are legible. In general, nothing below 18pt type is going to be readable by anyone not in the first few rows—24pt and up is usually safe.
  • Do not exceed the time allotted for your presentation.

An effective presenter has good voice projection, coordinates oral and visual information, interacts positively with the audience, and synthesizes information into understandable segments presented in an orderly and logical manner. Finally, have fun!