Student Scholars Day Oral Presentation Information

Oral presentations are a condensed version of a specific topic delivered to impart knowledge and stimulate discussion with the audience.  It is a learned skill and gets better with practice.

Listed below are a collection of guidelines and tips for preparing and giving your oral presentation during Student Scholars Day (SSD). It is important that you follow the guidelines carefully to avoid any major problems on the day of your presentation.

Oral Presentation Format at SSD

Oral presentations at SSD are twenty minutes in length, with five minutes for Q&A. Presenters have twenty minutes to complete their presentations with another five minutes reserved for questions from the audience. The length of the presentation is not negotiable due to the number of presentations on the day of the event. The presentations are timed by SSD Volunteers.

Oral presentations during SSD will take place at the Kirkhof Center. Before the day of the event, it is important that you check your assigned location and time of presentation. You can access the current presenter information from the SSD home page,


Each presentation room is equipped with the following: PC laptop with USB Port, LCD projector and screen, and a presentation slide advancer.

Oral Presentation Guidelines

Oral presentations come in many different forms.  If you will be preparing PowerPoint slides to go with your presentation, please use the following guidelines:

  • Save your slide deck on your Google Drive for quick, easy access.  In addition, be sure to pdf your presentation in case of technical difficulties.
  • Each slide or transparency should contain only a few key ideas in large font. Bullet or number the main points
  • Include the presentation's unique QR Code in your slide deck.
    •  To download the image, go to the SSD registration system. Log in. On the upper right, you can select “Presentations”. Click on “View this presentation” and then scroll to the bottom.
  • Prepare an outline of the topic. Outline form is preferable to complete sentence structure. You will say more than what is written on the page.  It is often helpful to prepare separate "note sheets" for discussing each slide
  • Pictures or sketches are a good way to convey information. They may be presented individually or in conjunction with a few words
  • You should spend about one minute on each content slide or transparency, so you should be conscious of the number of slides you have in your presentation: you should include a title/introduction slide and a slide of references
  • Include the following statement for any project involving human or animal subjectsThis project has been approved by Grand Valley State University’s {HRRC or IACUC}, {approval number}, {expiration date}
  • If applicable, clearly state when a project is a literature review or theoretical exercise.
  • When speaking to an audience, slow down your speech and use your best clear and loud voice. Think of your presentation as a professional experience.  Prepare well, be organized and practice!

The Day of the Event

On the day of the event you will need to arrive early and get to the room assigned (all presentations will be at the Kirkhof Center). All presenters should arrive at the assigned room and be present 15 min before their assigned time. You can choose to send a copy of your presentation to your email so you can open on the computer. But always bring an additional copy of your presentation on a flash drive in case if the presentation cannot be opened via email. Do not forget to take your flash drive back.

Consider the following tips for this presentation:

  • Dress professionally.
  • Establish eye contact with your audience during the presentation.
  • Prepare a short statement to walk the viewers through your figures to discuss your project.
  • Be prepared to briefly discuss your hypothesis, point out your work, address key pieces of data, and summarize your conclusions.
  • Speak to the viewers, not your computer or your notes.
  • Keep in mind that you likely know much more about your project then the viewers. Don’t assume knowledge on their part.
  • Before or after your assigned time, go to as many presentations as you can. It is often helpful to listen to other presentations before your presentation time to see how the other students are presenting their work.

Need More Assistance?

Contact the following for more preparation assistance:

Page last modified April 3, 2024