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  • Oral Presentation Guidelines

Student Academic Conference

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  • Preparing an Oral Presentation

    What is an oral presentation?
    Oral presentations are brief discussions of a focused topic delivered to a group of listeners in order to impart knowledge or to stimulate discussion. They are similar to a short paper with an introduction, main body, and conclusion.

    Oral Presentation Guidelines

    1. Prepare for a 12 minute presentation followed by 5 minutes for questions and discussion, unless you requested more time or are part of a panel organized by your instructor.

    2. Aim your presentation to intelligent people who may not have background in your field.

    • Consequently, while being rigorous and using the tools in your field for your research, try to avoid using the technical language in your field during the presentation.

    3. Prepare and practice your presentation. Remember you are the expert in your topic and you may know more than you can say in a short time, so:

    • Compose a good introduction
    • Focus on the main, most important points of your research
    • Finish with a strong conclusion

    4. Visual aids (PowerPoint slides, maps, photos, film clips, graphs, diagrams, and charts) may help enhance your presentation. Be sure to:

    • Keep your visual aids simple and uncluttered
    • Use color and contrast, but use them in moderation
    • Use a font large enough to be seen from the back of a room (as a rule of thumb, if slides are readable from 9 feet away on a 15" computer monitor, then they are readable from the back of a room)

    5. Practice does make perfect!

    • Practice giving your presentation to yourself. Speak out loud and time yourself. Practice using your visual aids. It is absolutely important that you adhere to your time limit.

    6. Backup plans are essential!

    • Things can go wrong, prepare for that eventuality. For example, internet connectivity can be down for a short while...just as your presentation starts. So, have a plan B ready!

    Poster vs Oral Presentation

      Poster Oral Presentation
    What is it? A typical poster presentation involves the presenter(s) standing by a poster on an easel, and fielding questions from an audience which moves through the various posters. A typical presentation involves the presenter and often some sort of visual aid (such as a PowerPoint) which the presenter uses to convey information about a topic. Audience members generally stay in the room for the whole presentation. Other oral presentations have included debates, lessons created by education students, original media productions, and original artistic performances.
    Audience? The audience is mobile and random. The audience is seated for the duration of the presentation.
    Length of presentation? The presenter will spend ½ of one, 80 minute session accompanying his or her poster; however, posters are expected to be up for all 3 sessions.

    Most interactions with audience members are around 5 minutes.
    Typical presentation time is 20 minutes, with 3 minutes for transition from the previous presentation, 12 minutes for the student presentation, and 5 minutes for questions. Extended time may be requested, however, it is not automatically granted. All presentations should allow at least 5 minutes for questions.
    Equipment? The presenter is given an easel and a specified location. No other equipment (electric cords, ethernet cables, tables, chairs, computers, etc.) is provided. If additional equipment is needed, please feel free to ask for it, but formal presentations will receive priority on computers, projectors, etc. Presenters are, however, more than welcome to bring their own laptops. CRUCIAL NOTE: Posters must be RIGID to sit on the easels. If a poster is printed on poster paper, it will curl and fall off the easel unless attached to a firm backing. Many students had to run back to their department the day of the conference to scrounge cardboard for backing. Standard provided equipment: 
    P.C. computer, internet, & projector.
    Different presentations need different equipment. There is a wide range of equipment available that you may request if needed (laptops, PowerPoint projectors, TV’s, DVD players, VCR players, sound/speakers, whiteboards).
    Number presenting Individual or group Individual or group