Presentation Guidelines

Presentation Guidelines

Interactive presentation is a widely used form of academic presentation. Using text, images, interactive laptop displays, artifacts, and oral presentation, the presenter can communicate their research or academic projects effectively and interactively with the audience.

The Capstone Symposium at HPU uses an interactive presentation format in order to promote active presenter-audience interaction. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are holding the Capstone Symposium virtually, but information on in-person mode is retained for reference.


Virtual MODE:

Presenters' pre-recorded presentation videos and presentation slides are posted on the event website before the event so that audience members and judges can view them ahead of the time. 

During the event, audience members and judges join presenters' Zoom meeting rooms at the assigned time to interact with the presenters. Since the audience can join and leave presenters' virtual rooms freely, a presenter may interact with different audience groups during their presentation time.


In-person MODE:

Unlike in an oral presentation, when one speaker talks at a time, in a poster session, multiple presenters interact with small groups of audience who rotate around the presentation area.

If you are used to only the oral presentation, you can think of the poster presentation as delivering your oral presentation multiple times to multiple flowing audiences. You can still prepare slides as in an oral presentation, but be prepared for more interaction with the audience.

See examples of past poster presentations (both in-person and virtual formats) here.


  • Focus on a single message
  • Use visuals to tell the story
  • Use text sparingly but effectively
  • Keep the sequence in order


  • Check the rubric for your category so you know what the judges are looking for (see "Awards and Rubrics" below)
  • Determine your message and your audience and let the visuals speak for themselves, as much as possible
  • Decide on your layout, color scheme and font size
  • Know who your audience is and adjust your language to suit them
  • Avoid confusing technical jargon so that people from other fields can understand you easily
  • Tell your audience what your objectives are and clearly lay out how you achieve those obbjectives
  • Do not simply read aloud your text; engage the audience

Click here for a video presentation on the effective use of posters.




  • Your pre-recorded video presentation should be about 7 minutes.
  • Your interaction time with the audience and the judges is the time slot given to you and is the entire Zoom meeting that you host.


Before the event, presenters 

  • upload their presentation video (narrated slides, narrated infographics, Prezi video, recorded presentation with a paper poster, etc.) in a designated Youtube chanel and a link will be created to point to the video from the event website. 
  • upload a PDF version of their presentation slides, infographics, or other materials and a link will also be created to point to the PDF from the event website.
  • submit the link of their Zoom meeting to be posted on the event website (presenters will manage their own Zoom meeting room so it is important that they test the link and practice managing Zoom meeting tools such as admitting audience, sharing screen, muting audience, and managing the chat).





  • While the poster format allows for flexible time with a group of audience, your presentation should be about 10 minutes. Plan to talk for about 5-7 minutes and leave 3-5 minutes for questions and answers.
  • The judges will spend only 10 minutes at each presentation.


  • You will be provided with a tri-fold poster board (available for pick-up at the Faculty Support Center, Waterfront Plaza 6).
  • You can use your own poster board but it should be close to the dimensions of the tri-fold poster board we provide (when folded: 36"H x 24"W," when unfolded: 36"H x 48"W). Presentation space is limited so if you bring a board that is too large, you may not be able to set up your poster properly.
  • You can print your presentation on a large sheet (at your own expense) and mount it on the tri-fold poster board, or print on regular paper sheets and mount them on the tri-fold poster board.
  • Relevant artifacts (brochures, booklets, prototypes, models...) can be excellent additions to your presentation.
  • You can use your laptop for a multimedia presentation, but please provide a headset for the audience and let the organizers know in advance if you will need to plug in to a power outlet.
See past symposia for examples.

Presentations will be evaluated for several awards in each division (Undergraduate and Graduate).

The awards are (click on links for rubrics):

The judges will use the rubrics linked to the awards listed above. It is very important to read the rubric before you prepare your presentation so you know what the judges are looking for. 

Virtual MODE:

Instructions for uploading, setting up, and sharing your presentation are posted in this Google document.


In-person MODE:

 Instructions for before, during, and after the presentation day (check-in, parking, set-up, presenting, wrapping up, etc.) are updated in this Google Document.