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Presentation Guidelines

Student presenters will share their work as either a poster or an oral talk. Presentation type will be decided during your home institution's application and nomination process. Please keep in mind the presentation guidelines below when preparing your presentation.

Students presenting in poster sessions should bring a research poster to use in sharing their work. Poster presentations should provide an overview of the work conducted, the methods and/or materials used in pursuit of project goals, the outcomes, and contributions to the field. Students presenting posters should expect to stay by their poster throughout their assigned session, have a 3-5 minute summary (elevator pitch) for visitors, using their poster as a visual guide, and be prepared to answer questions.

Size requirements: Posters can be printed in either landscape or portrait format but should not exceed total overall dimensions of 40" × 40" (H × W).

Considerations: Your poster should not be free-standing. Poster boards and tacks will be provided. Given delays in shipping and mail you should plan to bring your poster as you travel to Blacksburg for the conference.

Arrive Early: Poster presenters will be assigned to a specific poster location during one poster session. Presenters should arrive at least 15 minutes early to set up their poster before the session begins.

Students presenting in concurrent sessions will share their work as an oral talk. Talks should be tailored to a general audience and may be accompanied by a visual slide show, handouts, live demonstrations, or performance. During the allotted time presenters should plan to introduce their field and address the motivation, goals, methodology or medium, outcomes, and significance of their work. Each presenter will take questions from the audience for up to 5 minutes following their talk.

Length: Presentations should be 10 minutes in length. The time limit will be enforced by session moderators. Each presenters' Q&A session will take place immediately following the presentation for an additional 3-5 minutes.


  • Arrive early: Students giving talks should plan to arrive at their designated session location at least 15 minutes early so they have time to load their presentation onto the provided computer.
  • Content: We strongly advise against the use of video and audio. Presentations are 10 minutes in length, and technical difficulties which frequently stem from use of these supplemental content types often cause substantial delays.
  • Technical: Each room will have a digital display screen and computer provided; presenters will be asked to upload their presentation to the computer in the room before the session begins.
    • The computer will be a PC running the newest version of Microsoft Office, including PowerPoint.
    • Students planning to present using Google Slides should be prepared to share their presentation ahead of time with a general account for ease of access during the session.
    • All students are encouraged to bring a PDF copy of their presentation as a back-up.
    • Moderators will assist with uploading files.
  • Performances: If you hope to incorporate a live performance into your presentation, please contact your campus representative so that we can identify how to best support your needs.