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Oral Presentation Guidelines

Oral presentations are a central component of CERF conferences and provide participants with a valuable opportunity to share their research and network. Please read these instructions carefully to help ensure your presentation is a success. These guidelines are also available as a PDF at


Computer Equipment
The computers in the meeting rooms will be PCs with Windows 7, Office 2010 Standard, Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash, and Apple QuickTime. Personal laptops cannot be used in the session rooms. All presentations will be uploaded from the Presentation Room (Terrace Salon 2 & 3) to the meeting room laptops that have been provided for your use. However, support is available for any last-minute revisions to your presentation. If possible, your most current presentation should be saved on a flash drive and brought to the Presentation Room (Terrace Salon 2 & 3). Please do not bring your personal laptop to the Presentation Room (Terrace Salon 2 & 3) as the process of retrieving your presentation from it will be prohibitively time-consuming.

Creating Your Presentation
All presentations must be created in, or converted to, Microsoft PowerPoint.

Acceptable formats** for presentations:
PowerPoint (.ppt or .pptx)
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Flash (.swf)

**MACINTOSH 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 Macintosh’s Keynote program should consult Apple technical documentation for directions on converting their presentation to PowerPoint. This conversion should be completed prior to transmission to a meeting room PC laptop.

Video & Audio Files
The recommended video format for Windows-based presentations is Windows Media (.wmv). For more detailed information regarding adding video to your presentation please read

Image files are embedded directly into PowerPoint when the file is saved, while video and audio files are not. Only a link is made to those files. Copy your video and audio clips into the same folder as the PowerPoint file. This will eliminate the problem of PowerPoint losing the link to the file. Follow this same procedure with any fonts that might not be installed on the meeting room laptops.

Arial and Helvetica are recommended for clarity and compatibility. Confirm a font size of at least 24 points for body text and 36–40 points for headings. Light colored text on a dark background is advised. Avoid using red or green. Confirm that the maximum number of lines in text slides is no more than 6 or 7.

The size of the screen will be 1024 x 768 pixels, meaning that any image with more pixels in the X or Y coordinate that is more than that will not be displayed. The image will be altered by PowerPoint to fit. Large images (i.e. 2000 x 1500 pixels) which are created with digital cameras and scanners will make the resulting PowerPoint file very large. This may cause the presentation to load slowly. This can be avoided by inserting images with the following properties:

  1. For on-screen presentations, JPEG-type images work well. This type of image file can be created with virtually all imaging programs.
  2. Using a graphics program:
  3. Change the size of the image to approximately 800 x 600 pixels
  4. Save as file type (.jpeg).
  5. Select compression setting of 8 (High quality image)
  6. 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).

Please keep animations to a minimum.


Advance Submission

Presenters can submit files via the web at Username will be CERF PRESENTER with password cerfpresenter. Once logged in please create a folder as follows: Smith.John/presentation title. Upload your presentation and include all video and audio clips and fonts that are part of the presentation. Any videos, sounds, or fonts not included in your online upload folder must be brought to the Presentation Room (Terrace Salon 2 & 3) on a flash drive to be added to your folder. When uploading new versions of your presentation please end the presentation title with (rev.#) so we can keep track of the most recent version. Please note - the FTP site does not allow anyone other than the administrator to open, alter, or delete files once they’ve been uploaded; however, you can view your folder to see which files you’ve uploaded.

For questions regarding the online submission process and website, please contact Jim Roth at (619) 247-3045 or

On-site Submission and Review/Editing
The Presentation Room (Terrace Salon 2 & 3) will be open:

Sunday, November 3 from 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Monday, November 4 thru Thursday, November 7 from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Check in the day before your session if possible to preview your presentation or at least 4 hours prior to the start of your session. PowerPoint technicians will be on hand to help preview and/or edit your presentation as necessary. The presentation you uploaded will be available on one of three PC laptops and one MacBook Pro laptop with Keynote. This will allow you to make any on-site changes and conversion to PowerPoint if necessary.

You may edit your presentation up to 4 hours prior to the session start time. When you are finished reviewing and/or making changes to your presentation, you must tell the PowerPoint technicians that you’ve viewed and approved your presentation. It will then be saved to the technician’s computer and transmitted to your meeting room laptop where it will be easily identifiable on the desktop.

Quality Control
Giving your presentation a last “once-over” is the most important step you will take to ensure your success. When reviewing your presentation, make sure all fonts, images, and animations appear as expected and that all audio or video clips are working properly. The computers in the meeting rooms use the identical software as those in the Presentation Room (Terrace Salon 2 & 3), therefore: IF THE PRESENTATION DOES NOT PLAY PROPERLY IN THE PRESENTATION ROOM (Terrace Salon 2 & 3), IT WILL NOT PLAY PROPERLY IN THE MEETING ROOM.

Cameras and video equipment are not permitted in the Presentation Room (Terrace Salon 2 & 3). All files are automatically deleted from the meeting room laptops at the conclusion of each day.


Your session room laptop will have your presentation clearly viewable on the desktop. Simply double-click your presentation and control it from the podium using the computer mouse of the up/down/right/left keys on a keyboard. Audio/Visual technicians will be located in close proximity to all meeting rooms and will be available to provide assistance if required. Each presenter will be given 12 minutes to present his/her work, followed by a 3 minute question and answer period.


Students can opt to have their oral and poster presentations judged for CERF Student Presentation Awards. Judges will be CERF 2013 attendees who have volunteered to assess student presentations within their field of expertise. It is strongly recommended that you take the judging criteria into consideration as you prepare your presentations.
Judging criteria can be found at

Prizes will be awarded for the following categories:

  1. Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation
  2. Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation
  3. Best Graduate Poster Presentation
  4. Best Graduate Oral Presentation

The awards ceremony will be held at the Close-out Party on the evening of Thursday, November 7. Judging forms with written feedback will be mailed to presenters after the conference.

Questions or concerns? Contact for more information.