University of California, Riverside

Student Engagement

Presentation Guidelines

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Research and scholarship
are usually presented at either the oral or the poster sessions. Students should consult with the faculty mentor to determine the most appropriate track for presenting their work prior to submission. The presentation tracks are as follows:

Track 1: ORAL PRESENTATION FOR DEVELOPED RESEARCH:  Oral presentations should represent completed empirical research. This track is open to papers based on completed research studies. Students should be able to clearly present their research question, outline the research methodology and assessment, and present clear outcomes.

Track 2:  POSTER PRESENTATION FOR EMERGING RESEARCH:  Poster presentations should represent research projects that are not completed but might be of significant interest to the research community. Both conceptually- and empirically-based papers on "work-in-progress" projects would fall into this category.

Track 3:  CREATIVE ACTIVITY:  Creative activities and performances should represent the final product of a scholarly creative activity. These projects could include, but are not limited to, submissions from Dance, Art, Music, Creative Writing, Media and Cultural Studies, and Theatre, Film, and Digital Production. Students should be able to discuss the research/inspiration behind the final product. Performing and visual arts projects may be presented in the traditional oral or poster format, or as exhibits, displays, performances, readings, and viewings, consult with your faculty mentor to determine the appropriate venue.

Below are general tips on preparing for your presentation:

  • Use the format of your academic discipline - All presentations should have an introduction, address a question or problem, and discuss or analyze the results of its inquiry. Consult with your faculty mentor concerning the proper form for your presentation.
  • Make your work as understandable and accessible as possible to a broad academic audience without sacrificing its disciplinary rigor.
  • Rehearse your presentation in advance and anticipate possible questions
  • Credit all sources, be truthful, respect your audience

Poster Presentation Guidelines

Poster presentations must be on 3' or 4' (height) by 4' (width) poster board: no posters should be larger than 4' x 4'. 

            - See Types of Presentations for more specific information

Space on a poster is limited, so choose wisely what to include and be sure others can understand your research, even if you are not present.

Do not use more than two fonts; instead use bold, italic and font size.
                 -  Suggested typefaces: Times New Roman, Arial, and Garamond are.

Place your title at the top of the poster and make sure that the text is at least 2 inches in height.

Include the following:

  • Name
  • Major
  • Faculty mentor and department
  • Names of co-authors
  • University of California, Riverside

The body type for the main sections should be at least 18 point and should be large enough to read from three feet away. Edit, review, and spell check all the elements of your poster display.

Incorporate appropriate graphics in your poster. Label or describe any charts, tables, figures, graphs, or photos that you use and make sure all edges line up evenly.

Stick to a color scheme and be consistent with your white space between sections of text, figures and headings.

It is best to prepare and practice a five-minute summary speech about your project and be prepared to answer questions. This is an excellent networking opportunity so it is important to speak and interact professionally. Expectations for day of presentation:

  • Plan to arrive with your poster before 9am on the day of your presentation
  • You are expected to be present at your assigned poster location for the entire hour
  • Plan to collect your poster by the assigned time

Oral Presentation Guidelines

During your oral presentation, you will have 15 minutes speak about your research or project, followed by a three to five minute question and answer session facilitated by the faculty moderator.

Rehearse your presentation in advance and ask your practice audience for feedback. Remember the general outline of your presentation and the logical order of information. Face your audience; speak slowly and clearly, project your voice and make frequent eye contact.

If you are speaking from notes, number them so that you will not lose your place. If you are reading, read slowly enough for the audience to understand (at a rate of about two minutes per double-spaced page).

If you are using PowerPoint, prepare the slides well in advance and make sure they are clear and engaging. Keep text to a minimum and make sure it can be seen from several feet away.

Observe your audience; if they seem lost, slow down.

A faculty member will moderate your oral session and will introduce you and other presenters to the audience, describe the session's topic, keep time, and facilitate the question and answer discussion.

You must arrive before the beginning of your session, stay for the duration, listen to other panelists' presentations and participate in discussions that follow.

Check all support materials in advance (PowerPoint presentations, handouts, transparencies, etc.) to avoid unnecessary delays in starting your presentation.

Creative Activity Guidelines

In addition to the traditional oral and poster research and scholarly presentations, the symposium will include performing and visual arts presentations. This includes music, dance, theater, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, video, and such presented in the formats of performances, displays, exhibits, viewings, and readings. Students and faculty mentors interested in these disciplines and media should contact the symposium organizers directly at to discuss possible presentation formats.

See Types of Presentations for more specific information


More Information

General Campus Information

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900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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