Presentation Guidelines

Guidelines and Best Practices for ePoster and Oral Presentations

Follow these guidelines to have a successful presentation experience. Virtual presentations are new to most of us and the following webinars will help you create your best virtual presentation: 

*Available via the conference mobile app under "Trainee Preparation." Must be registered for the conference in order to access via the mobile app.  

Be familiar with the rubric judges will use to score your presentation:

An awards ceremony will be held on Friday, Nov. 13 at 4:30 pm ET. All student presenters are encouraged to attend. Presentation awardees will be announced at this time. ABRCMS Staff will be using photos that students upload to their abstract portal to announce the awardees, so it is important for students to upload their photo.

Guidelines for ePoster Presentations

The ePoster and mp3 file are required to be uploaded by 11:59 pm PT on Nov. 2. No exceptions will be made.

Click here for step by step instructions on how to upload your PDF and mp3 files.

The ePoster is the focus of your presentation. In order to eliminate distractions, with exception of the university logo & program/sponsor logos, non-scientific images are not allowed. Failure to abide by this policy will disqualify the presenter from receiving a presentation award.

Please note: previous ABRCMS presentation awardees and Master's students are not eligible for awards. 

Designing your ePoster
  • As with a poster you would create for an on-site event, the dimensions for an ePoster should be similar. Most posters range from 36'' to 96'' in length X 24'' to 48'' in width. Remember you are creating the ePoster the same way you are creating a poster for an on-site event, you simply aren't printing it
  • Use a type size that can be read easily. Although users will be able to zoom and out of your PDF, you don't want them to zoom in so far that they get lost where they are in your poster. Try using a type between 20 – 30 pt for the body of the text, with at least 80 pt font for titles. Select a legible, sans-serif font such as Arial, Helvetica or Calibri
  • Lay your poster sections in a logical order so that other scientists can follow your presentation. A good method is setting up your poster in a column format so that individuals interested can read your poster, 1st vertical, then top to bottom, and then left to right
  • Space your information proportionally: divide your poster either horizontally or vertically into three or four sections, and place your materials within those spaces. Like a layout of a magazine. For an ePoster it is important to orient objects in such a way that it allows attendees to navigate your ePoster easily   
  • Posters should stimulate discussion, not give a long presentation. Therefore, keep text to a minimum, emphasize graphics, and make sure every item in your poster is necessary. It is important to keep in mind resolution of your images. Note that because attendees will be zooming in and out, high resolution is needed
  • When using colors within your ePoster, select colors that have high contrast values (ie black and white; blue and yellow)

Presenting your ePoster via audio file
  • All ePoster presenters must submit an mp3 audio file along with their ePoster
  • The file must be no longer than 5-minutes
  • Instructions on creating an audio file can be found here
  • Your audio file should walk an individual through your presentation. It may be helpful to have your ePoster pulled up when recording your talk. Note that no video files are allowed
  • In the spirit of inclusivity, we encourage ePoster presenters to also upload a transcript or a script of their audio file for attendees who are hard of hearing. Instructions here.

During the week of the conference
  • You will not be presenting at a specific time. Instead, judges will be viewing your ePoster and audio file throughout the week of Nov. 9-13. Judges are required to submit their scores by Nov. 12 at 5:30 pm ET
  • Be sure to check your ePoster page often. Comments, questions, and feedback will be left by judges, peers, and other conference attendees. It is important to answer their questions and engage in a dialogue as much as possible
    • Tips for providing feedback to your peers can be found here
  • You will be required to visit and leave feedback on three of your peers' ePoster presentations. This will provide you a chance to get practice thinking critically about the science your peers are conducting, as well as how to provide feedback to others 


Guidelines for Oral Presentations

Preparing your PowerPoint
  • 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 "Slides Sized" and select "Widescreen (16:9)"  
  • 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 you project on the screen to support the spoken word should help clarify ideas, emphasize key points, show relationships, and provide the visual information your audience needs to understand your message
  • Simple graphs, charts and diagrams are much more meaningful to an audience than complex, cluttered ones. Keep visuals CLEAR and SIMPLE
  • Use a minimum of words for text and title frames. Five to eight lines per frame and five to seven words per line are the maximum - less is better
  • Vary the size of lettering to emphasize headings and subheadings - but avoid using more than three font sizes per frame
  • Try to maintain the same or similar type size from frame to frame - even if some frames have less information
  • Each frame or slide should have a title
  • Title of any data slide should be the conclusion reached from the presented material
  • Use the format that matches the material you are presenting. Use a table for exact values, a graph to show relationships, a figure for a picture, and a chart for a process or sequence. 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…it should enhance the foreground data
  • In addition to the use of graphics, photographs can provide an excellent means for communication

Oral presenters are not required to upload any materials. They will be simply sharing their screen through Zoom through the Socio platform. 

Giving your talk
  • All ABRCMS oral presentations will be given 5 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes for questions and answers
  • You will presenting as a panelist during a Zoom webinar that will be broadcasted over the ABRCMS platform, Socio
  • Most oral sessions have three student presenters (with the exception of Oral Session 4, which has five presenters). You will present in order of your presentation number
  • All oral presentations will have closed captioning
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Prepare for questions and answers
  • Time will be strictly enforced

 ABRCMS presenters are encouraged to make sure their presentation is accessible to all. Below are a few resources on how to use Universal Design to achieve this:


share this page