Instructions for Presenters

Oral and Poster Presentation Guidelines and Recommendations


Instructions for Oral Presentations:

  • Presentations are scheduled in 20-minute blocks. The presentation “norm” that you should plan for is: the speaker introduction (1 minute or less); the talk (15-16 minutes); and the question and answer period (3-4 minutes). The moderator will notify you when you reach 12 minutes, then 15 minutes, and you will be asked to leave the podium at 20 minutes.
  • Depending on the session, you will be asked to submit a short (1-minute or less) introduction that the session chair can use to introduce you prior to your talk. Pertinent introduction information can include: title, current position, organization/agency, education background, and any other tidbit of interesting information asked for by the session chair or that you wish the participants to know about you.
  • Presentations must start and end ON TIME, NO EXCEPTIONS, because they are coordinated with the other concurrent sessions. Be sure to rehearse your talk before the meeting to be sure
    that it does not exceed the allotted time.
  • Podium mounted computers, lighting, and microphones are not always dependable. Be prepared to give your talk without such aids, if necessary (hopefully not!).
  • An excellent 45-minute video on tips and tricks to create effective presentations was created by Jesse Trushenski (Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences; Southern Illinois
    University) and can be viewed on the AFS Fish Culture Section at: on-giving- presentations/
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .ppx, pps, .ppsx) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file extensions will be accepted for the meeting PC’s. Your presentation must be saved in one of these formats to
    ensure problem-free operation at the conference. Mac users should convert and test their presentations on a PC before arriving at the meeting. As a precaution, speakers should bring
    copies of their presentation on a USB memory stick.
  • You can upload your presentation at least one day prior to your session and ensure it views correctly on the session computer. You will not be able to use your personal laptop and loading
    presentations will not be allowed in the presentation room. You will receive an e-mail from the session chair on the A/V Loading Room location and the room, date, time, and session you will
    be presenting your talk.
  • Please follow the file name convention: Day of Week-Centennial Hall Room #-Time- LastName.pptx.
  • Each presentation room will be equipped with one projection screen, a data projector, a podium microphone, a laptop computer with pre-loaded oral presentation files, and laser pointer.
  • Any questions? Please contact your respective session chair, or Peter Westley for general questions.


Instructions for Poster Presentations:

General Instructions

The purpose of the poster should be to convey highlights of a study or project in an attractive format that can be easily read and comprehended in a relatively short period of time. Keep in mind the hundreds of posters attendants will be browsing. To get people to stop and take notice of YOUR poster you will need to minimize text and details, organize it in logical format, add attractive features such as photographs and color, and make sure it can be easily read at a distance of at least 2 m. After all, the more attractive the poster, the bigger the crowd will surround it!

Poster guidelines as presented by Carline 2007 (Carline, R. 2007. Guidelines for Designing Posters. Fisheries 32:6, 306 – 307) are summarized below. This two-page article that also illustrates a sample poster can be found at

Poster Content

1. Bulleted phrases rather than complete sentences will limit the amount of text.
2. The body of the poster should have 300 to 400 words.
3. Below are some suggestions/recommendations for following the traditional scientific convention of: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Methods or Experimental Design, Results, Conclusions or Implications, References, and Acknowledgements:

a. Title: The title should be short and fit across top of poster on one line. Authors’ names and affiliations appear below the title.
b. Abstract: Most posters are completed without an abstract. A 200-word abstract in 28-point font will require 10% of the available space. With modern smartphone and tablet technology, abstracts will be easily and readily accessible from the AFS 2019 meeting website. Nevertheless key items such as objectives and conclusions should be clearly stated for posters without an abstract. Anyone wishing for more information can talk to you during the poster session or contact you afterwards.
c. Introduction: This section should be kept short; limit it to a few statements; clearly state the objectives.
d. Methods or Experimental Design: text should be kept to a minimum; use graphics where possible.
e. Results: This section should take up most of the space. Graphs (figures) are preferred over tables. Keep graphs simple and include captions with graphics, include credits on photographs taken by someone other than the authors. Tables should not exceed four columns.
f. Conclusions or Implications: Limit this section to a few bulleted statements.
g. References: This section is rarely included.
h. Acknowledgments: Include this section when appropriate.

Poster Design Specifications and Recommendations

1. The typical size of a poster is 91 cm x 112 cm (36″ x 44″) in a landscape or portrait format. For the 2019 meeting do not exceed 4’ x 4’ or you risk encroaching on your neighbor. Also, posters will be grouped by theme and assigned a poster number for ease of locating it from website abstracts. Not exceeding Carline’s recommended poster dimensions would be BEST!
2. A 3-column format best fits this size poster in landscape format. The flow of material should be from top to bottom of each column and left to right among columns. Leave 3.8 cm (1.5”) between columns.
3. Highlight the sections by using thin-lined borders around sections or blocks of subsections to emphasize how  items are grouped. Light-colored background fill can also be used to highlight different sections.
4. Use of photographs as backgrounds is not recommended, because legibility is usually compromised. Text boxes with a background fill can be superimposed on photographs. Text printed directly on photographs should be avoided.
5. Light pastel backgrounds are attractive and allow use of contrasting font colors such as black, dark blue, and red. White backgrounds are acceptable, though they are less attractive than colored ones.
6. Sans serif typeface such as Arial are best for good visibility at a distance. Use the same font type throughout. The following provides a guideline for the different font size recommended on your poster:

a. Title – 72 point or larger; keep it short, not more than 80 characters including spaces.
b. Authors’ names and affiliations – 48 point.
c. Section headings – 36 point, bold.
d. Text – 28 point.
e. Graphs and tables – all numbers and labels 28 point or larger.
f. Graph bars and symbols – use colors; avoid cross hatching.
g. Acknowledgments – 20 to 24 point

Poster Session set up

The combined Poster Session, Trade Show, and social will take place on Tuesday March 19, 2019 in Centennial Hall. Poster clips and adhesives will be provided. The Poster session will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 PM with set up between 4:20 and 5:30 PM. You are expected to stay at your poster for the duration of the Poster Session.