Oral Presentation Guidelines

Oral Presentations

Student presenters have 10 minutes to speak from organized talking points or read from a polished paper about their scholarly project, followed by a 5 minute Q & A. They will have access to a computer, PowerPoint, projection and Internet/wifi capabilities and be placed on panels of three to four presenters around common themes and disciplines. Panel chairs will introduce presenters, ensure they do not exceed their allotted speaking time, and facilitate audience questions and discussion after the presentations.


Preparing Presentations

  • Prepare and practice your presentation so that it is concise, clear, evidenced and effectively delivered.
  • Your presentation must be no more than 15 minutes, to include Q&A.
  • Your topic, thesis and/or methodology should be accessible to your audience, which may include people who are not specialists in your field.
  • Effective delivery includes good pace; appropriate volume; inviting posture, smile and eye contact; straightforward organization; and effective use of PowerPoint and handouts (beware of too many or too few PowerPoint slides!).
  • Seek editorial assistance and a practice audience from peers and/or faculty advisor(s).


Day of the Conference

  • Know the scheduled time and location of your presentation. Arrive early; locate your presentation room; arrive to your panel session at least 10 minutes early; if relevant, load your PowerPoint presentation on the room computer.
  • Introduce yourself to the panel chair. S/he is there to support you; provide info so that s/he can introduce you before your presentation.
  • Bring presentation materials: notes; essay/talking points; visual aids, handouts and/or PowerPoint (on a thumb drive).
  • Present yourself well: dress professionally, wear your nametag, turn off cell phone or personal computer (or turn off volume).
  • Be prepared to learn: this is an opportunity to confidently share your hard work and to humbly look forward to respectful questions and constructive feedback.
  • Good news: being nervous does not hurt your credibility or authority.
  • Have fun and enjoy! 

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