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Plenary and Parallel Session Speaker Guidelines


All plenary and parallel session presentations are 12 minutes: 10 minutes for the talk and 2 minutes for a question and answer period. *There are shorter presentations for community updates. The speakers for those talks will be notified.


Please arrive 45-60 minutes before the start of your session. A Macintosh computer provided by the meeting will be available in each room. Bring your presentation on a flash drive to load on the conference computer. If you plan to show Quicktime movies, do not attach them to your presentation. You should include them as separate files on the flash drive, and be prepared to place them back into your presentation after loading on the conference computer.

Use the format below to label your presentation. This format will make it easier for the computer technician to display the correct presentation.

Last name presentation #
Sample: Williams12

The following equipment will be available in the session meeting rooms: Macintosh computer (loaded with PowerPoint, Keynote and Quicktime), LCD projector, laser pointer, podium microphone, and a speaker timer.

Test your presentation on a separate MAC before leaving home to insure the fonts are standard and components such as movies run properly.

Please note: for those presenting in Royce Hall, the front doors will be locked until 30 minutes before the session. All presenters in Royce Hall should enter through the “Artist’s” entrance located in the back of the building.


Guidelines for Preparing PowerPoint Presentations


MacBooks with the following capabilities will be used at the meeting:

Hardware: Zip drive, CD ROM

Software: Office 2011 (with PowerPoint and Keynote), Quick Time


Pictures/Images: Use common image formats that are cross platform such as JPG, PNG, GIF and BMP. Do not use PIC graphics in your PowerPoint presentation. Do not embed images in PowerPoint and then resize with the corner handles. Resize the image outside of PowerPoint and then insert it into the presentation.


Fonts: Use standard platform fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial and Helvetica. An unusual font may not translate. If you use a Windows operating system, you should save your presentation with the font embedded in it.


Animations: Use simple entry animation effects, such as fly in/out, appear and dissolve.

If you plan to show Quicktime movies, please DO NOT attach them to your presentation.  You should include them as SEPARATE FILES on the flash drive, and be prepared to place them back into your presentation AFTER loading on the conference computer.


Test your presentation on a separate Mac to insure fonts are standard and components such as movies are included rather than merely linked in your presentation.

Each of the conference computers will have the 2010 version of Microsoft Office.

Technical Specifications

• Power Point version that will be available on AV laptop is 2010. Please verify your presentation is compatible.
• If you use your own computer, please be sure to disable all screen savers, system sounds and passwords.
• MAC USERS: Please make sure that all inserted pictures are either JPEG or PNG file-types. QuickTime files are also an accepted video format.
• If you will use your own computer it is recommended that you bring the correct display port to VGA video adapter for your particular Mac model.
• Acceptable formats for presentations: PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Flash (.swf), Keynote.
• Video Formats: The recommended video format for presentations is Windows Media (.wmv) or Quicktime (.mov).
• There is a trade-off between high quality videos and large files. Use short video segments when needed, and try to keep the file to less than 20 MB.
• PowerPoint embeds image files directly into the file when you save them, while video files are not embedded. Only a link is made to the video file. Copy the video clips you want to insert into the same folder as the PowerPoint file. This will eliminate the problem of PowerPoint losing the link to the file. Be certain to bring the video files and the PowerPoint files to the meeting.
• Fonts: Arial and Helvetica are recommended for clarity and compatibility. Confirm a font size of AT LEAST 24 points for body text and 36 - 40 points for headings. Light colored text on a dark background is advised. Avoid using red or green. Confirm that the maximum number of lines in text slides is no more than 6 or 7.

Bring a Backup: Be sure to bring a backup copy of your presentation with you to the meeting.




Your PowerPoint presentation should help clarify ideas, emphasize key points, show relationships, and provide the visual information your audience needs to understand your message. Please consider the following suggestions as you plan your presentation:


  1. Keep visuals clear and easy to read. Abbreviate your message. SIMPLE graphs, charts and diagrams are much more meaningful to an audience than complex cluttered ones.
  2. Avoid using too many patterns and graphics in one frame.
  3. 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-fewer is better.
  4. Use upper and lower case lettering, which is more legible than all capital letters.
  5. Vary the size of lettering to emphasize headings and subheadings, but avoid using more than three sizes per frame.
  6. Select sans serif type (example: Arial) which projects better and is easier to read than serif type.
  7. Maintain the same or similar type sized from frame to frame, even if some frames have less copy than others.
  8. Keep all type horizontal, even in charts.
  9. Consider color with care. A dark background with highly contrasting text and graphics is most readable. Cool colors (example: deep blue, turquoise, purple) appear to recede and make white or light colored text more readable. In one study, blue was found to be the most effective background color for projection. Do not use red for text; it is extremely difficult to read.
  10. Highlight your main point or heading with a dominant color (example: yellow for the heading, white for body text). Avoid the use of intensely bright or saturated colors that compete with the text.
  11. Maintain a consistent color scheme. Use no more than six colors throughout your presentation.
  12. Select backgrounds to enhance your text or graphics. A background that transitions smoothly from lighter to darker shades of the same hue can be effective. Some software packages permit the gradation from one color to another. A textured background can be effective, but it should not detract from or compete with text or images.
  13. Remember the basics of good design: Plan a template. Use colors consistently with light fonts on a dark background. Keep text clear and easy to read.


If you know in advance of the conference that you must cancel your presentation, or if you must change presenters, please contact Anne Marie Mahoney, at or (301) 634-7039 by June 12, 2015.