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how to approach conference presentations?

I would add that if we took the call for more "interaction" and paired it with the technology that exists, we could make conferences truly accessible, affordable, and beneficial for far wider audiences. I would love to see more conferences where presentations were designed to be more than just reading papers, and that interaction was extended via electronic means. It would be far less expensive for me (or rather my impoverished history department) to pay more for a distance conference registration than it is to pay for me to register, travel, stay and eat there.

how to approach conference presentations?

A very important reply to Wampole is this piece by medievalist David Perry: http://www.thismess.net/2015/05/conferences-and-cost-for-precariat.html. Important among his points is stressing that Wampole, a member of the faculty at Princeton, may not be aware how much more important conferences are to faculty at small, *not* well-endowed institutions as his own.

how to approach conference presentations?

I very much like this list Christoph posted and hope more conference presenters take these points into account. I would like to add this link from the Chronicle of Higher Ed from last month about why one academic also loves academic conferences and some suggestions about to get the most from each one: