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Oral Presentation Guidelines

General Instructions


1. Oral presentations should contain: introduction, objectives, methods,

results, conclusions/implications. Objectives should be clearly stated. Avoid

unnecessary detail in methods unless the methodology is the central topic

of your talk.  Primarily discuss the results and conclusions.

Conclusions should relate back to objectives.

2. Presentations are scheduled in 20-minute blocks. Three things must happen

during this block: the speaker introduction (1 minute); the talk (15-16 minutes);

and the question and answer period (3-4 minutes). The moderator will notify you when your

presentation time slot has 5 minutes remaining. You will be asked to leave the podium

when your scheduled time has expired.

3. Presentations must start and end on time, no exceptions, because they are

coordinated with other concurrent sessions and activities.  Rehearse your talk

before the meeting to be sure that it does not exceed the allotted time.

Have peers evaluate your talk.

4. Power Point is the only medium acceptable for visual aid, unless you make

special arrangements through your conference planning team.

5. Please try to keep the size of your presentation file to a minimum. For

example, reduce the image size of digital images, do not link your

graphics to another file (rather, paste as a "picture"), avoid video clips.

If you need to use video, please coordinate with your session organizer.

6. Podium-mounted computers, lighting, and microphones are not always

dependable. Be prepared to give your talk without such aids, if necessary.

7. All PowerPoint presentations will be loaded prior to the session.

Presentations must be loaded at least at least 30 minutes prior to the

beginning of your scheduled session.  There will be a room set up just

behind the registration desk where you can load your presentation immediately

after you check-in for the conference, during breaks, lunch, or first thing in the morning

the days of the presentations.

8.  It is the presenter’s responsibility to bring the presentation stored on a

portable device such as a "memory stick".

9.  All speakers must report to their presentation rooms at least 30 minutes

prior to the start of their session so they can be sure their presentation is on

the session computer. Bring a back-up of your presentation on CD or

memory stick.

10. Your moderator will have a copy of the bio you provided when you

submitted your abstract to the conference website. If there are any

changes to this bio, please provide them to your moderator when you first

introduce yourself to him/her.          Submit an Abstract


Guidelines for Designing Posters

The purpose of the poster should be to convey highlights of a study or project in

an attractive format that can be easily read and comprehended in a short period (i.e.,

3 to 5 minutes). The body of the poster will have 300 to 400 words. In contrast, delivery of

a 15-minute oral presentation may include 1,500 to 2,000 words, and it would include

many more images than could be displayed on a poster. Thus, it is likely that a poster

will convey less total information than an oral presentation. Efficient use of this limited

number of words and images is necessary to convey the highlights of the study.


A key feature of the poster is that is can be easily read at a distance of 6 feet.

Authors will need to minimize the amount of text in the poster, and to do so, use of

bulleted phrases rather than complete sentences is best. Graphs need to be carefully

designed so that they are readily comprehended. Details should be kept to a minimum.

Photographs and color should be used to enhance the attractiveness of the poster

and to entice the audience to stop and read it.      Submit an Abstract 

Elements of the Poster


The title should be short and fit across top of poster on one line.

Authors’ names and affiliations appear below the title.  


This section is optional. See below for additional information.  


Keep this section short.  Limit it to a few statements.  Clearly state the objectives.  

Methods or Experimental Design:

Keep text to a minimum.  Use graphics where possible.  


This section should take up most of the space.  Graphs (figures) are preferred over tables.

Keep graphs simple.  Include captions with graphics.  Include credits on photographs taken by non-authors.

Tables should not exceed four columns.  Keep statements brief. 

Conclusions or Implications:

Limit this section to a few bulleted statements. 


This section is rarely included. 


Include this section when appropriate.   

Abstract Option

A 200-word abstract in 28-point font will require 10% of the available space.

Authors may decide that this space could be more effectively used for other material.

Rather than require authors to include an abstract on the poster, this section is optional.

If authors decide not to include an abstract on the poster, they should be sure to clearly

state key items such as objectives and conclusions.

Design Specifications

Overall size:

The typical size of a poster is 32" x 44" (81 cm x 112 cm) in a landscape

or portrait format. Posters larger than this will only be displayed if there is space

available or if arrangements are made in advance.

Column arrangement:

A 3-column format best fits this size poster in landscape format. The flow

of material should be from top to bottom of each column and left to right among

columns. Deviations from this pattern require careful planning. Leave 3.8 cm

(1.5") between columns

Highlighting the sections:

One can use thin-lined borders around sections or blocks of subsections

to emphasize how items are grouped. Light-colored background fill can also be

used to highlight different sections.

Photograph backgrounds:

Use of photographs as backgrounds is not recommended, because

legibility is usually compromised. Text boxes with a background fill can be

superimposed on photographs. Text printed directly on photographs should be

avoided, as it is generally difficult to read.



Light pastel backgrounds are attractive and allow use of contrasting font

colors, such as black, dark blue, and red. White backgrounds are acceptable,

though they are less attractive than colored ones.

Font type and size:

Sans serif typeface such as Arial is best for good visibility at a distance;

use the same font type throughout.

Title - 72 point or larger; keep it short, not more than 80 characters including spaces.

Authors’ names and affiliations - 48 point.

Section headings - 36 point, bold.

Text - 28 point.

Graphs and tables - all numbers and labels 28 point or larger.

Graph bars and symbols – use colors; avoid cross hatching.

Acknowledgments – 20 to 24 point

Portraits of Authors:

Authors are encouraged to insert their pictures in the upper right corner of

the title line. These portraits will assist poster viewers to find you, should

they want to discuss your work.  Authors should consider producing a black and white

(or color) reproduction of the poster on letter-size paper for distribution to interested readers.

The Guidelines above were taken from the American Fisheries Society, modified and

used with permission.

Submit an Abstract


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