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Hofstra University

General CAA Presentation Guidelines


  • For oral presentations, a computer and projector will be available in each classroom.
  • Please bring your MS Powerpoint presentation on a USB drive to load prior to your presentation.
  • All computers are equipped with MS Office 2007.
  • Students making visual art presentations should describe what they plan to exhibit and any display equipment required.
  • For poster presentations, poster boards (6' X 4') will be provided along with adhesive to mount the poster. Additionally, the poster boards will be mounted horizontally, so landscape printing is required.

The following tips can make a big difference in your presentation, and we encourage you to take these guidelines into account. These can be applied to any type of presentation, and will help with both the visual as well as the oral aspects.

As a researcher, it is important to remember that honesty is the best platform for progression.
To improve your presentation skills, ask for feedback on the presentation of your work from mentors and peers.
Remember your audience. Be sure to analyze their background knowledge of your subject and tailor your discussion to their level of understanding.

  • To grab and maintain audience attention, relate your project to those around you. If your audience feels connected to your project topic, they will be more involved, attentive, and interested in what you have to say.
  • Practice the tone of your presentation. You want to sound credible and confident to your audience. Avoid slight fluctuations at the end of your sentences, which may make you sound less credible. Be confident and assertive in your tone. Rehearse your presentation.
  • Be sure to organize your presentation into a logical progression. Avoid jumping around. Although you are very familiar with the course of your project, your audience is not. Help them understand your project by keeping your presentation clear and straightforward.
  • Since the oral presentations are timed, structure your discussion around the most important aspects of your project. Was it the process of the research or is it the results themselves?
  • Please allow time for a question and answer segment at the end of your presentation. Question and answer segments are very beneficial; an audience member may bring up new issues or interpretations.
  • PowerPoint slides should not be a script for your presentation, instead they should serve as a visual reference for you and your audience. Each slide should include only an outline of what you are going to say; paragraphs of information can be distracting and overwhelming. Also keep in mind color deficiencies (red and green) or combinations that may be hard to see.
  • Double (and triple) check your presentation for typos, errors in spelling, and grammatical mistakes.
  • Be wary of the use of visual aids. Only use visuals that enhance your presentation - you do not want to distract your audience with unnecessary visuals.
  • Presentation style is a delicate balance. Practice your posture while presenting - try not to hide behind a podium or computer. Be enthusiastic and animated, but don't go overboard to the point of distraction.
  • Unexpected findings are just as important as those predicted. In fact, serendipitous events often lead to breakthroughs in research. Although your project may not have gone as planned, it does not mean that you should discard or discount your results.
  • Include an acknowledgements segment of your presentation to give credit to those who have helped you with your project. Take the time after you have finished your project to recognize those who played a role throughout this process.
  • Do not be discouraged to present in a different way! The attendees at this conference range from a wide variety of majors – English, Basic Sciences, Theater, etc. Think about how you can best communicate to your audience.
Hofstra University
Hofstra University Honors College
243 East Library Wing
145 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
Phone: 516-463-5442