Going to conferences and giving talks and posters as a new student, especially for your first time, can seem like an overwhelming experience. We've included some links here with valuable information for first-time conference attendees, as well as information on how to prepare and give a good talk or poster. Much of the advice can be useful for people at all levels of their career as well.
General conference info
Before you even get to the conference, it helps to think and plan ahead a bit. What sessions and talks do you want to make sure to attend? What potential collaborators or future employers do you want to meet in person? How can you make sure to get the chance to meet and talk to those people? The following links give a lot of useful advice to help guide you prepare and get the most out of the experience.
Information for students and first time attendees from the DPS website
Preparing and giving talks and posters
If you're presenting at the conference, the following links will help you put together a talk or poster that will best convey what you want to get across. Probably the most useful thing to remember is that while you will be presenting to an audience of other scientists, most of them will not be as familiar with your work and your subfield as you are, so it's important to make it clear what the importance of the work is in the big picture, and to avoid unnecessary jargon and overly technical details. Very often, what makes perfect sense to you is not so obvious to someone that hasn't been working in detail on that topic. It's always a good idea to give one or more practice talks first to classmates and colleagues with a wide range of backgrounds and have them comment on what can be improved--the conference itself should never be the first time you present your talk or poster to an audience.
Lots of links on the AstroBetter site about poster and presentation skills
A post by Emily Lakdawalla on the Planetary Society blog about giving better conference talks
If you're looking for a roommate to help reduce the cost of attending the conference, you can use the DPS Roommate Search Form