Oral Presentation Instructions and Guidance

Oral presenters may choose to participate either in-person or virtually.  

  • Presenters attending in-person will give their talk live at the meeting.  
  • For those participating virtually, you will present live over zoom at the exact time you have been assigned to speak.  We will send you a zoom link a week before the meeting.   
  • The entire session will be livestreamed and recorded.  Soon after the meeting ends, we will upload the recorded session to Whova for online viewing for 3 months following the meeting. 

Oral Presentation Instructions 
  1. Review your abstract online and fix any HTML form/special character errors.  Your personal edit link will be sent via email as part of your abstract acceptance message.  Abstract edits are due by January 7, 2023.
  2. All presenters must pay to register for the meeting by January 20, 2023.  
  3. In Person Presenters – Bring your PowerPoint presentation to the room where your oral presentation is scheduled 30-minutes before the session begins.  You will work with the A/V volunteer to load your file to the laptop that will be used for your session.  Presentations must be brought to the meeting on a USB Memory Stick (thumb drive). No other form of file transfer will be accepted. We will load presentations for the morning and afternoon.  Afternoon presenters can also bring their presentation down at lunch 30 minutes prior to the start of the session.  Presentations will not be accepted as you are walking to the podium.  
  4. Virtual Presenters – See below for Zoom tips!  We will send you a link to your Zoom meeting one week before the meeting.  Please login 20 minutes early before your talk is scheduled to begin and test your video and sound connections, and then mute yourself while you wait for your turn to speak.  When it is your time to give your talk the session chair will ask you to turn on your camera and to unmute.  At this time, you will share your screen and your powerpoint presentation.  Your camera/webcam should be turned on so your image will be on the upper right hand side of the screen as you give your talk.  Make sure to save a space in the upper right hand side of your slides for your webcam image square.  All times listed on the agenda are Pacific Standard Time.  If you have not used Zoom for meetings or webinars, we recommend taking the time to familiarize yourself with the layout, screen sharing options, troubleshooting tips, and best Zoom practices (i.e., ensuring firewall or security settings are not preventing you from accessing Zoom) prior to your recording and/or live session. We will host a Zoom speakers practice session the week before the meeting where you can login, practice screen sharing, and test that everything is working properly.
  5. Sessions will be kept on a tight schedule. Presentations are scheduled to switch at 20 minutes. You should plan on giving the session chair about 30 seconds for a speaker biography, and you should allow a minute or so for audience questions, and another minute for switching speakers. Thus, your presentation in rehearsal should take no more than 15 minutes. If your presentation takes more than 16 minutes, change it now.  
  6. Session Chairs or timers will provide silent time cues, typically at 5, 3, and 1 minutes before your time has expired. Most chairs will use an audible, often loud cue when time is expired. If you’ve reached the 18th minute and still haven’t said “and in conclusion” (or words to that effect), you might be in trouble…Our session chairs can be ruthless – and we like it that way.  For virtual presenters, we will use chat to give you silent time cues. If you’ve reached the 18th minute and still haven’t started to wrap up your talk, we will give you very quick verbal cue that your time is nearly up, and we will mute you when you have reached the end of the 20 minutes allocated for your talk.
  7. Practice your presentation in advance. Most people speak faster when they are nervous, so it’s likely ok if your presentation takes 17 minutes in practice, but not more than that.  However, practice it with a coworker or friend, too – some people tend to add extra information when they’re nervous, making a well- rehearsed 14-minute presentation take 20 or more minutes.
  8. Please ensure you have a strong internet connection and are in a setting free of distractions.  Extra time will not be provided for technical difficulties. Be prepared to talk through your presentation orally if there are difficulties.
General Information — In-Person Oral Session Presenters:
  • We will be using ONE computer for all presentations in each room.  You will not have the option of using your personal laptop for your presentation; there simply is no time between speakers to unplug one laptop and plug in another.
  • PowerPoint files can be in EITHER .ppt (version 2000-2003) OR .pptx (version 2007 or later) format. The laptops will have at least PowerPoint 2007 loaded.
  • Personal Document Format .PDF files can also be used. Be sure you have formatted them and tested them on a standard projector and 4:3 ratio screen.
  • Other presentation or multi-media software systems will not be considered unless an absolute minimum of two weeks’ notice is provided to the Program Chair; these will be accepted at our discretion.
  • We will NOT have Internet access for the speakers.  Any websites you wish to show must be static images in your PowerPoint presentation.
  • All audio or visual files must be compatible with a standard Windows-based laptop and PowerPoint without any special files installed.
  • No live animals/wildlife may be displayed as part of your presentation.
  • PowerPoint ‘Presenter View’ mode will be possible as the laptop will be set at the podium.

PowerPoint Design Tips 
  • Whether you’re just starting out or looking to improve, this informative (and likely humorous) mini-workshop recordeding will provide you with information and tips for presenting your research work to your peers. Instructor Jon Hooper provides demonstrations on how to give an effective presentation….and how NOT to. Link to video
  • A good rule of thumb is to use about one slide for every 1 to 2 minutes of your presentation.   It’s also good to vary the length that you project each slide.
  • Virtual Presenters:  Do not put information in the top right of your slide as the “picture in picture” zoom presenter image will cover up this part of the slide.
  • In Person Presenters:  Do not put important information in the bottom 1/3 of the slide. It may be difficult to see from the back of the room.
  • Use upper and lower case mix for body text, large amounts of all upper-case text is difficult to read
  • There should be a good contrast between background and text or graphic.  Using a picture as the entire background can be problematic. If using a picture as a slide background, watch for split areas of light and dark (ex. bright sky and dark ground areas in the same photo). This presents a problem for arranging text. If using a solid color background, most of these problems will not exist for you. The background color gray is one of the most difficult colors to contrast with. We will still have a fair amount of light in the room during the presentation for note taking. With this in mind, like-on-like colors will be difficult to see, such as white lettering on light blue background or yellow on green. Light colors such as soft yellows and pinks used as text, points, or lines on graphs do no project well when enlarged and projected (In fact, they usually do not show up unless on top of a dark background). Line weights and direction arrows need to be heavy enough to be seen without overpowering the image.
  • Red text: Do not use it. Bright red is difficult for the eye to read for any period of time. If you must, use bright red for emphasis only. 10% of your audience will have some degree of color perception impairment.  The following combinations should be avoided:
    • Red text on blue and vice versa
    • Red text on brown and vice versa
    • Red text on green and vice versa
  • We recommend using only 2 font sizes on slides. 36-48 or larger for titles, and 24-30 or larger for text. Use only standard fonts or ensure you’ve embedded the fonts correctly.  For emphasis, select bold or italics, color, or shadows. In graphics with one or two words, using “art fonts” for emphasis will work if separated from quantities of body of text. Complex font body style may cause loss of the “punch” you intended. You cannot go wrong with the selection of Arial or Times for body of text. Font size should be large enough to be visible for approximately 40 feet (to the last row of seats in the room).
  • As you have probably seen at previous meetings, complex charts, tables, and graphs are rarely effective for a large audience.
  • Be sure you have permission to use data and present information and that you properly reference sources as appropriate.
  • A good guide is no more than 8 lines of text per slide…10 max
  • Line spacing on slides should be at least 0.85.
Tips for Virtual Presenters – to make sure you look and sound your best:
  • You may sign up for a free Zoom account at www.zoom.us
  • We strongly recommend virtual presenters with Apple computers practice sharing their screen before their talk in case they run into a permission issue. 
  • Set up a quiet location, silence nearby devices.  
  • Avoid areas that have an echo.  Rooms should be fairly small with items for sound dampening such as carpeting, curtains, furniture.
  • Good headset, earbuds or airpods with microphone close to mouth BUT away from direct line of mouth to reduce “pops.”  Avoid using default built-in microphone on computer. Laptop speakers and microphone can create feedback, which lowers the audio quality.
  • Don’t put lights or windows behind you.  The biggest light source should be behind the camera to ensure your face can easily be seen.
  • Make sure the background is not too busy.  The audience should be focused on you.
  • Wear solid colors, patterns don’t work well on camera.  Avoid accessories that make noise.
  • Charge any bluetooth headphones you may be using.
  • Position yourself slightly off center – the brain finds this more appealing to watch.  Ensure your camera angle is in the center of your face.  Make eye contact with the camera and not the screen.
  • Stand up if possible – you will feel more confident and energized.  If you must sit, make sure to sit up straight and keep your face lifted.
  • Slow down – control the cadence of your speech and enunciate your words.
  • Record a practice run – are your words clear, loud enough, is there inflection in your voice?  
  • Practice, practice, practice – do a full practice of your entire presentation before you record.  You will be more comfortable with the camera and this will give you a more natural recording.  
  • Please install any Zoom updates prior to joining the meeting, to ensure that your system is up-to-date with the latest software updates and security patches. (Zoom updates come out regularly so make sure to update the morning of your panel discussion.)
  • Hardline internet connection recommended, but if unavailable, a strong Wi-Fi connection.
  • Make sure that while you are logged in with us that you are not competing for internet bandwidth with other household members. Shut down all non-essential applications.
  • We may send you messages in chat to tell you when it’s nearly time for you to turn your camera on. When it is time for you to begin your presentation, you will hear the meeting host introducing you, and we will send you a message asking you to now share your screen (click on the small green button with the black arrow facing up that is in the middle of the bottom of your Zoom screen). 
  • Screen sharing tips:  Mac users, make sure you are in Do Not Disturb mode; When screen sharing close all your other windows so you don’t accidentally share something private, and make sure the files you are sharing are on your harddrive and not on an external drive.  Move your mouse arrow out of the screen so it doesn’t appear on the screen.  You can click the three dots on the right side of the screen sharing tool bar to hide it, and hit “escape” when you want to bring the toolbar back.  Note that you can use the mouse arrow as a pointer during your presentation, or you may also use the pointer that is built into PowerPoint.
  • While presenting, please don’t be shy about looking directly at your webcam. When you do that, you are essentially making eye contact directly with us, your viewers. That will be much better received by the audience than if the webcam gets limited or no eye contact.
  • Please note that we will be with you at all times, ready to help if you need anything. The most important thing is to try to relax and enjoy delivering your presentation – that makes a huge difference. Please let us know if you have any questions. You can reach us on the following mobile phones if you encounter any difficulties and are having trouble communicating with us through Zoom.
  • Text Candace Renger if you have any difficulties during the program:  510-684-8590