Oral Presentations Guidelines

Below are the guidelines for oral presentations as provided by the National JSHS.

For further information please go to the JSHS Guidelines and download the PDF file.

The National Symposium - Requirements For The Oral Presentations Session timing.

The research presentation may not exceed 12 minutes, followed by a maximum 6-minute question period. A session moderator will aid the student speaker in maintaining this schedule and in fielding questions from the audience. The procedure for maintaining the time includes a 10-minute signal for the student, and finally a 12-minute signal. At the 12-minute point, the student speaker must stop the presentation even if he or she has not finished. Following the presentation, the session moderator will ask for audience questions. The speaker may entertain questions while the exchange appears interesting and relevant. Questions intended to harass the student speakers will not be allowed by the session moderator. The speaker should repeat a question before answering so the audience may understand the entire dialogue.

Use of Audio Visuals - Available equipment. Available audio-visual equipment in each session at National includes:

  1. overhead projector;
  2. LCD projector;
  3. projection screen; and
  4. a laser pointer.

Additionally, PC-based computers, with a CD-Rom will be in each session room configured with Microsoft 2000 PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat. The use of Macintosh computers or use of other software requires students to bring their own equipment. Equipment operators will not be available in each session. Students may enlist the help of a teacher or fellow student, especially when using overhead projectors. Students should number visuals in sequence so an assisting operator or the presenter can easily reshow one. Many times, visuals are re-shown during the questioning period.

Aids to the presentation. No written handouts or models are permitted. Software such as PowerPoint and computer action video may be used to prepare or drive slides or overheads.

VCR and Computer Usage.

  • If using LCD projectors and computers, students must…
  • Review Guidelines for Preparing PowerPoint Presentations
  • Convert illustrations and other graphical representations into PowerPoint 2000 for presentation during the symposium.
  • Save the PowerPoint presentation to an IBM-compatible CD or Zip drive, and use that saved file on available PC-based computer and LCD systems. Prepare for any equipment problems by bringing back-up overheads.
  • Start computer equipment that may be brought to the symposium prior to the designated presentation time. No additional presentation time will be allowed to cue up a presentation.
  • The video component cannot make up more than one minute of the presentation.
  • No audio or background music is permitted other than sounds that are an integral part of the research. Recorded or mechanically produced narration is not permitted. Narration must come from the speaker.
  • Videos (and audio, if any) may be used only for those aspects of the presentation that cannot adequately be presented by slides or overheads. Video material presented must be an integral part of the research and should not be a substitute for presentation of data. Videos must not be used for presentation of common procedures, illustrating equipment or showing laboratory facilities. Videos should illustrate work that was done and should not be used for stimulation or aesthetic value.

The National Symposium-Suggestions To Prepare For The Oral Presentations

Remember, you are the expert

  • No one in the audience knows as much about your research investigation as you. Therefore, remember to explain your research in enough detail so the audience will understand what you did, how you did it, and what you learned. Avoid jargon or unnecessary terminology. If it is essential to use specialized terms, remember to explain the specialized term briefly. Give your audience enough time to understand what you are trying to convey. Graphs, tables and other representation help explain your results
  • Keep them simple and uncluttered. Focus on important information; for example, remember to name the variables on both axes of a graph, and state the significance of the position and shape of the graph line, practice your presentation before a non-specialized audience. Practice will help perfect the presentation and the timing. Do listen to the advice of your non-specialized audience but also get help from a teacher or other advisors as needed.

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