Oral Presentation & Zoom Guidance for Presenters


Recorded Oral Presentation:   

Thank you for presenting at the 2021 TWS-WS Annual Meeting!  All oral presentations for concurrent sessions will be pre-recorded, and must be uploaded by FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2021.   

How to Make 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. 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.

Upload to your Whova Speaker Page:

  • Register for the meeting  by Monday, January 11, 2021 (and please mark your calendar for the week of February 1-5 to attend the 2021 TWS-WS annual meeting.)
  • Login credentials will be emailed in mid-December, along with instructions for uploading your presentation(s) to your speaker page in the Whova Event platform.  Please upload video file(s) and any supporting materials in PDF (Max PDF file size 10 mb) by Friday, January 15, 2021.
  • 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.
  • By uploading your presentation to the Whova speaker page, you give TWS-WS the rights to upload/distribute the presentation to 2021 TWS-WS attendees through the Whova Event Platform.  

Live! Real! Synchronous! Moderated Session Discussions:  

In addition to submitting pre-recorded talks, oral presenters participate in a live, moderated Q&A discussion among presenters within their session.  These panel discussions will be held Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 4:30pm during the week of the 2021 Annual Meeting.  The exact date and time of a presenter’s panel discussion will be listed in their abstract acceptance email. All presenters receive a required, brief training session the week before the meeting.   The choice of several dates and times will be available.

Concurrent Session Guidelines:

PowerPoint Slide 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
  • Please minimize file sizes by resizing files with photo editing software, or compress images. in PowerPoint, add pictures by clicking Insert>Picture>From File rather than copying and pasting images into your presentation.
  • 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 correctly embed additional fonts.  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 styles may cause loss of the “punch” you intended. You can’t fail using Arial or Times for the 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 seen at previous meetings, complex charts, tables, and graphs are rarely effective.
  • Be sure you have permission to use data and present information and that you properly reference sources as appropriate. Please be sure to add any necessary disclaimers to your poster or oral presentation (such as whether data presented is preliminary or proprietary) given the potential for the files to be screen captured in the virtual format.  For example, you could add the following disclaimer to your presentation:   “Please do not cite this presentation/poster. Instead refer to the references cited or contact the authors
  • 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
  • Use upper and lower case mix for body text, large blocks of 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. Light colors such as soft yellows and pinks used as text, points, or lines on graphs do not project well when enlarged (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
  • Don’t use too many slides (one every 15 seconds) or too few (3-5 in a 20-minute presentation). 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.
Tips for Recording – to make sure you look and sound your best:
  • Setup 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.
  • 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 (Webinar) for Oral Technial Session Panel Discussions :
  • All Panelists will participate in a mandatory practice session the week before the meeting.  The choice of several dates and times will be available.
  • 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.
  • Hardline internet connection recommended, but if unavailable, a strong Wi-Fi connection.
  • You will be sent a panelist invitation and URL to access your session’s webinar prior to the conference. Please log on to your webinar session no later than 30 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.  
  • We will communicate with you via Zoom chat during your session and we will also communicate via cell phone just in case of unforeseen problems.
  • 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 Divesity Forum Presenters:
  • Please login to your meeting one 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 text you periodic messages to your cell phone to tell you how many minutes until you are 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.
  • 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.