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Guidelines for Oral Presentations

An oral presentation provides a chance for students to develop effective science communication skills by presenting their research to a group of scientists, engineers, and their peers. Presentations will be ten minutes (7-8 minutes of your presentation followed by 2-3 minutes of Q&A).

A good oral presentation will:

  • summarize your research succinctly: stating your thesis, argument, purpose, and research methods
  • provide a clear, visual presentation of your research results
  • point out any conclusions you have reached
  • explain the larger significance of your research for your field

Best Practices:

  • Please bring presentation on a flash drive.
  • Keep visuals clear and simple.
  • Organize your slides around the points you intend to make, using on average one slide per minute.
  • Graphs should be clearly labeled with the title, axes, statistical significance, and reference.
  • Although you are not expected to memorize your presentation, you should be familiar enough with the material to make frequent eye contact with your audience.
  • Slide titles should have a font size of at least 36 point, and body text a font size of 24 point. Leave as much “white space” as possible to make the text easily readable.
  • Consult with your advisor about the best way to present your material

Tips for Oral Presentations:

Barry Mitsch, vice president and co-founder of The Pyramid Resource Group, Inc. shares his advice on how to use technology as a tool for presentations.