Speaker Guidelines

The University of Arizona IT Summit is a multi-track event, with a diverse audience. These guidelines will help speakers ensure participants get the maximum value from the presentations and will help ensure the success of the Summit.

Speaker Guidelines

  • Design your presentation to fit in the allotted time, ensuring that some time is reserved for questions and answers at the end. Typically you should plan on at least five minutes of Q&A for each presentation block of time.
  • Make your message interesting!
    • Include information using a variety of types, styles, and sources.
    • Include tables, charts and descriptive graphics, in addition to the typical bullets, this will help keep the audience interested in the message you are delivering.
    • Anecdotes that illustrate the points being made can be useful as well.
  • Demos are particularly appealing, especially for a technical audience.
    • Please test your demos in advance with the exact infrastructure you'll be using during the presentation.
    • A projector and a microphone are provided to speakers: if you need special arrangements (Internet connection, projecting multiple sources, whiteboard, ...), please be sure to contact the Summit Committee in advance.
  • Define all terms and acronyms that are not well known to the average person.
  • Include commonly known facts only if they are necessary to the continuity or flow of the presentation or add something of value.
  • Deliver value to the participants. Design your content to leave participants better informed and help them make better decisions - including a list of recommendations, actions, or issues to consider which will provide immediate takeaway value.
  • Take your topic to the next level. After laying in a foundation to level set the audience, feel free to explore additional aspects of your topic, including divergent opinions and controversial views.

PowerPoint PresentationTips

  1. Remember that you are the presenter, not PowerPoint. Use your slides to emphasize a point, keep yourself on track, and illustrate a point with a graphic or photo. Don’t read the slides.
  2. Don’t make your audience read the slides either.
  3. Keep text to a minimum (6-8 lines per slide, no more than 30 words per slide).
  4. The bullet points should be headlines, not news articles.
  5. Write in sentence fragments using key words, and keep your font size 24 or bigger.
  6. Make sure your presentation is easy on the eyes. Use templates for your convenience. Visit brand.arizona.edu > Downloads > Marketing Resources to download UA PowerPoint templates (log in with NetID). Stay away from weird colors and busy backgrounds. Use easy-to-read fonts such as Arial and Times New Roman for the bulk of your text, and, if you have to use a funky font, use it sparingly.
  7. Never include anything that makes you announce, “I don’t know if everyone can read this, but….” Make sure they can read it before you begin. Print out all your slides on standard paper, and drop them to the floor. The slides are probably readable if you can read them while you’re standing.
  8. Leave out the sound effects and background music, unless it’s related to the content being presented.
  9. Sure you can make the words boomerang onto the slide, but you don’t have to. Stick with simple animations if you use them at all.
  10. Proofread, proofread, proofread.
  11. Practice, practice, practice. The more times you go through the presentation, the less you’ll have to rely on the slides for cues and the smoother your presentation will be. PowerPoint allows you to make notes on each slide, and you can print out the notes versions if you need help with remembering what comes next.

The Summit Committee is here to help you - contact them if you have any questions about the Summit, need some assistance,or want to discuss your presentation.

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