Skip to Main Content

Presentations in Medicine & Science

Resources to help assist you make good presentations in different formats. Posters and oral presentations


  • Effectively communicate your ideas to any audience
  • Demonstrate your expertise in your area
  • Generate interest
  • Create networking / collaborative possibilities
  • Establish your reputation as an effective communicator

Elements 1 & 2:Knowing Your Audience & the Rules

Who will you be giving this talk to?

  • Have something for everyone


What is the format:

  • How long is the talk and how long for questions?


What should you bring with you?


Technology Issues

  • PC vs. Mac, slide controllers, laser pointers, loading all presentations from individual / personal jump drives into a single shared computer.


Who will introduce you?


What is the venue like?

  • Room Layout, lighting, seating, etc

An oral presentation should look like this:

Elements 1& 2


The Beginning:

  • Contains “the hook”
  • Introduction
    • Big picture relevance
    • Background
  • Defines the question  problems you are seeking to answer /solve
  • Establishes the format and style of the talk


The Middle:

  • Defines your hypothesis
  • Describes your methodology
    • Contains key findings or results
    • Clearly explained
    • Easily identifiable
    • Logically linked to the point you are trying to make
  • Summary / recap with regards to the objective of each or your main points


The End:

  • Discussion of the results
    • How do the results relate to each other?
    • How do the findings support your hypothesis?
    • How does it address the question you were looking to answer?
  • Addressing the bigger picture
    • How does it impact, change or influence your field or specialty?
    • How does it impact “me”?
  • Where does it go from here?
  • Acknowledgements

Create a Story

Where do you start?

  • Start in the middle with your data
  • Choose the best – less is more

What’s next?

  • Work your way outward
  • Data summary, methods, hypothesis

Closing up the ends

  • Tackle the hard stuff
  • Conclusions, “your questions”, background, hook


Present Slides

Philosophy of a SlideFflow

Element 4               


Characteristics of any Good Slide

  • A title this is a declarative statement
    • Key finding, a result, a statement of importance
    • Is the key piece of information that listeners remember
    • It can be used as a sign post
  • Figures should be large, clean and crisp
  • Labels and text should be clearly readable
  • Added arrows or indicators that point to difficult things to see
  • Sufficient white space
  • Helps, not hinders, the person “telling the story”


Slide Basics:

  • Backgrounds
    • White, black or dark blue
    • “Artsy” or picturesque backgrounds are distracting
  • High picture / text ratio
  • Bulleted information
    • Succinct
    • Key pieces of information
  • Consistent formatting appearance
  • Custom animation
    • Avoid unless absolutely necessary
    • Aid to making a point
  • Fonts
    • Type
      Arial, Times New Roman
      Avoid using all capitals
    • Size
      Titles- 36 to 40 pt
      Subtitles – 28 to 36 pts
      Rule of Thumb – can it be seen on the screen easily
    • Color
      Contrast with background for easy readability
      Primary colors, avoid pastels


Element 5: Have an Engaging and Confident Delivery

  • The talk is not a spoken paper
  • Good slide language
  • Pace
  • Position
  • Transitions
    • Topic to topic and slide to slide
  • Be engaging and personable
  • Eye contact with the audience
  • Be excited about the material


Q & A

Element 6: Question and Answer Period

  • Make sure you understand what is being asked
  • Repeat the question
  • Avoid long digressions; suggest discussing following the presentation
  • Don’t take the bait
  • Not all questions are “great”
  • OK to say “I don’t know



  • The best talk is one you can do without slides
  • Any talk is a professional networking opportunity
  • Start preparing early
  • Put yourself in the audience’s shoes



© , Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers websites to or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback form.