Conference presentations

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7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2003
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Do you have any advice/tips for presenting at a conference?

I'm a bit anxious about it because I'll be doing one for the first time. What questions should I prepare for? What should I do to prepare? I think the presentation is about 10 minutes, plus or minus?

Problem is my study is a retrospective study so I may be criticized for many things based on that, which obviously I can't change since I'm looking at other people's records and data at a hospital that puts together doctors' clinic notes.



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15+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2002
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You should plan on one slide for each minute. In your case, ten slides will do. Make sure the color is pleasing to the eyes (I like dark blue backgrounds, yellow text for title, and white letters for the body). Also the font size should be large, e.g. 36 Font Size for the title and at least 28 Font Size for the text. Don't cram tons of stuff on one slide.

Dedicate 2-3 slides introducing the research problem and question. Present why and how your study is going to be helpful.

The next 5-7 slides should be devoted to presenting the research design, results, and interpretation of the results.

The last slide should summarize the research and 'take home message'.

You should make the talk, sit down with your advisor, and then ask him/her the type of questions you should prepare for.

This is a rather simplistic explanation, but it's hard to teach someone how to be a good presenter via an internet forum! ;)


15+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2004
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I agree with Dr. Doan's color choices - in addition to yellow and white, magenta also has good visibility on dark blue if you need a third color.

At the NANOS meeting, they recommend no more than 7 lines of text/slide for their presentations.

Helvetica bold font has very good visibility (better than Times New Roman - serifs look pretty but detract from recognition)

Judicious use of animations, such as to make different series of data and their line-fits appear in sequence on a plot, can be very effective, especially on "busy" graphs.