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Paper sessions will vary in length. The time for each presenter will depend on the session length and number of speakers. You will have to check with your chairperson as to how much time you have. Remember to leave a few minutes for questions and answers.



The time limit restricts how many technical points you can expect your audience to absorb. A good guideline is to have no more than one for every two minutes or so. This restriction will help focus the audience's attention on the most significant information.


You should plan a slide for each key point. Each slide should have at most five major supporting concepts. When using PowerPoint, try not to overdo things. Small print, tiny figures, and odd color combinations can make your slides completely unreadable. We suggest you limit your text to 30 words per slide, and put figures and graphs on separate slides rather than crowding them in with the text.

Please provide copies of all your slides to Elizabeth Leventhal ( for inclusion in the on-line Proceedings.


You can expect to speak about six sentences per slide, which normally runs 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. For example, if you have ten slides, your basic presentation will last about twelve minutes. You should leave about 3 minutes for questions and answers.

Do not run overtime. The chairperson will warn you when you are close to the limit.


Put a few words in your notes to start your train of thought at each point.

Be sure to add to the slides; don't just repeat what the audience can already see.

Try to make your talk interesting. Vary your approach, style, speed, and tone. Humor can help if it isn't in bad taste or insulting. Be sure to make eye contact with your audience (and not just with one person). Do not stare at your notes, the screen, or the floor. And keep your hands out of your pockets!!! Also do not talk into the screen or the floor, stand in front of the screen, or pace back and forth.

Try to say something original, surprising, or controversial. Raise significant issues; do not belabor the obvious.


Before answering a question, be sure that everyone knows what it is. Repeat it if necessary. Note that people in back of the questioner usually cannot hear a thing. Then answer the question concisely and directly. Restrict your answer to about two minutes. If someone wants more detail, ask him or her to meet with you afterward. Do not argue with questioners or other panelists. Let the chairperson manage the discussion.

Conference ConCepts