Oral Presentation Criteria

Suggested Oral Presentation Criteria

  • All PowerPoint presentations must have 16:9 dimensions (full aspect ratio). To ensure your PowerPoint presentation has the correct dimensions, open PowerPoint and click on the “Design” tab. Then select “Page Setup” and click the drop down for “Slides sized for” and select “On-screen Show (16:9).” Click “Ok” to save the changes.
  • Sans serif type is typically more clean and legible (Arial or Geneva).
  • Upper and lower case lettering is more legible than all capital letters.
  • Graphics should clarify ideas, emphasize key points, show relationships, and provide visual information your audience needs to understand your message, not distract from it.
  • Type should be large enough to see from the back of the room (28-32 point font).  Font size less than 24 points is not recommended.
  • Simple graphs, charts and diagrams are more meaningful to an audience than complex, cluttered ones. Keep visuals CLEAR and SIMPLE.
  • Use a minimum of words for text and title frames.  Where possible, follow 7 x 7 Rule (no more than seven lines of text and no more than seven words per line).
  • Vary the size of lettering to emphasize headings and subheadings.
  • Use the format that best matches the material you are presenting. Tables for exact values, graphs to show relationships, and charts for a process. Label everything!
  • Keep color scheme consistent throughout your presentation. Changing colors and type styles can be very confusing and distract from your message.
  • Most effective background colors – blue, turquoise, purple, magenta. A good rule of thumb: use a dark background color with lighter color for text and graphics. Avoid intensely bright or saturated colors that compete with the text. You can never go wrong with black on white or white or yellow on dark blue.
  • The background should be just a background. It shouldn’t call attention to itself or cause clutter or confusion.
  • In addition to the use of graphics, photographs can provide an excellent means for communication.

Giving your talk:

  • Oral presentations for the general sessions will be 12 minutes for presentation and 3 minutes for questions and answers.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Present the data, don’t read from the screen.
  • When asked a question during your presentation, repeat the question so the entire audience can hear it.
  • Keep to the allotted time.