Information for Presenters

Information about Conference Presentations


Talks are the most visible and most selective format at the conference. A successful talk proposal must show a full research story, including evidence, analysis, and conclusions that are relevant for UC Davis educators or other SOTL researchers. Talks at the SOTL conference are a tight fifteen minutes in duration, with five minutes for questions. The most standard format is a PowerPoint presentation, including research motivation/questions, methods, results, and discussion/conclusion.

Space and Equipment:

Depending on assigned session, talks will take place in the ARC Ballroom. A projector will be ready for PowerPoint slides. To facilitate efficient transitions and reduce technical issues, the moderator of your session will request that you upload your slide deck to a devoted Box folder by the night before the conference. Your moderator will provide a laptop on the day of the conference and ensure connection to the projector. Because we cannot guarantee the signal strength of Wi-Fi at the conference center, we do not recommend that you plan to access the internet during your presentation.


There are a lot of exciting presentations scheduled but little time for transition. For this reason, moderators have been instructed to keep time carefully and are permitted to end your talk if it runs over time. Please prepare appropriately for this abbreviated talk format!

We encourage talk presenters to consider their talks and the following Q&A as the beginning of a conversation, not the entirety of it. An excellent strategy for follow-up is to encourage interested audience members to join you during the break following your session for further discussion.


You are not obligated to bring or prepare follow-up materials for a talk. However, interested audience members often request a copy of the slides or links to related materials or papers.

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Posters are interactive presentations that combine a large-format poster with personal interaction. Poster sessions are thirty minutes in length, and participants may visit posters at their leisure. Poster presenters are encouraged to have fun interacting with participants while explaining their research. While there are many styles of presentation, you might give participants a summary of the poster’s research and content, walk a participant through the poster in its entirety, or answer questions and discuss areas of interest open-endedly. A poster that is clear, legible, and well-designed can greatly facilitate worthwhile and enjoyable discussion.

Space and Equipment:

Posters will be displayed on a 5'x8’ board. While any size poster that will fit on the board is permissible, 4'x3' is probably the most common. Thumbtacks will be available at the conference to secure posters to the board. The poster presentations have been numbered in the schedule, and boards will be labeled with corresponding numbers so that you may find your assigned board. There is a designated poster set-up time from 8:30 - 9:00 AM.

While you may remove your poster after your session, we hope you will leave them up so that they can be viewed during breaks and during the early evening reception when poster prizes are presented!

Information for First-Time Poster Presenters:

We warmly welcome first-time poster presenters to this conference!

Most research posters are created in PowerPoint by setting a single slide to the poster’s finished size and editing within that slide. Additionally, there are many downloadable poster templates available online. If you create a poster in PowerPoint, be sure to save it as a PDF before sending it to a printer to ensure that the size, quality, and intended formatting isn’t altered. Many departments or units have a shared large format printer that you may be able to access, but you can also have a poster printed at any copy shop, such as FedEx. Please ensure that you arrive to the conference prepared by having posters printed a few days in advance in case of printing delays.


Poster presenting is highly interactive. You may have many people at your poster at once asking questions and listening, or a few people who are interested in a deep conversation, or a steady stream of people who want to absorb the main ideas of as many posters as possible! Be prepared to have fun and engage with others about your content!

Here are some tips to prepare for your poster presentation:

1. Practice an “elevator speech” for your poster—a 1-2 minute overview of the main story and takeaways. You can use this to briefly explain your poster, or answer questions such as “What’s your work about?”

2. Practice showing a person the entire poster step by step—this may take 5-7 minutes. Many participants prefer to engage with posters as an interactive narrative, where they’re walked through the main ideas but may stop to discuss and ask questions.

3. Practice explaining any figures or data that you have. Just as many people pre-read journal articles by reading the abstract, then the figures, and then the conclusion, many people take in posters by reading the introduction, the figures and the takeaway messages. If you can explain each figure, you’ll be able to facilitate discussion about any part of your data. You may find that writing a good caption for your figures will help you to present them easily!

Poster Awards:

Posters are eligible for SOTL Conference Poster Awards, which will be judged and presented on the day of the conference. Please plan to leave your poster up until the end of the day, so that people may have a second chance to view it during the closing reception! Winning posters and presenters will be featured on the SOTL conference website.

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Resource Tables

Resource tables are interactive presentations of tools, resources, techniques, and methods. They take place at round tables within the ballroom over lunch. During an hour-long table session, moderators encourage people to visit new tables every fifteen minutes; however, this is not required, and people often arrive, join in to an existing discussion, and move to other tables at will.

The most successful resource tables

  1. Choose a descriptive title that is inviting and relevant to participants
  2. Proactively invite or attract conference attendees to their table
  3. Foster conversation and interaction around materials and resources


Space and Equipment:

The conference will assign round tables to participants on the day of the conference, and the conference team will label them with printed placards on stanchions. No screens will be provided, but electrical access will be available if your group wishes to bring laptops and monitors. The ballroom is a large open space, and multiple discussions and tables will occur simultaneously in the space.


Resource tables can vary significantly according to presenter style, content, and the questions of visiting participants. Here's an example of two sample formats:

Informal Q&A style: participants talked with the presenters about the table’s materials, asked questions, and held unstructured conversations.

Present-and-discuss style: The presenter prepared a very brief presentation (perhaps only a 2-5 minute introduction or demonstration), and then answered questions or assisted people in trying out techniques.

Resource tables are highly dependent on conference-day discussions, and the most necessary preparation is to bring good materials and be ready to have good conversations!

Want to be thoroughly prepared? Here are some tips:

1. Prepare a short elevator speech, 1-2 minutes, about what the table is about.

2. Prepare a brief set of talking points, up to five minutes, if people arrive at the table wanting to learn passively before jumping in.

3. Consider an activity that folks at the table might do if it's relevant to your subject; a demonstration; or other means of engaging participants with your resources and topic.


Resource tables provide an excellent opportunity to share printed materials—outreach, instructions, tip and technique sheets, and forms for future action are all good things to consider displaying. Tables have also displayed tools, visual aids, and books. Several tables have brought laptops and monitors to facilitate real-time demonstrations and explorations.

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