Oral Session Guidelines

Please use the checklist below to ensure that you have not missed any important steps in preparing for your presentation at the 2006 Fall Meeting.

  1. Prepare Your Presentation.
  2. Determine Your Audio/Visual Needs.
  3. Create a Backup Copy of Your Presentation.
  4. Order Additional Audio/Visual if Needed.
  5. Pre-submit Your Presentation via Internet.
  6. ON-SITE: You Must Check in at the Speaker Ready Room at Least 24 Hours Before your Session.
  7. Give Your Presentation.

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Prepare Your Presentation

  • Acceptable formats for Presentations:
    • MS Windows: Microsoft PowerPoint, Acrobat PDF.
    • Macintosh: Microsoft PowerPoint, Acrobat PDF, Apple Keynote.
  • Graphics must be well designed, simple, and legible to everyone in the audience.
  • Use as few graphics as possible for the time allotted. As a general rule, use one graphic for each 1 or 2 minutes of presentation time.
  • Presentations are most readable on a dark background (blue, for example) and bright lettering (yellow or white). It is helpful to step 8-10 feet back from your computer screen and make sure your slides are legible. Avoid using small fonts that will be illegible from the back of the room, and break up a complex slide into a series of slides.
  • Devote each graphic to a single fact, idea, or finding. Illustrate major points or trends, not detailed data.
  • Avoid long or complicated formulas or equations. Each graphic should remain on the screen for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use the minimum number of words possible in titles, subtitles, and captions. Standard abbreviations are acceptable.
  • Use bold characters instead of fancy fonts.
  • Table preparation: Use not more than three or four vertical columns or more than six or eight horizontal rows. Information is hard to read with more columns or rows. Avoid vertical or horizontal rules as they distract the eye and clutter the graphic. Whenever possible, present data using bar charts or graphs instead of tables.
  • Graph preparation: Avoid more two curves on one diagram; a maximum of three or four curves may be shown, but only if well separated. Label each curve; Avoid symbols and legends. Avoid data points unless scatter is important.
  • Colored graphs are very effective. Color adds attractiveness, interest, and clarity to slide and viewgraph illustrations and should be used whenever possible. Contrasting color schemes are easier to see.
  • Examine every graphic and view each under adverse light conditions before presenting at a meeting. It is not often possible to provide excellent lighting at meetings.
  • An introductory and a concluding graphic can greatly improve the focus of your talk.
  • For additional information on creating PowerPoint presentations, please see the PowerPoint Tips & Style Guide at http://www.projectionnet.com/styleguide/index.html.

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Determine Your Audio/Visual Needs

All oral session meeting rooms are equipped with the following audio/visual equipment:

1-LCD projector (1024 x 768 native screen resolution)
2-Computers (1 Windows-based PC and 1 Mac)
1-Overhead projector
1-Laser pointer
1-Speaker timer

The computers in the oral session rooms are provided to accommodate both Windows-based PC users as well as Macintosh users. The PC will be configured with Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Office 2003. The Macintosh computer will be configured with Mac OS X 10.3, Microsoft Office 2004, and Apple's presentation software, Keynote. Machines will also be configured with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

All videos should be in AVI, MPEG, or MOV format so they will run properly on the computers provided. Presentations should be reviewed in the Speaker Ready Room to be certain the fonts are displayed correctly.

Contact AGU@projection.com for further assistance.

If you have questions, please contact the AGU Meetings Department at fm-help@agu.org.

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Create a Backup Copy of Your Presentation

We recommend you bring at least two copies of your presentation to the meeting in case there is a problem with one. The following media formats will be supported:

  • CD-R and CD-RW;
  • CompactFlash card;
  • MultiMediaCard (MMC);
  • Secure Digital (SD) card;
  • Memory Stick card; and
  • standard Zip 100, 250, and 750.

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Order Additional Audio/Visual Equipment

AGU endeavors to provide up-to-date-equipment but cannot provide for every need. 35-mm slide projectors and other equipment are available, but at cost to the presenter. If you plan to show a videotape or DVD, you will need to rent a videocassette/DVD player.

The deadline to pre-order additional AV equipment has passed. If you would like additional AV equipment you will need to order on-site at the Facilities Desk.

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Pre-submit Your Presentation

Online pre-submission is strongly encouraged. If you submit your presentation via the Web site, you will save time on site waiting to preview your presentation.

Upload your electronic presentation Electronic presentation submission upload deadline has past.


To enter the upload site, enter your E-mail address and the password "AGU2006". The first time you login, you will be asked to create a new, unique password that you will use for subsequent logins. You can upload as many revisions to your presentation as you like, but please bring a copy of the most updated version with you to the meeting.

If you have problems, please E-mail your questions to AGU@projection.com.

Even if you upload you presentation, you must check in at the Speaker Ready Room. See below.

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Check in at the Speaker Ready Room at Least 24 Hours Before your Session

Three are two Speaker Ready Rooms for the Meeting. The Moscone West Speaker Ready Room is located in Room 3014, and Moscone South Speaker Ready Room is located in Room 232-234. You MUST check in at the building where you will give your presentation.

Checking in at the Speaker Ready Room is the most important step you will take to ensure your presentation is a success. ALL speakers are required to check into the Speaker Ready Room at least 24 hours before their presentations. Those presenting on Monday, 11 December must check in Sunday between 1500h and 1900h. We strongly suggest that presenters for Monday, 11 December use the pre-submission option.

The hours of operation of BOTH Speaker Ready Rooms:

Sunday, 10 December:  1500h–1900h
Monday, 11 December:  0700h–1800h
Tuesday, 12 December:  0700h–1800h
Wednesday, 13 December:  0700h–1800h
Thursday, 13 December:  0700h–1800h
Friday, 14 December:  0700h–1500h

When reviewing your presentation, make sure all fonts appear as expected and all audio/video clips are working properly. You may edit your presentation at this time. When you are finished reviewing your presentation and verify it is ready, Projection personnel will queue your presentation.

The file will then be transferred to the computer network at the meeting. When the presentation is to be given, the file will be loaded on the computer in the oral session room. Once the presentation has started, the speaker will control the program using a computer mouse. At the end of the meeting, all files will be destroyed.

Laptop Support

In order to support presenters who want to review and modify their presentations while at the Fall Meeting, there will be support for file transfers. If you plan to do this, bring a back up of the presentation on alternate media, including CD-ROM, Zip drive, or portable memory, in case there is a problem transferring the file from the laptop. The AV support personnel will attempt to transfer the file from a laptop to the network. This may include installing a Zip drive or CD writer to the laptop, or configuring a network card. If you have a network card, bring it with you. Plan extra time in order to be certain the files can be transferred. Please make sure you have all power, video, and networking adapters.

  • Personal laptops cannot be used in meeting rooms while giving your oral presentation. You must load your visuals from the Speaker Ready Room.
  • Speaker Ready Room personnel are not responsible for your devices, i.e., memory cards, disks, laptops, etc.


  • You will be required to provide identification in order to submit your presentation and also to access it in the Speaker Ready Room.
  • Zip Disks and CDs are returned to the speaker.
  • Floppy drives on the computers are disabled so no presentations can be copied.
  • Cameras and video equipment are not permitted in the Speaker Ready Room.

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Give Your Presentation

  • Be considerate of other speakers and the audience by staying within your allotted time. The time allotted for your presentation includes 5 minutes for discussion and changeover to the next speaker. Session presiders will hold you to the allotted time. This is essential to ensure adequate time for questions and discussion as well as adherence to schedule.
  • Please discuss the material as reported in the abstract
  • Prepare your presentation in advance so that your ideas are logically organized and your points clear.
  • Take time to rehearse your presentation. If your presentation runs longer than the allotted time, eliminate the least essential material and rehearse again.
  • Give an opening statement to acquaint the audience with the nature and purpose of the study. Speak slowly and clearly. Word choice should be simple: use active words and short sentences.
  • Use the public address system, and speak into the microphone and toward the audience. When using the microphone clipped to your lapel, it is difficult for the audience to hear if you turn your head away from the microphone. If you need to see what is on the screen, have copies at the podium.