Presenter Guidelines

Thank you for participating as a presenter at the upcoming joint meeting of the American Ornithological Society to be held April 9-14, 2018 at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort in Tucson, AZ. Below is important information to ensure your success as a presenter.

ORAL PRESENTATIONS GENERAL INFORMATION (**Specific guidelines for the general and lightning presentations are below this section.)

All sessions, including plenary, general sessions, and symposia will be held in the conference wing of the Hilton El Conquistador Resort. The rooms are in close proximity which will facilitate easy passage between rooms.

Audio visual equipment
All rooms are equipped with a laptop computer, LCD projector, screen, and wireless advancer/laser pointer.  Additionally, there will be a podium and a podium microphone in larger rooms. Please format your presentation to project a 16:9 ratio image This is the default ratio for office 2010 and later, this format will need to be changed manually  for earlier versions of power point using 4:3.  Laptops are PC-based and will be operated on Windows7/Office 10 system.  You will NOT be able to use a personal laptop or a flash/jump drive in the meeting rooms.  All presentations must be run from the conference laptop provided at the podium.

On-site submission and the Presenter room
We will have a ‘Presenter Room’ (the Palo Verde Room) so presenters can upload their presentations on site and/or preview and edit presentations.  All speakers (for oral presentations) must check-in to the Palo Verde Room 1 day prior to their talk.  In addition to uploading your presentation and letting us know you arrived, we ask that all speakers to test their presentation to make sure everything is working.  Presentations will be uploaded in the ‘Presenter Room’ but we ask that the presenter bring their talk on a USB to their talk as a backup in case there are network problems. It is the Presenter’s responsibility to have a backup of their talk if the network goes down for any reason.

Palo Verde Room (tentative) Hours:
Tuesday, 10 April: 4:00 pm-7:00 pm
Wednesday, 11 April: 7:00 am-5:00 pm
Thursday, 12 April: 8:00 am-5:00 pm
Friday, 13 April: 8:00 am-5:00 pm
Saturday, 14 April: 8:00 am-3:00 pm

Arriving at your session

Presenters should arrive for their scheduled presentation >15 minutes before the start of the first talk in their session to meet the session Chair and check-in with the A/V volunteer. 

Presentations are saved on the desktop in a daily folder by session name and labeled with your last name as the presentation title. Simply double-click your presentation to begin your talk. Technicians will be available in all meeting rooms to provide assistance if required.


Format of presentations: All presentations should be created in Microsoft PowerPoint or can be converted PDF format.

Timing: Each talk we will allow 1 minute for the introduction and transitioning, followed by 12 minutes for presentation and 2 minutes for questions. Thirty minute talks should be 25 minute for presentation and 4 minutes for questions..

Images: For on-screen presentations, JPEG-type images work well. This type of image file can be created with virtually all imaging programs. Large/slow presentations can be avoided by using a graphics program to convert the image and inserting images by a specific method:

  • Change the size of the image to approximately 800 x 600 pixels
  • Save as ”JPEG” or “JPG” file type
  • Select compression setting of 8 (high quality image)
  • Insert all images into PowerPoint as JPEG files.

If you copy the images to the clipboard and then Edit/Paste them into PowerPoint, the images will not be compressed and the PowerPoint file can become very large. To avoid this, insert them directly into PowerPoint (Insert/Picture/from File).

Videos: If you are using videos, please try to keep size less than 20MB and the recommended video format for Windows-based presentations is Windows Media (.wmv).

We recommend that you embed any video clips into the presentation because we cannot guarantee that the internet can be accessed seamlessly during your presentation. For detailed information regarding adding and embedding videos to your presentation please go to PowerPoint embeds image files directly into the file when you save them, whereas video files are not embedded. Only a link is made to the video file. Copy the video clips you want to insert into the same folder as the PowerPoint file. This will eliminate the problem of PowerPoint losing the link to the file.

Mac users. Please make sure that all inserted pictures are either JPEG or PNG file types. QuickTime (.mov) files are also an accepted video format. Presenters using Keynote should read for instructions on converting their presentation to PowerPoint. This conversion should be completed prior to uploading the presentation.

How to make a great presentation. An effective slide contains few words and avoids highly complex figures and tables.  Use large font size and illustrations to maximum effectiveness. Your allotted time is brief so be very careful about selecting a limited number of high-quality slides to convey the rationale for your study, along with its objective(s), alternative hypotheses (predictions), methods, results, and key take-home messages. Presenters should practice their presentation before giving the actual talk; practice enough times to ensure that your talk flows well and stays within the time limit. Make sure to speak slowly and clearly.


All lightning presentations must be created in Microsoft’s PowerPoint program or be converted to PDF format, and have automatically (pre-timed) advancing slides so that your slides advance automatically without having to click the mouse. You can spend as much time as you like on any individual slide, and have any number of slides, but they must advance automatically. In other words, after your presentation has begun, you shouldn’t need to touch the computer again at all. In PowerPoint, use Transitions, Advance Slide to advance each slide after a pre-set amount of time, rather than on mouse clicks. Your presentation must FINISH at 4 minutes and 40 seconds. This will allow 20 seconds for transitioning to the next individual’s presentation. Each session will be structured to have a 5-min introduction by the session chair, who will explain the format of the session for all attendees. All 5-min lightning talks for the session will then be presented and the session will end with a 15-min question period in which audience members can ask any of the presenters questions about their research.


Schedule: You will have been scheduled for either Wednesday’s or Thursday’s poster session which take place from 7-9 pm (Wed) and 7:30-9:30 pm (Thurs)  in the Turquoise Ballroom at the Conference Center.

Setting up and taking down: To get maximum exposure, please follow the set-up and take down times for your respective session.

  • Wednesday Presenters – set up is Wednesday, 8 – 12noon. Take down is 10:30 am – 12noon on Thursday.
  • Thursday Presenters – set up is Thursday, 12noon – 3pm. Take down is 1:00 – 3:30pm. All posters must be removed no later than 4pm on Friday. Friday.  Any poster not taken down by the deadline will be removed by organizers and recycled.

Dimensions: Posters need to be 36” tall and 46.5” wide to fit on the available stands. We will provide mounting supplies (Velcro and pushpins).

Tips: A well-designed poster is critical for effectively communicating ideas, and we encourage all presenters to seek guidance in the preparation of their posters. Although there are many resources available, a website we find useful is Please pay close attention to font size – main text should never be smaller than 24pt and headings should be at least 36pt.

Contact Information: For questions regarding your poster, please contact the Scientific Program Committee: