The Annual Meeting Agenda has a fixed schedule to allow flexibility when moving between sessions. It is important that you strictly adhere to the times outlined in the program. Equipment will be available for PowerPoint presentations, necessitating that you pre-load your presentation in the Speaker Ready Room at least one hour before the start of your session. Please note that you will need to use PowerPoint for your presentation. Files need to be in a PC-compatible format which allows them to run on either a PC or a Macintosh computer. Due to CME credit requirements, company names, company acknowledgements, and company logos are not permitted anywhere in the slide presentations. In addition all oral presenters are required to submit a disclosure form as well as include a disclosure slide in their presentation.
We recommend that you bring your presentation file pre-loaded on a memory stick and/or a CD for transfer prior to the session. As a back-up, several days before the meeting starts you may also want to send your file to the session chairpersons as an e-mail attachment.
Oral presentation of a scientific paper with digital projection is quite different from presentation of the same information in a journal article. In a journal article, all the details of the research must be given to allow the reader to evaluate the science. In an oral presentation, you have a limited amount of time and a limited number of slides in which to get across the major thrust of the study. Details cannot be included, only the major ideas. Therefore, each slide cannot contain more information than the viewer can comprehend in a short time. Design each slide to communicate a single idea quickly! Make the print large enough to be seen on an 8' screen from a distance of 100 feet.
It is important that you practice your presentation prior to delivering it in your session. You should limit the number of slides to a maximum of one slide per minute—less slides may be preferable for your presentation. In particular, PowerPoint presentations afford the easy opportunity for information overload, and can detract from the major points to be emphasized. Keep this in mind when planning your presentation. An exemplary presentation would include at least one introductory slide and a summary slide stating the key conclusions. During your presentation you are encouraged to use the wireless lavaliere microphone so that your voice is projected properly if you turn your face towards the screen.
The following should help you in your presentation preparation:
- Prepare your slides to communicate ideas, not details. If someone wants details, let him or her ask you in the discussion period.
- Put the minimum amount of information on the slide that is necessary to communicate your idea. After drafting the slide, see what can be left out while still communicating the essential idea. Revise your draft in order to reduce the material to a minimum.
- Graphical presentation of data often communicates an idea more quickly than tabular presentation of the same data. Photographs may also be effective, but avoid pictures of animals.
- A table in a published article is much too detailed for a slide presentation. Take the time to think through what conclusion you want to present from the table and use the least amount of material you can to communicate that idea. In general, a table on a slide should contain no more than 3 columns and no more than 4 rows.
- A slide presentation should include a title slide, a slide stating the question or hypothesis to be addressed, and a slide describing the overall approach you used to address the question. A “methods” slide or two should be included but should never provide all the details unless the purpose of the talk is to describe the method. Drawings or flow charts can sometimes be used to present complex methods succinctly. The next several slides should present and interpret the results obtained, and a final slide should give the conclusions of the study.
- If you have more than one slide per minute of presentation, you have too many slides.
- Color and graphics can enhance and clarify your presentation but can also be distracting if not carefully chosen. In general, text shown on a dark background should be very light and text shown on a light background should be very dark. Some color combinations that work fine on a computer monitor do not project well.
- Be sure to try out your slides or digital presentation before the Annual Meeting to make certain that everything is easy to read from the back of the room.