How to Put Together a Great Oral Presentation for a Medical Conference

These are our top tips on "How to Put Together a Great Oral Presentation for a Medical Conference"

Authors:
Wentin Chen (@WentinChen), Chloe Chia (@ChloeChiaW), Aysha Zahid (@Ayshaizahid), Aqua Asif (@AquaOishee), Jameela Sheikh (@medstudentjam), Ed Whittaker (@EdWhittaker2), Setthasorn Ooi (@SetthasornOoi), Phil McElnay (@phil_mce)

Top Tips

  • Less is more!
  • Stick to time- without compromise!

Practicing beforehand and timing yourself is a good way to ensure you can convey all your points within the allocated time
*Don’t use too many stock cartoons or images

  • Don’t load too much text on each slide. Use bullet points instead of complete sentences
  • Structure it similar to your abstract- make it methodical
  • Have a take home message
  • Time yourself
  • Acknowledge all contributors

Different platforms to use

  • PowerPoint
  • Canva - free or premium

General

  • Include key points of interest
  • Mention why what you’re speaking about is important
  • Visual aids are effective, use sparingly and effectively - informative graphs, high-quality images, infographics
  • Research background around your research project
  • Conclude with three key points

Content

  • Define any terminology early in your presentation
  • Sections: Introduction (background), Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, References (can be on bottom of slide or at end of presentation)
  • Start with an outline and develop good transitions between sections
  • Emphasise real-world significance of your research

Text

  • Font size - as a general rule, avoid text smaller than 24 point
  • Use a clean typeface - Sans serif fonts, such as Arial, are generally easier to read than serif fonts such as Times New Roman
  • Use bullet points, not complete sentences - try to follow the 6/7 rule (no more than 6 bullet points and 7 words per bullet point

Presenting

  • Dress appropriately, stand (or sit!) up straight and project your voice
  • Practice, practice, practice - the more you practice, the more comfortable you will be in front of an audience
  • Slides should be in adjunction to presentation to improve communication of some points - talk around them, avoid reading off
  • Have a strong opening - Why should the audience listen to you?
  • Aim for four key points on slides - keep clear, brief and concise and avoid just reading these
  • Get someone else to watch (or record yourself!) and ask for honest feedback, especially on pace
  • 1 minute per slide!
  • Know your slides so you can engage with audience - eye contact is eye
  • You may find it helpful to write a script but should practice presenting with enthusiasm
  • Pause between each point and at the end of each slide