Oral Presentation Instructions and Guidance

Oral presenters may choose to participate either in-person or virtually.  

  • Presenters attending in-person will give their talk live at the meeting.  All live oral presenters are also asked to pre-record their talk and upload it to our meeting app by January 30, 2022 end of day.
  • For those participating virtually, we will play your pre-recorded video live in Reno during your assigned talk time slot.  Please join us live over Whova/Zoom to participate virtually in the Q&A at the end of your session. 

*Yes, things are a bit different this year!  ALL oral presenters are asked to pre-record their talk and upload it to our Whova app – even our live presenters should please pre-record their talk!  We know that some in-person oral presenters will change to virtual at the last minute if they aren’t feeling well or have Covid symptoms — and by requiring all presenters to pre-record, it ensures we have all presentations in hand to play during the meeting.  Also the pre-recorded talks save us from recording and uploading each individual live talk which is a huge project that we don’t have the staff power for.  This way our meeting is online for all to watch for the week before, and 6 months after the meeting!  


In-Person – Oral Presentation Instructions 

  1. Review your abstract online and fix any HTML form/special character errors.  Your personal edit link was sent via email as part of your abstract acceptance message.
  2. All presenters must pay to register for the meeting by January 7, 2022.  
  3. Upload a pre-recorded video of your 15 minute presentation to Whova (Plus any supporting materials in .PDF format) to the Whova app by Sunay, January 30, 2022 at 11:59pm PST.  Standard HD (720p).  All presentations will be available to meeting registrants for advance, on-demand viewing starting one week before the meeting begins and for 6 months following the conference. Video files will be available for viewing in the Whova app only, and will not be downloadable. See instructions below. (We will send your Whova upload link the week of January 10th.  You muste be registered for the meeting in order to receive the link.)  You may edit your speaker profile and videos as often as you’d like.
  4. Bring your PowerPoint presentation to the room where your oral presentation is scheduled 30-minutes before the session begins.  You will work with the A/V volunteer to load your file to the laptop that will be used for your session.  Presentations must be brought to the meeting on a USB Memory Stick (thumb drive). No other form of file transfer will be accepted. We will load presentations for the morning and afternoon.  Afternoon presenters can also bring their presentation down at lunch 30 minutes prior to the start of the session.  Presentations will not be accepted as you are walking to the podium.
  5. Give your talk live in Reno at the podium! New this year, each presenter has 15 minutes maximum to give their talk!   This change has been suggested by many people over the years so we wanted to give it a try.  It allows us to fit more talks into our meeting, and it helps speakers be direct more when describing the main points of their paper.  Tips:  When you give your talk, be sure to talk directly into the mic. Bring a paper copy printout of your talk.
  6. The last ½ hour of your oral session will be a live, moderated Q&A discussion among presenters within your session.  Please join us in the front of the room and take a seat at the head table.
  7. Sessions will be kept on a tight schedule. Presentations are scheduled to switch at 15 minutes. You should plan on giving the session chair about 30 seconds for a speaker biography, and you should allow a minute or so for switching speakers. Thus, your presentation in rehearsal should take no more than 13 to 14 minutes. If your presentation takes more than 14 minutes, change it now.
  8. Session Chairs or timers will provide silent time cues, typically at 5, 3, and 1 minutes before your time has expired. Most chairs will use an audible, often loud cue when time is expired. If you’ve reached the 13th minute and still haven’t said “and in conclusion” (or words to that effect), you might be in trouble…Our session chairs can be ruthless – and we like it that way.
  9. Practice your presentation in advance. Most people speak faster when they are nervous, so it’s likely ok if your presentation takes 14 minutes in practice, but not more than that.  However, practice it with a coworker or friend, too – some people tend to add extra information when they’re nervous, making a well- rehearsed 14-minute presentation take 20 or more minutes.

General Information — In-Person Oral Session Presenters:

  • We will be using ONE computer for all presentations in each room.  You will not have the option of using your personal laptop for your presentation; there simply is no time between speakers to unplug one laptop and plug in another.
  • PowerPoint files can be in EITHER .ppt (version 2000-2003) OR .pptx (version 2007 or later) format. The laptops will have at least PowerPoint 2007 loaded.
  • Personal Document Format .PDF files can also be used. Be sure you have formatted them and tested them on a standard projector and 4:3 ratio screen.
  • Other presentation or multi-media software systems will not be considered unless an absolute minimum of two weeks’ notice is provided to the Program Chair; these will be accepted at our discretion.
  • We will NOT have Internet access for the speakers.  Any websites you wish to show must be static images in your PowerPoint presentation.
  • All audio or visual files must be compatible with a standard Windows-based laptop and PowerPoint without any special files installed.
  • No live animals/wildlife may be displayed as part of your presentation.
  • PowerPoint ‘Presenter View’ mode will be possible as the laptop will be set at the podium.

Virtual — Oral Presentation Instructions

  • Review your abstract online and fix any HTML form/special character errors immediately.  Your personal edit link was sent via email as part of your abstract acceptance message.
  • All presenters must pay to register for the meeting by Sunday, January 7, 2022.
  • Upload a pre-recorded video of your 15-minute presentation (and any supporting materials in .PDF) to the Whova app by Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 11:59pm (PST).  Standard HD (720p).  All presentations will be available to meeting registrants for advance, on-demand viewing starting one week before the meeting begins and for 6 months following the conference. Video files will be available for viewing in the Whova app, and will not be downloadable.  See instructions below. You may edit your speaker profile and videos as often as you’d like.
  • The last ½ hour of your oral session will be a Q&A session with all the other oral presenters in your session which will be led by the session chair.  You will be emailed a Zoom invitation one-week before the meeting so you may join us virtually to participate in this session.  Please turn your video on!  And review the following Zoom below.

PowerPoint Design Tips 

  • Whether you’re just starting out or looking to improve, this informative (and likely humorous) mini-workshop recorded last year will provide you with information and tips for presenting your research work to your peers. Instructor Jon Hooper provides demonstrations on how to give an effective presentation….and how NOT to. Link to video
  • A good rule of thumb is to use about one slide for every 1 to 2 minutes of your presentation.   It’s also good to vary the length that you project each slide.
  • Do not put information in the top right of your slide as the “picture in picture” zoom presenter image will cover up this part of the slide.
  • Do not put important information in the bottom 1/3 of the slide. It may be difficult to see from the back of the room.
  • Use upper and lower case mix for body text, large amounts of all upper-case text is difficult to read
  • There should be a good contrast between background and text or graphic.  Using a picture as the entire background can be problematic. If using a picture as a slide background, watch for split areas of light and dark (ex. bright sky and dark ground areas in the same photo). This presents a problem for arranging text. If using a solid color background, most of these problems will not exist for you. The background color gray is one of the most difficult colors to contrast with. We will still have a fair amount of light in the room during the presentation for note taking. With this in mind, like-on-like colors will be difficult to see, such as white lettering on light blue background or yellow on green. Light colors such as soft yellows and pinks used as text, points, or lines on graphs do no project well when enlarged and projected (In fact, they usually do not show up unless on top of a dark background). Line weights and direction arrows need to be heavy enough to be seen without overpowering the image.
  • Red text: Do not use it. Bright red is difficult for the eye to read for any period of time. If you must, use bright red for emphasis only. 10% of your audience will have some degree of color perception impairment.  The following combinations should be avoided:
    • Red text on blue and vice versa
    • Red text on brown and vice versa
    • Red text on green and vice versa
  • We recommend using only 2 font sizes on slides. 36-48 or larger for titles, and 24-30 or larger for text. Use only standard fonts or ensure you’ve embedded the fonts correctly.  For emphasis, select bold or italics, color, or shadows. In graphics with one or two words, using “art fonts” for emphasis will work if separated from quantities of body of text. Complex font body style may cause loss of the “punch” you intended. You cannot go wrong with the selection of Arial or Times for body of text. Font size should be large enough to be visible for approximately 40 feet (to the last row of seats in the room).
  • As you have probably seen at previous meetings, complex charts, tables, and graphs are rarely effective for a large audience.
  • Be sure you have permission to use data and present information and that you properly reference sources as appropriate.
  • A good guide is no more than 8 lines of text per slide…10 max
  • Line spacing on slides should be at least 0.85.

How to Record a Video Presentation:  

  • You will have 15 minutes max for your video presentation.  
  • To give your talk, you will start a Zoom meeting with yourself as the only participant.  
  • You may sign up for a free Zoom account at www.zoom.us
  • In the navigation window, click Settings.  Then click the Meeting tab. Select Standard HD (720p). Click Save.
  • You will share your screen, and open up your PowerPoint presentation file.   This will allow for your slides to appear full screen with a picture of you/or your camera shot in the upper right hand corner.  
  • Click the record button.   
  • When you have finished your presentation, you will stop recording and “end” the Zoom meeting.  
  • The video file will be exported to your documents folder as an mp4 file. Max video file size 200 mb. 

How to Upload your Presentation to the Whova App Speaker Page:

  • Login to the Whova speaker platform using your personal and unique URL.  Edits may be made anytime. Login credentials will be emailed to you the first week of January along with instructions for how to upload your presentation(s) to your speaker page in the Whova Event platform
  • You may update/edit/add your affiliation; your bio and profile photo. You may edit your speaker profile and videos as often as you’d like.
  • In the documents session, upload any handouts that you’d like to share.  (PDF format, 10MB max file size.)  Do not add your abstract as we already link to it automatically!  Our file storage space in whova is limited.
  • Please also upload your video presentation in this section.  (MP4 format, 200MB max file size.)
  • You may also add discussion topics, publications, url’s to articles, and any social media information you’d like to share.  This is all optional though the discussion topics would be very helpful for engaging meeting participants virtually!
  • Be sure to hit “SAVE” to make sure your information gets added, and you’ll also have to click “no” in the blue box so that your updates are saved.
  • By uploading your presentation to the Whova speaker page, you give TWS-WS the rights to upload/distribute the presentation to 2022 TWS-WS attendees through the Whova Event Platform.  

Tips for Recording – to make sure you look and sound your best:

  • Set up a quiet location, silence nearby devices.  Record 10-15 seconds of silence to make sure there is no ambient noise.
  • Avoid areas that have an echo.  Rooms should be fairly small with items for sound dampening such as carpeting, curtains, furniture.
  • Good headset, earbuds or airpods with microphone close to mouth BUT away from direct line of mouth to reduce “pops.”  Avoid using default built-in microphone on computer. Laptop speakers and microphone can create feedback, which lowers the audio quality.
  • Set your computer monitor to the highest resolution possible (1920×1080 or higher preferred) by going into the “display” settings on your computer.  There should be  a setting for “display Resolution” usually with a dropdown menu of different dimensions.  Pick the one that says “1920×1080”.  Or if there is a setting with higher numbers, choose the highest number possible.
  • Don’t put lights or windows behind you.  The biggest light source should be behind the camera to ensure your face can easily be seen.
  • Make sure the background is not too busy.  The audience should be focused on you.
  • Wear solid colors, patterns don’t work well on camera.  Avoid accessories that make noise.
  • Charge any blutooth headphones you may be using.
  • Position yourself slightly off center – the brain finds this more appealing to watch.  Ensure your camera angle is in the center of your face.  Make eye contact with the camera.
  • Stand up if possible – you will feel more confident and energized.  If you must sit, make sure to sit up straight and keep your face lifted.
  • Slow down – control the cadence of your speech and enunciate your words.
  • Record a practice run – are your words clear, loud enough, is there inflection in your voice?  
  • Practice, practice, practice – do a full practice of your entire presentation before you record.  You will be more comfortable with the camera and this will give you a more natural recording.  

Instructions for Joining a Zoom Q&A Session:

  • Please install any Zoom updates prior to joining the meeting, to ensure that your system is up-to-date with the latest software updates and security patches. (Zoom updates come out regularly so make sure to update the morning of your panel discussion.)
  • Hardline internet connection recommended, but if unavailable, a strong Wi-Fi connection.
  • You will join by clicking on the zoom link we sent you via email.
  • Please log on to your zoom session 10 minutes prior to session start in order to check-in, test connections, microphones, and cameras. All times listed on the agenda are Pacific Daylight Time.  If you have not used Zoom for meetings or webinars, we recommend taking the time to familiarize yourself with the layout, screen sharing options, troubleshooting tips, and best Zoom practices (i.e., ensuring firewall or security settings are not preventing you from accessing Zoom) prior to your recording and/or live session. You can also sign up for a free Zoom account which is handy for practicing your presentation, and getting it recorded into an mp4 file.  
  • Make sure your headset is plugged in and that both your mic and headset are tested to be working properly prior to joining the Zoom meeting.
  • The moderator will ask questions and will specifically address them to panelists by name to avoid more than one person answering at the same time.
  • If you are not speaking, mute your microphone to prevent it from picking up background noise while other speakers are talking.
  • Make sure that while you are logged in with us that you are not competing for internet bandwidth with other household members. Shut down all non-essential applications.

Instructions for Plenary, Keynote and Capstone Presenters:

  • Please login to your meeting a half hour before it is scheduled to begin so we can check your audio, video and slides.  We will also make sure you are familiar with how to share your screen.    If you have a video to play, the file will need to be sent to us in advance and we will make sure it plays properly.
  • We will send you messages in chat to tell you when it’s nearly time for you to turn your camera on. When it is time for you to begin your presentation, you will hear the meeting host introducing you, and we will send you a message asking you to now share your screen (click on the small green button with the black arrow facing up that is in the middle of the bottom of your Zoom screen).  You will NOT need to share your screen if you do not have any slides or anything else to share visually. Just remind us, if we erroneously ask you to share your screen, that you do not have anything to share. You will also need to make sure your video camera is turned on by clicking on the VIDEO button at the bottom of the screen.  Screen sharing tips:  Mac users, make sure you are in Do Not Disturb mode; When screen sharing close all your other windows so you don’t accidentally share something private, and make sure the files you are sharing are on your harddrive and not on an external drive.  Move your mouse arrow out of the screen so it doesn’t appear on the screen.  You can click the three dots on the right side of the screen sharing tool bar to hide it, and hit “escape” when you want to bring the toolbar back.
  • When it is time, we will text you the message “YOU ARE NOW PRESENTING” at which point the audience will be able to see you and your slides, if you have any.
  • While presenting, please don’t be shy about looking directly at your webcam. When you do that, you are essentially making eye contact directly with us, your viewers. That will be much better received by the audience than if the webcam gets limited or no eye contact.
  • Please note that we will be with you at all times, ready to help if you need anything. The most important thing is to try to relax and enjoy delivering your presentation – that makes a huge difference. Please let us know if you have any questions. You can reach us on the following mobile phones if you encounter any difficulties and are having trouble communicating with us through Zoom.

Text Candace Renger if you have any difficulties during the program:  510-684-8590