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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Guidelines for Presenters and Discussants

Guidelines for Presenters and Discussants

Guidelines for Presenters

symposium presenter

Each presenter will be allocated approximately 20 minutes for the presentation, with the discussant being given approximately 10 minutes. Questions and comments from the audience will then be encouraged.

Presentations will be held all day Friday. We will provide a more definite schedule and Zoom meeting details to you before the symposium.

Extended abstracts for all papers will be provided to all registered participants before the symposium. Please submit BOTH your abstract and a working paper version of your research via email to Michelle Jacobs, by March 2. The working paper will only be distributed to your discussant (so that they might better prepare to discuss your work). Please type and submit your abstract in Microsoft Word

Given the nature of the conference, doctoral students presenting their research (e.g. dissertation or other work in progress), it is understandable that many (if not all) of the papers will take on a work in progress appearance. We hope that the Symposium provides the opportunity for you to receive valuable feedback to consider as you progress toward the submission of your manuscript.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 402-472-2316 or

Guidelines for Discussants

symposium discussant

After the presentation, the discussant has approximately 10 minutes to talk about the presented paper. A typical presentation by a discussant would include – as a general guideline – a title page and no more than five slides.

We will announce the discussants for each paper in early spring.

Abstracts for all papers will be provided to all registered participants before the symposium. As a discussant, you will be provided with a working paper version of your assigned manuscript by March 12.

If you have questions, feel free to contact us at 402-472-2316 or

Tips for Discussants

The following are some ideas of what you can include in your discussion. Please note that the following are only ideas and the list is by no means mandatory or exhaustive.

1. Potential Goals of a Discussant

A discussant provides a brief (10 minute maximum) presentation regarding the paper.

Potential goals of a discussant:

  • You could provide input on a paper
  • You could provide your assessment of the paper
  • You could suggest ways to make the paper even better
  • You could attempt to stimulate further conversation within the audience

2. Potential Topics for Slides

The following are just some best practices. Certainly, not all of the following areas will be relevant for each paper and each discussant. These are just ideas to begin the creative processes.

During previous symposiums, discussants' slides have outlined:

  • A general assessment of the paper
  • What they think the major contributions of the paper are or could be
  • What they may consider the relevance of the topic to academia and/or industry
  • Areas that are especially interesting or provide a unique contribution that may be underemphasized
  • Additional or alternative theoretical perspectives that could aid the paper
  • What other literature streams may also be pertinent to aid the paper
  • Generative results (i.e. the types of topics that the paper's results could generate) and future research streams we could look forward to from the paper
  • Other ways to aid the author(s) to improve the paper even more

3. Most of All, Have Fun!

The Mittelstaedt & Gentry Doctoral Symposium is a great way to interact with your future colleagues and current faculty, and the discussant role provides a means to collegially help others with their research


Runnalls, Blake
Assistant Professor of Marketing
HLH 345 L
P.O. Box 880492
Lincoln, NE 68588-0492