Presentation Formats

There are four types of presentations at the Annual Meeting

Oral Presentations
Oral paper presentations are given a maximum of 15 minutes – 10 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for discussion and transition to the next paper. These presentations are given in concurrent sessions.

A forum is an informal 3-hour session and runs concurrently with other sessions. Forums are designed to provide researchers with an opportunity to discuss specific methodological challenges that they have encountered while applying for funding or conducting a project. Forums allow researchers with similar interests to share ideas regarding methodology, sampling, statistical methods, planning studies, and other creative solutions to project challenges.

Workshops are scheduled as 90-minute sessions and run concurrently with other sessions. These presentations normally involve methodology or research skills development ideas that involve audience participation.

Poster Sessions
Poster sessions offer a more intimate forum for discussion than a slide-based presentation. They are designed to maximize contact between researchers. Poster presentations are scheduled with dedicated viewing times to avoid any overlap with oral presentations or other events. Presenters are asked to attend their posters during their designated times during the meeting.

About Your Presentation

Learn when you are presenting and how to build and ship your poster

Presentation Tips

How to create a dynamic oral presentation and tips for creating a good poster

Why Do Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes?
And How to Ensure They Won’t Happen to Yours
(Andy Goodman & Cause Communications)

Suggestions for Improving your Conference Presentation:

  • Know your audience: one of the fastest ways to lose an audience is to begin talking above or below their level of knowledge or outside their job descriptions.
  • Regarding the audience: “They’ll probably only remember three things. So pick three things, illustrate them, and repeat them.”
  • Audience members want to interact with people in the room. Audience members are potential resources for collaboration.

The “Fatal Five” problematic factors for presentations:

  1. Reading the slides: “Watching someone read PowerPoint slides is a form of torture that should be banned under the Geneva Convention,” survey respondent.
  2. Too long with too much information: “Too much of everything... too many slides with too many words, too many points, too much data, too long, too didactic,” survey respondent.
  3. Lack of interaction: “Presenters often forget that many in the audience… have life and work experience that is waiting to be shared,” survey respondent.
  4.  Lifeless presenters: “Even if I’m interested in the topic, if the speaker is boring, I’m easily distracted by other goings-on in the room…Then I’ totally lost, thinking ‘I need to go shopping!” survey respondent.
  5. Room/Technical problems: anticipate them and have a backup plan.

Tips for Building your PowerPoint


  • Keep it simple!
  • Dark room should have a dark background with light letters
  • Light, bright room should have a light background with dark letters
  • Use cooler color as the background; warmer color for the content


  • Use non-serif fonts such as, Arial or Calibri, they are simple and thicker and project better
  • Font size should be at least 28 pt


  • Audiences typically prefers graphs over tables
  • Graphs should use complementary colors next to each other for contrast
  • Audience typically prefers photos over clip art


  • Use animation sparingly only to emphasize certain points
  • Use sounds sparingly only to emphasize certain points or for video clips 


  • Use the 8x8 rule. More than 8 lines of text with more than 8-10 words/line distracts from presenter and leads to audience fatigue
  • Audience should be able to read entire slide in about 8 seconds on a slide otherwise they focus more on the slide and less on the presenter
  • No more than one slide every minute 

Remember! A PowerPoint presentation is designed to support a talk, not duplicate it.

Tips for Creating a Poster
For tips on creating and formatting your poster, click here. Here are links to several examples of previous successful NAPCRG posters: “Validation of the Flu Score in a Young Adult Population", "Evaluation of a Virtual Shared Decision Making Program for Pediatric Asthma Management Using a Virtual Health Coach" and “Primary Care Screening Intervention Increases Identification and Linkage to Care for Hepatitis C and HIV Patients within a Large Healthcare System”.

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