Presenter Guidelines

Please note: The tips below are provided to help presenters attending JSMF sponsored meetings design their presentations for maximum effectiveness. They are based on years of meeting-planning experience. Certain JSMF meetings are not structured around a presentation-based format in which case you should follow the specific meeting guidelines provided.

JSMF-sponsored meetings bring together small- to medium-sized groups of investigators with overlapping interests, but diverse scientific perspectives. Presenters are likely to elicit the desired level of feedback from other meeting participants if they structure their talk to be of general interest, keeping the diversity of the audience in mind. Pitching your talk to the two or three other participants who may share your level of expertise in the details of what you are presenting will turn off those not versed in the methodological intricacies of your research – and rob you of the opportunity to garner some very valuable insights. The aim of the talks should be to generate discussion, much of which will occur over the course of the meeting in informal settings such as breaks and meals. All meeting participants, including those scheduled for presentations, are welcome (encouraged) to bring posters, which provide an additional venue for more detailed discussions. The following guidelines have been drafted to help you get the most of a JSMF program meeting – please use them when preparing your presentation. Thank you.

Time Your Presentation

A presentation scheduled for 20-25 minutes with an additional 10 minutes for discussion – means just that! Sessions chairs will cut off presentations that exceed the given time limit. Speakers will receive 10 and 5 minute warning notices. Do not squeeze a 40 minute talk into 25 minutes by speeding up your delivery or editing as you go. Everyone has sat through such a talk – it is annoying, distracting, and causes the audience to grow restless and inattentive. Exceeding your allotted time is unfair to fellow presenters, wearies the audience, diminishes discussion time, and makes you increasingly unpopular as the day grows late.

Simplify to Maximize the Impact of Your Presentation

To maximize the impact of your presentation, limit your talk to two or three major points. It is not necessary to give a complete overview of every aspect of your project. Please do not present the fine details of your methodology and the quantity of raw data you would provide at a laboratory seminar. Rather, present data in summary and provide schematics. Make certain you give some introductory material placing your presentation within a larger research question. There is ample informal discussion time during meals and breaks for interested participants to question you about details. Avoid presentations with irrelevant or extraneous information. It is too easy to produce presentations tailored specifically to the points you are making to excuse the use of presentations that are jumbled and confusing. View your presentations from a distance…if you can’t see them, neither can any one else. If you find yourself saying "I apologize for this presentation …" for whatever reason, it’s time to make a new one.

Communicate Special Presentations Needs Before Your Presentation

A projector, laser pointer, and wireless PowerPoint presentation advancer are all typically available at meetings. Please communicate any special needs before the day of the meeting. If your computer has a limited set of inputs to connect to a projector, bring an appropriate adapter or inform the Foundation staff about this limitation before your presentation. If you plan to bring your presentation on a USB drive and use someone else's laptop, let us know. If some of your presentation presentations require complete darkness for optimal viewing, speak with us about the timing of this in your presentation so that this process happens seamlessly.

Have a Back-Up

We encourage presenters to email a copy of their presentation to us as a back-up. In case your laptop or USB drive is lost or damaged while traveling, the emailed copy will allow the show to go on.