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Indiana University Kokomo

Oral Presentation Guidelines

(Adopted from Adrian Tinsley Program for Undergraduate Research)

The purpose of this document is to provide you with general guidelines for giving an oral presentation at a professional conference. As these general guidelines may not be directly applicable to your specific project or to your discipline, it is expected that you will consult extensively with your mentor on the presentation format that is consistent with your discipline.

If you will be using PowerPoint, you should allow time to make sure your computer platform is working properly and that your presentation materials are loaded onto that computer. Each oral presenter will be introduced and the title of your talk will be read by the moderator for your session. Again, the maximum length of your presentation varies, depending on the conference.  Our conference limits each student’s presentation to 8 minutes in length with 2 minutes for questions. Your moderator will signal you at 3 minutes before your talk should end.

To recap

  • Be prepared: Bring your digital materials on a flash drive, and email them to yourself so you can access them online if your drive fails.
  • Be early: Arrive early to prepare your materials and PowerPoint.
  • 8 minute speech: Your presentation should be 8 minutes long.
  • 3 minute warning: Your moderator will signal you when you have 3 minutes left to speak.
  • 2 minutes of questions: You will have 2 additional minutes for questions.

General Outline

The following general outline for your oral presentation may not be applicable to all students, so be sure to consult with your mentor for the proper format used in your discipline. Although the exact format is up to you and your mentor, the following information is recommended:


You are expected to give a power point presentation and your first slide should contain your title, name, your mentor’s name and department.


Your Introduction should describe the research question you wish to answer (the project goal, hypothesis, thesis statement, or question), and a list of objectives (the specific steps you need to take,  or the questions you need to answer, or what you need to learn or accomplish in order to reach your project goal, hypothesis, or question). Your introduction should summarize the current understanding of knowledge in the field, and on work directly related to your project. You may also want to include an outline of what will be presented and discussed in the body of your presentation.


What is the significance of your research question? Although you should be able to explain the expected impact on others within your academic discipline and on society in general, the broader potential impact may very well be speculative.

Research Methods or Experimental Methods

You should describe the specific methodology used in your research, or describe the detailed experimental or instrumental methods and/or techniques you employed.

Results and/or Discussion

In this section you should present and interpret your research findings. In some disciplines it is strongly recommended that you use tables, figures, diagrams, pictures, or equations to supplement your oral presentation. You should explain either why this information is important to your work, and discuss the relevance of this information in providing an answer to your research question.


This section is typically a factual summary of how your research work supports (or does not support) your hypothesis, or whether your work has provided an answer to your research questions. It may be helpful to restate your specific project goals and objectives, summarize the main points or significant findings, and include a final statement to pull everything together.

Future Plans (optional)

If you intend to continue your work, what do you propose to do next and why?


Be sure to thank any individuals who helped you with your research (such as your mentor!), or who provided you with materials or information. As you received financial support from the National Science Foundation you are required to acknowledge LSAMP support.

Literature Cited/Bibliography

In general, for oral presentations a summary of your Bibliography or Literature Cited is included on the last slide.


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Campus Info

2300 S. Washington St.
Kokomo, IN 46904-9003
Phone: (765) 453-2000

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