European Health Psychology Conference, August 2005
Guidelines for presentation and chairing

A. Poster presentation guidelines
B. Oral presentation guidelines
C. Chairs at paper sessions
D. Discussants at poster sessions
E. Chairs at symposia
F. Discussants at symposia


A. POSTER GUIDELINES

Posters should stimulate discussion. The poster should include a brief overview of the study, which can be explained in more detail in a one-to-one conversation with the reader; the poster should only display the essentials; if your point can be made with fewer words, then edit your poster accordingly. If you can substantiate your thesis with a smaller part of a table or graph, then do so. The less text on your poster, the larger your graphic element and your font can be.

Size
 Maximum poster size is 115 cm high and 88 cm wide.
 Materials must be easily read at a distance of 1.5 m.
 A poster printed on one large sheet is encouraged.
 Hand written posters are not accepted.

Layout (see the Panel lay-out)
 Poster should have a logical organization. Most posters have sequential sections (e.g. Background, Aim, Methods, Results, Conclusion). Use regions of empty space between poster elements to differentiate and accentuate these elements.
 Data should be clear, concise and well-organized.
 Avoid everything that can make your poster look excessively busy, such as boxes around graphs and tables, and long sentences.
 Limit the number of different fonts, different sizes of fonts and different colours.

Title
 Aim for a short title.
 Size of the letters should be at least 96 point.
 State authors and affiliations below the title, in a smaller font.
 Include mailing and e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers at the bottom of the poster.
 Grant sources supporting the study may also be included below the title or at the bottom

Headings
 Keep style consistent. Keep headings short, maximum 3 or 4 words. Put headings bold and in larger type than the text of the poster.

Body text
 The text is more digestible if it is split into logical sections interspersed with graphics.
 Use bullet lists where possible.
 Minimize the amount of written text. Text should never dominate the poster.

Graphics
 Self-explanatory graphics should dominate the poster.
 Graphics should be understandable without need for a detailed description.
 Aim for simplicity, not complexity.
 Title should inform about the content of the figures

Tables
 Avoid large tables. Make a selection of the most important results.
 Align decimal points.
 Title should inform about the information in the table.

Use of colour
 Use colour only to support the readability of your poster. One colour plus black offers best contrast.
 Restrained use of 2 - 3 colours for emphasis is valuable; overuse is not.

For further tips on the layout of an effective poster presentation, presenters are encouraged to visit: http://lorien.ncl.ac.uk/ming/Dept/Tips/present/posters.htm.

Handouts
Handouts of posters are encouraged.

Set up
All posters will be displayed in the Arts Science Building (see map of campus).  Posters must be hung between 08.00 and 10.00 and removed between 18.00 and 20.00 on the assigned day of your presentation.

Discussion of poster
Aim of the poster presentations is to stimulate discussion. Poster presenters should not simply read aloud the text of the poster, but summarize their main questions and results.
 Each poster presenter has 5 minutes to convey the main content of the poster during the poster discussion.
 Prepare to summarize your poster in a few sentences. Suggested format is one sentence for the background, one for the aim, one for the method, a few for the results and one for the conclusion.

No-shows
At least one of the authors must be at the assigned poster during the designated time to discuss the work presented. If you become unable to present your poster, please make arrangements for one of your co-authors to do so.  Please contact the conference secretariat regarding any changes in presenters.

B. ORAL PRESENTATION GUIDELINES

Oral presentations are usually supported by transparencies or Powerpoint slides.
 Slides are designed to supplement your presentation; keep the text short and the slides simple.
 Presentations should have a logical organization. Most presentations have sequential sections (e.g. Background, Aim, Methods, Results, Conclusion, Implications). Keep a clear structure in your presentation.

Layout
 Adjust the number of slides to the allotted time for your presentation. As a rule of thumb, use 1 slide per minute.
 Use contrasting colours for letters and background.

Titles
 Keep titles short. Use at least size 32 bold.

Text
 Keep your words large enough - at least size 24pt and preferably in bold.
 Limit the number of words you put on a page. Ideally, use no more than 40 characters per line and no more than 7 lines per slide.
 Avoid paragraphs, but use bullet points. Limit each slide to 6 bullet points. Every bullet is followed by a capital letter, and every bullet has up to eight words.
 Use succinct phrases instead of sentences.
 Fancy is not always better! Keep font style simple!
 Use CAPS only for titles/headings.

Graphics
 Use graphics and figures when it eases the understanding or presentation of your results.
 Limit your graphics to 1-3 per page. Too many graphics can be distracting.
 Aim for simplicity, not complexity.

Colour, animation and special effects
 Basic rule of presentations: Bells and whistles are fun to put in, but they tend to be distracting for the viewer. Make sure that special effects have a purpose.
 Use colour to highlight the major point on a slide. Too much colour reduces its usefulness.
 Choose one animation effect for the transition of slides.

Adapted from: http://www.crocker.k12.mo.us/tech/pptrules.htm

Presenters are recommended to visit 
http://www.americanheart.org/downloadable/heart/1052771791751PowerPoint_Tips.pdf
for more tips on the layout of slides. A helpful website for tips on presenting is: http://lorien.ncl.ac.uk/ming/Dept/Tips/present/comms.htm. This site does not include guidelines for making your slides.

C. CHAIRS AT PAPER SESSIONS

Before the session
 Read the abstracts of the presentations in advance.
 Be prepared to ask a question for each presentation, in case none emerge from the audience.
 Check whether all presenters are present. Verify whether the presenters are the first authors of the abstracts, so you announce the right persons.
 Arrive at the meeting room at least 15 minutes before the session starts.
 Familiarize yourself on how to work the microphone, pointer, speaker timer and overhead lights, whichever is available.

During the session
 At the start of the session, briefly introduce yourself and explain the timing system to the audience, and as often during the session as you think necessary.
 Briefly introduce each speaker
 Be certain that the entire audience can hear the speaker. Interrupt the speaker and ask him/her to speak louder, if necessary.

Time management:
Many attendees move from session to session in order to hear specific abstracts. So:
 Adhere to the scheduled times in the printed program.
 Start the session on time.
 Manage the session and control the timing of each presentation to maintain the overall schedule of the papers. Each speaker is allowed 20 minutes: 15 minutes to present the work and 5 minutes for Questions and Answers.
 No paper is to be started ahead of the scheduled time. In the event that a paper is cancelled, the time is to be used as a short intermission for additional discussion. 

D. DISCUSSANTS at POSTER SESSIONS

Aim of the poster presentations is to stimulate discussion. Poster presenters should not simply read aloud the text of the poster, but summarize their main questions and results. Suggested format is one sentence for the background, one for the aim, one for the method, a few for the results and one for the conclusion.

Before the session
 Read the abstracts of the presentations in advance.
 Familiarise yourself with the posters in advance.
 Be prepared to ask a question for each presentation, in case none emerge from the audience.
 Check whether all presenters are present. Verify whether the presenters are the first authors of the abstracts, so you announce the right persons.

During the session
 Briefly explain the purpose of the session, and the procedures for presentation and discussion.
 Ask the speakers to briefly introduce themselves (name and affiliation).
 Be certain that the entire audience can hear the speaker. Interrupt the speaker and ask him/her to speak louder, if necessary.
 Limit the time per poster to 10 minutes (5 min for presentation and 5 for discussion).
 Make sure that the aim, results and conclusion of the study become clear.
 Ask for questions of the audience after each presentation.

E. CHAIRS at SYMPOSIA

During the symposium
 At the start of the symposium, briefly introduce yourself.
 Briefly introduce the purpose of the symposium, including an introduction of each speaker and their contribution to the topic, as well as an introduction of the discussant.
 Be certain that the entire audience can hear the speaker. Interrupt the speaker and ask him/her to speak louder, if necessary.
 Adhere to the scheduled times in the printed program.
 Start the symposium on time.
 Manage the symposium and control the timing of each presentation to maintain the overall schedule of the papers. Each speaker is allowed 20 minutes: 15 minutes to present the work and 5 minutes for Questions and Answers. The discussant should have 20 minutes for the overview, and 20 minutes should be left for a general discussion.

F. DISCUSSANTS at SYMPOSIA

Aim of the symposia is to take a more thorough look at some specific topic by illuminating it from different angles. Thus the discussant should be an expert who can guide the audience by giving a summary of the topic, highlighting the main contributions of the papers. A symposium should be an arena for discussion between the presenters and the discussant, providing also the audience with a possibility to participate. A symposium should not be a series of monologues by the presenters followed by just another monologue by the discussant.   

Before the symposium
 Arrange with the convenor of the symposium to get the presentations in advance.
 Prepare a brief concluding overview of the topic, summarising the aspects covered by the papers.

During the symposium
 After all the presentations have been given with a couple of minutes discussion time for each, present the overview, but make sure to allow time for a general discussion afterwards.
 Incorporate also your comments related to issues that may have been raised by the audience.